If you want to start a business, there are a thousand manuals out there telling you what exactly you have to do. Be prepared to work all the hours under the sun, make sure you treat your employees well, make sure that you’re easy to contact… there are a thousand things that you’re supposed to do, but it can be hard to know what exactly you should focus on if you’re focusing on public relations. Here are some tips to help…
What Is PR?
First of all, it’s important to be certain of what you’re actually doing – after all, you want to make sure that your company is doing exactly what it claims it is, or you’ll get in serious trouble with your clients. You need to decide what area of PR you’re going into, first and foremost. A lot of publicists either work with people or with brands, so you need to pick which you’d like to focus on. Your role will be to figure out how your brand or individual communicates with the media, and to create the strategy behind that. You need to work out how to create a positive public image so that the public will support and follow the individual or brand that you’re working with.
Build Good Relationships
In PR, there’s absolutely nothing more important than building good relationships with both your client and with the media. It’s important to talk to your client as you work out your PR strategy – authenticity is always a really crucial thing when it comes to the way that people and brands relate to the media, because let’s face it – the public is smarter than you might think, and if you’re trying to spin a story with no basis then they’ll end up smelling a rat. Make sure that when you’re talking to members of the media, you always exchange niceties with them – ask them how they are, thank them for their coverage, provide whatever they might need. You’re aiming to find a symbiotic relationship where you work together so they get stories and you get coverage.
Learn To Network
Learning to network is important with any job, but it’s especially crucial if you’re working in PR. Make sure that you attend as many events as you can, and that you talk to plenty of people at those events. It’s important that you create business cards that you can give out to people with all your information on there like your email address, phone number and your site so they can check out your work. Remember that you need to try to sell yourself, but not in a way that’s too obvious or obnoxious – get to know people before giving them your sales pitch. Not everyone is going to work with your company but if they get to know you, they might recommend you to their friends and other industry contacts.
Improve Your Communication Skills
There’s very little that’s more important in PR than learning how to communicate effectively with people. Remember to keep it cheerful and breezy but professional at all times – don’t get too familiar with journalists, and make sure that your mailing lists are all appropriate addresses to send your press releases to.
Learn From The Best
Take a look around you at PR campaigns that are working well, and learn from them. Of course it’s important to have your own ideas and to work creatively, but the industry stalwarts are there for a reason, and it isn’t just the fact that they’ve built up long relationships with their clients and with the media. If you’re working with brands or events, check out an AMW Group PR campaign for an example of a campaign done well. If you’re working with books, then the Headline publishing group’s press team always reliably gets a lot of coverage. A lot of beauty companies and fashion houses have their own in-house publicity teams, so check out their ads and campaigns for examples of what’s been done well – and look at Pepsi’s recent tone deaf campaign with Kendall Jenner for an example of an ad that you should absolutely avoid.
Create Your Company Culture
Finally, it’s time to make sure that you create a healthy company culture. The media industry can be full of vultures, which means that in order to create a team that works well, you need to make sure that you foster a warm atmosphere in your offices. Don’t entertain any backstabbing and make sure that everyone works together to share their ideas. Treat all of your team fairly and they’ll follow your example.