Growing up to the awesome-ness of Samantha Jones of Sex in the City, PR fascinates many. It looks like easy money – but the truth is it’s not!
To me, PR is living and breathing! It is a career built above all industries, politics and people. It is a lifelong learning which almost always pays off. Here are the basics of what a PR guy MUST know:
Knowing how to design and execute research is a crucial part of the job. A core PR guy always knows the client’s business better than the client!
2. Writing skills:
A PR guy has the flair of writing. From basic letters to the drafting of a legal contract – a PR guy must know it all!
3. Media relations:
A good PR guy will never rely on allies such as media coordinators etc. They will know reporters, desk staff as well as the editor. Where delegating is an important part of managing the PR strategies, it is always best to be in control of your key stakeholders – the media. Clients will come and go, but good media relations will a long way.
4. Dealing with the media:
A good PR guy will always know how to handle what type and level of media. Where trial and error is part of every work sphere, dealing with the media is not something a PR professional can afford to just wing it!
5. Shaping the debate:
Everybody knows what goes on in mainstream industries. The job of a PR guy is to bring shape to that debate in people’s lives using PR tools to the advantage of their clients.
6. Planning an event:
From press conferences to hosting benefits, to lunches and dinners and so much more, a PR guy must know who to call for what and have the contacts to pull off an event which will be memorable.
7. Crisis management:
The bane of PR is managing the crisis! Identifying the issue at the right time and giving out a statement with sufficient facts to reduce the rumors. Key factor is, the media is the last to know your news, so always give them enough material so they don’t snoop around more, but not too much that they don’t come back for more if needed!
8. Using PR to create advocates for your client:
A good PR campaign will influence the masses. The key to influencing the masses is to convince the messenger to advocate your key messages with conviction. This will ensure good word of mouth and top of mind recall in the target audience.
9. Always tell the truth:
Always keep your ethical obligations in check – never compromise on the truth! Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, it’s tempting to skip steps, make assumptions, and push the button before the facts are checked. Sometimes the client is asking you to do things that push the boundary of the truth. Sometimes it’s your boss. Don’t be tempted to take shortcuts that will undermine your credibility with your team, client, or employers.
10. Constant Learning:
PR professionals should be among the smartest people on the team. They’re articulate, well read, and care deeply about the subject matter they represent. They keep up on current events, read the newspaper, and know about what’s going on in the world. They must keep abreast the knowledge of everything and aspire not to learn their way about new PR/media tools but in fact want to be the one to invent new avenues of PR.