What Makes a Great Head of PR In a Professional Membership Body?

At Membership Bespoke, we know how important it is to have the right talent within your professional body. Senior members of staff can make or break your organisation, which is why we’re on hand to help you attract and retain the best people.  

In the past, we’ve looked at the characteristics that define a great head of membership. Today, we’re going to look at another crucial role in any membership body, the head of PR.  

A head of public relations or public affairs works closely with external partners and investors to support the growth of your organisation and maintain its reputation. Here are some of the things to look for in your candidates.  

 

They Have Fantastic Leadership Skills 

 

 

A head of PR is the leader in your PR team, responsible for motivating and supporting the rest of your employees. These professional affairs experts need to be exceptional at setting goals, delegating tasks, and establishing priorities for staff members throughout your organisation.  

Onboarding leaders into your PR team involves looking for people who can collaborate successfully with others, and guide employees at the same time. During your competency-based interview, ask questions like “Tell us about a time when you motivated your team to achieve a crucial goal.” This will show you how experienced your head of PR is in working at the front of a team. 

Some PR leaders will even act as mentors to junior PR personnel so that they can take on leadership roles in the future.

 

A Head of PR is Excellent at Media Relations 

Your head of PR needs both a strong understanding of your chosen industry and an in-depth knowledge of media to support and build your professional body’s reputation. PR leaders support their teams in crucial media interactions ranging all the way from newspaper interviews, to press announcements.  

To thrive in media relations, head of PR need to be creative, and research driven. This means that they’re fully aware of the emerging issues that might affect your organisation and members, and they know how to answer questions before they appear in the public eye. Your head of public affairs will also be able to develop and implement strategies that support your business and attract potential members in the future.  

Look for a candidate that’s comfortable creating a compelling elevator pitch for your company and remember that your head of PR must feel confident with networking and building relationships in the media.

 

They’re Strategic and Analytical 

 

 

Creativity is crucial for a head of PR, but these people also need to be logical and analytical too. As the members of your staff responsible for developing, implementing and integrating strategic plans for communication, your head of PR needs to understand your business, its aims, and the steps that need to be taken to achieve your goals.  

A head of PR continually researches and identifies challenges and emerging issues that are facing your professional body and members, and they can collaborate with other employees to tackle problems before they arise.  

When issues do occur for your membership group, a great head of PR doesn’t panic. These people know how important it is to stay calm under pressure, and they have experience dealing with issues under tight deadlines.

 

A Head of PR Is Excellent with Communication & People 

As mentioned above, your head of PR plays a vital role as a spokesperson and representative for your business. Both internally and externally, your new employee will need to interact with multiple people every day, driving results, creating presentations and making sure that people understand the goals of your professional body.  

When conducting your competency-based interviews, make sure to search for someone who fully understands your group, and knows how to communicate your values to others. For instance, you can ask a question like, “What strategy would you use to explain our professional body to someone who had never heard of us?” 

Your head of PR also needs outstanding people skills. As someone who will interact with consumers, partners, media representatives and employees every day, they need to be inherently likeable and ready to build strong relationships with anyone.  

 

They’re Committed to Learning New Things 

 

 

Finally, as you’re sifting through applications for your head of PA role, it makes sense to look for someone with a passion for learning.  

PR leaders are continually connecting with different people, new ideas, and even updated media channels, so they need to keep up-to-date with the latest trends. For instance, many PR heads are spending more time on social media today than ever before. What’s more, with artificial intelligence and machine learning entering almost every industry, your leadership team will need to be ready for transformation.  

Search for someone who’s committed to constantly expanding their skills through training and additional education. You might notice a passion for digital skills on a candidate’s CV or hear about a recent course a person took during an interview. Someone with a commitment to learning will keep you ahead of the curve with PR.  

 

What’s Next? 

At membershipbespoke, we have years of experience recruiting PA and PR professionals. We can find the head of PR that will improve and enhance your professional body. Get in touch with us today!   

 

About Us 

The membershipbespoke group remains the only specialist recruitment organisation in the UK, which offers a dedicated service tailored to the needs of Trade Associations, Unions, Professional and Regulatory Bodies. 

We use our considerable expertise in successfully recruiting for positions across every department within a membership context. To find out more call us on 0203 4403653 or email us here.