Your PR Professional Development Toolkit

We live and we learn. Our early careers all about trial and error, but now many of us are working to refine, polish, and fill our tool belts with the best set of wrenches available. Given the onset of PRTech, there’s no better time to do take the initiative and invest in yourself. Let’s all step on the gas a bit to truly accelerate the pace at which we’re evolving in our respective PR roles.

From employing empowering body language tricks before your next thought leadership lecture to being bold enough to reframe your organization’s origin story, here’s how to turn it up.

What do we want?

To become more valuable than ever!

How do we do it?

Through data, measurement, and compelling content!

Great. Let’s get started.

Invest in Authorship

The first rule of PR club is that you don’t talk about PR club. Wrong! Talk up a storm. Start establishing yourself as an expert through compelling writing today so you can lead the way in future (and present) content marketing. Being influential in a niched area will give you credibility as both an individual and brand representative. Start with a sprint session: Jot down the first five blog post topics that come to mind, choose the strongest one, then force yourself to write for 20 minutes uninterrupted. Here’s a stopwatch for you. Think niched expertise, owned media, authorship, and comprehensive distribution plans.

Build Your Data IQ

To gain insights from data, you need to understand it first. Familiarize yourself by taking a class on Google Analytics or a General Assembly course. Read a blog by a data scientist you respect or talk to your technology team about what information they may be privy to that could influence the way you work. Soon, you’ll learn to pitch story W vs. story X, because Y and Z. Seek data, draw insights, and take risks.

Hone in on what you’re good at (which may include ending headers with a preposition or quoting yourself)

A great mind once said, “In order to understand the value you bring to a business, you must first understand your own value.” Alright, fine. Yes, I did just quote myself but I’ve made a good point. Maybe you’re great at writing. Maybe you’re terrible at writing but the best public speaker you know. Find what you’re good at and do it better than everyone else at your organization and you’ll be of indispensable value.

Learn How to Measure

Today, measurement is mandatory. Author of Crossing the Chasm Geoffrey Moore said it the best, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Your metrics should be tied to either web analytics, shifts in opinion, or messaging that loops back to your goals and objectives. Ditch yesteryear’s vanity metrics and invest in public relations measurement solutions that offer up real insights.

Be A Silo-Breaker

Too often do companies settle into silos and revert to communicating only with members of their own teams. The most powerful, persuasive, and innovative thinkers in your organization are the ones who communicate on a regular basis with teams that aren’t their own. Be one of those people. Make friends with an engineer, learn about what your consumer research specialist does, and be big enough to ask them how they’d improve what you do. You never know what gems you’ll uncover by leaving your own pod.

Reframe Your Organization’s Origins Story & Pitch It Anew

Just because your company started telling its story in a certain way doesn’t mean you can’t break the mold or tell it from a different perspective. Focus on the problem your product or service solves, and explain it in the simplest way possible. Add an interesting point of view and back it up with data or other sources of validation. Then, pitch the story to a hyper-targeted select few. See how you do.

Turn Your Pitches Into Owned Media

Instead of pitching your next great story idea, produce it in-house and disseminate it using a robust and strategic distribution plan. Then, track its success and compare the results to a similar story you landed recently in the media. How do they stack up? Where was your time most well-spent?

Being better at your trade isn’t a matter of extra years of experience. It’s about making learning new skills a priority and being hungrier than you were yesterday. Go on, PR peeps. Start snackin’.