In life, there are certain universal truths that exist. If you’re waiting for a call and go to the bathroom, the person will call when you go. Or, when looking diligently for something, you can never find it. No matter how you break it down, you can’t get away from the fact that certain things will always be the case.
In light of examining universal truths, let’s look at the universal truths of PR.
Truth #1: Your Job is Never Done
PR is all about storytelling. From conceptualizing to developing to monitoring and optimizing messages and perceptions. Public relations does not stop when a media placement goes live or a blog post publishes. True industry professionals are always crafting relevant and impactful stories, and always forming new connections with which they can share those stories.
The results of PR-driven content have a longer life than the amplification they receive on their publish date. They often continue to drive engagement and site traffic long after the content has gone live. Given that companies of all sizes are becoming increasingly focused on branded content, it’s more important than ever that PR professionals demonstrate the residual results of their content and storytelling efforts. The circle is round, it has no end.
Truth #2: You Must Be Comfortable With the Unknown
Meticulous planning is the norm for the average PR pro, but crisis communications situations are never scheduled. Brand and client needs can happen at any time. Because of this, it is fair to say that a significant percentage of PR efforts for any team are reactive.
Given this nature of work, do everything you can to ensure that your team and clients are as prepared as possible with approved reactive messaging, explanations, and further information. Just like with any other crisis, preparation can make a huge difference in your end result.
Truth #3: First Impressions Make a Difference
I’m not just talking physical. This also applies to pitch emails and all other first-touch outreach. Is your pitch email too long? Does it include grammatical errors? (Everyone’s worst nightmare.) Before interacting with anyone for the first time, do your research about them and study your notes so you can bring things up where appropriate. Think of all first professional interactions like a job interview — show you’ve studied up!
Truth #4: Relationships Really Matter
Everyone knows that relationships are a significant part of any public relations strategy. People are your public. Especially in this digital age, genuine, face-to-face conversations — both formal and informal — are what really make our human relations successful. It is through these conversations that you can learn the personal things that help to maintain those positive relationships, like a person’s favorite color and birthday. When the time comes to send them a present or gift of gratitude, personalization matters.
Truth #5: Your Are More Valuable Than You Will Ever Get Credit For
Too often PR efforts are either unrecognized or misunderstood. Although this industry and the work of PR professionals is far from new, there is still a lack of understanding about what exactly constitutes public relations — and what PR teams should be responsible for.
Even with new and improved measurement options that help to prove the worth of your work (wink, wink), the vast majority still may not understand its value — because, let’s face it, it’s difficult to value what you don’t understand.
Don’t let this discourage you! Telling the ongoing story of your brand helps to drive and maintain all aspects of business, which means you’ll only get more opportunities to be given credit where credit is due.
As with all universal truths, these are in large part products of perception. Keep your eyes on the prize and optimize, optimize, optimize!
Thanks, Kelly. Meet another bright mind behind the scenes at AirPR: