10 Tips for winning at PR
10 Tips for winning at PR

Advice for winning at public relations and changing the game altogether.

Photo Credit: scyther5 / Shutterstock.com

As with many things in life, there aren’t surefire rules when it comes to public relations; shades of gray lie between every proofed press release and million-dollar pitch. There are, however, a handful of guiding principles for those hungry for success. Here are 10 tips for winning at PR:

Embrace the power of social media. Not only is social media a fantastic gateway for customer interaction, it’s also an economic resource. By increasing online visibility and honing in on strong SEO, your company can skyrocket to the top of search engines.

Know how to talk to your audience. Don’t alienate customers with nebulous jargon, but also don’t talk down to them. Finding the happy medium between a knowledgeable tone and relatable demeanor is a tall order, but it’s a crucial hurdle to jump.

Time management. Prioritization and time management go hand-in-hand. They are also imperative skills in public relations. Between juggling deadlines, scheduling interviews and acquiring new clients, organization and time budgeting are must-have skills.

Be hungry to learn. As the old adage goes, “The only thing more important than what you know is what you don’t.” Be able to honestly assess your professional strengths and weaknesses, and then make a game plan to become more well-rounded.

Brand your business. When a customer can associate a brand with a friendly face or winning concept, a company has found a solid branding formula. Tinker with varying tactics for social media promotion, community outreach and press to find the perfect solution for your client.

Build your brand with a blog. Yes, anyone can have a blog, but not everyone can excel in the blogosphere. Blogging is an excellent source of free publicity and can be a highly effective branding tool. Post special offers, exclusive updates, professional anecdotes—the possibilities are as vast as your imagination.

Groom media relationships. Press contacts are lifeblood in PR, and it’s important to ensure those bonds are cultivated. Don’t let any publications fall to the wayside, but also be wary of pestering your contacts. That way, your media relationships will have plenty of room to flourish.

Know what converged media is and how to apply it. With a litany of media outlets and formats at your disposal, it’s easy to become oversaturated with content. You should be able to throw down a SWOT analysis of each medium and understand its role for each of your clients. Expertise isn’t required, but an understanding is a must.

Position yourself as an expert. Even in the age of emails and instant messages, interpersonal skills can make or break a PR career. Position yourself as an authority in your field, as the quotable expert who’s always ready to sling out that perfect byte. You’ll be a journalist’s dream and your client’s champion.

Embrace your inner-Churchill and “never, ever, ever give up.” Every business professional faces a fair share of adversity; it’s up to you to trudge through the unreturned calls, rejected pitches and creative droughts.