If you have read top-tier media publications, such as Forbes, you may notice that the…
Starting new in any profession is highly overwhelming. With new faces and the new job ahead of you, it’s common to feel flustered.
It’s always beneficial to find the right advice easily in your career. But who do you seek this advice from? The best option is from others in the field. Nothing teaches better than experience. And we found just the right way to get all this advice to one place.
We took to Twitter and discovered some practical advice for new PRos from the PRos. The advice comes from experience. Check out what the network had to say below:
— 🤙 Jered Martin 🤙 (@JmoMonk) May 11, 2021
1. Focus on Building Relationships with Journalists from the Beginning
Identify 4-6 junior reporters at trade pubs that you think are super talented, and become an asset to them. Build those relationships. As they progress in their careers (becoming editors or moving to top tier pubs), the value of those relationships becomes tremendous.
— Mike Bush (@mikebush) May 11, 2021
Mike’s approach starts at a very human level. Meeting someone at a pub or gathering is the oldest way to build relationships. These in-person experiences help you go a long way when compared to cold emails or calls.
As these young lads make their way up their journalistic paths, they are sure to help those they meet easily in their lives.
2. Always Prioritize Learning
Always be learning. Look for opportunities to try/learn new things – even if they fall outside your day-to-day responsibilities. And always be connecting with people, both at your current company and at others, as well. Some call it networking – I like to call it “connecting.”
— Michelle Garrett (@PRisUs) May 11, 2021
Learning is the only way forward in any profession. Constantly upskilling, in any way possible, is the best way to stay ahead. It also helps you remain relevant, keep up with the changing trends and boost your confidence.
Garrett’s point of view on building connections is apt. It’s not just about building a network of people but actually making meaningful connections that help you down the path.
3. Show Compassion Always
Be compassionate to the media and kind it goes a long way 😘
— Carrie Eddins (@blondepreneur) May 11, 2021
Always stay compassionate to those who help you in the media. Do not merely think of people from the lens of professional work. Observe their human side and extend warmth.
In a world where everyone seeks a network of people and treats each other like business assets, compassion can help you significantly.
4. Steer Clients Respectfully
1) Clients aren’t always right — don’t jeopardize your media relationships just because of client pressure. 2) It’s PR, not ER. 3) Read the reporters’ work (aka don’t trust Cision). 4) Learn to manage up & don’t be afraid to assign pitches to senior account leads.
— Steph Ross (@thestephross) May 12, 2021
“The client is always right” is one of the oldest sayings in the business world, but it doesn’t always ring true. PR professionals have to know how to understand the end goal and steer the client in the right direction, tastefully and respectfully. A PR manager must learn how to share communication and feedback with the client in a polite and tactful way, especially when the client’s asks aren’t always the best approach.
5. Understand WHO You’re Representing
Make an effort to truly understand the business you’re representing. Too many PR pros learn a little of the lingo but don’t actually understand what drives the business or the industry it’s in. Those drivers are where all of the valuable/interesting stories are.
— Candice Adams (@TheCandiceAdams) May 11, 2021
Understand the business you represent. It’s more than just servicing the clients’ needs but having a wholesome understanding of the business domain itself. Staying aware of industry trends, changes, recent news, and much more helps you stay ahead of the game.
The ability to determine the key insights from the business also makes your work easier and more enjoyable.
6. Be Authentic
1. Be authentic
2. Go an extra mile to achieve what you want to
3. Take Action, action, action
— Kulpreet F Vesuna (@KulpreetImpact) May 11, 2021
Kulpreet’s first point about being authentic is very genuine advice. Trying to emulate or follow the path of others can often lead you to doubt. Stay true to any endeavor and ensure you put in the extra work it takes to reach each goal. This job requires you to take one step at a time, so lean in to where you are now and acknowledge where you want to go in the future.
7. Find YOUR Own Way
1. Focus on your craft. Everyone has “a way” to do it. Find YOUR way…
2. Fear nothing. That will cripple you and make only a vendor to your clients.
3. Fixate on walking backward. (There are some small, shady backstabbers in #PR.)
— SPW ✍️🤓 (@ShawnPaulWood) May 11, 2021
To elaborate on the points made by Kulpreet in the previous tweet, the need to find YOUR way is very apparent in this profession. In order to be successful at what you do, you need to find strategies that work for the way you work. No one person works the same, so explore the ways that make you the best at what you do. Looking out for yourself and knowing how to trust someone comes with experience. Also, make an effort to look out for others on your team.
8. Get Great at Writing
Really (be honest w/yourself, authentically) hone your #writing skills. Read voraciously. Be intellectually curious. Embrace #research. Think of #storytelling & #popculture like a filmmaker. #PR #Marketing #Communications #Strategy
— Bob Batchelor (@BobPBatchelor) May 11, 2021
Research and writing are two of the most critical skills for any professional. The need to stay relevant with the times and understand the new-age storytelling language will give the professional an incredible advantage. The more you write, the better you’ll get so don’t be afraid of it. In this profession, there’s a huge emphasis on writing succinctly and clearly, so if you’re a newbie who struggles with that, always look for where you can cut down but still retain value. At some point, you won’t even have to think about it anymore.
9. Learn PR Holistically
Work at a boutique agency for a little bit, one w/ a diverse clientele, wear many hats & experience all elements (budgets, contracts, pitching, writing, client relations). Connect with other #PR pros often. Develop thick skin, you will need it!
— Lacey Trejo (@LaceyTPR) May 11, 2021
You cannot learn everything from one place. If you find the work at one agency lacking — move to another. Each of them comes with unique work cultures and tons of learning opportunities. Dip your feet into all aspects of PR Management to make the most of your days of learning.
“Develop [a] thick skin; you will need it!” Lacey adds. This is one piece of advice few provide. There is no room to stand upset or offended. It’s a profession that revolves around people skills, and being slightly strong-minded is very critical.
10. Learn to Ask Good Questions
Fearlessly ask good questions. Ask them in meetings. Ask them after meetings. Write them down during your off-hours so you can ask them when you get to the office. Those answers will make you and your work infinitely better.
— Scott Kaminski (@MarCommScott) May 11, 2021
It’s never frowned upon to ask questions, as said rightly by Scott. Asking the right questions is the basis of wholesome growth. Your team will welcome these doubts, and it helps you avoid any silly mistakes for the firm/agency. Also, gaining tactical advice from a team member is enormously advantageous than an online search.
11. Be Respectful of the Inbox
Don’t you ever EVER re-send an ignored email with the words “Just putting this back at the top of your inbox”
— Angela Natividad (@luckthelady) May 11, 2021
We have all had the urge to do it, and we have experienced this simple attempt at attention-seeking. But that is the problem here; it is attention-seeking, not grabbing. Such emails sound desperate and unprofessional.
Another takeaway here is that you must learn thought to every tiny piece of communication. Using clickbait and juvenile templates will hardly set an impression about you. See the work of those you look up to for inspiration.
12. Recognize the Value of Mutually-Beneficial Relationships
1. Connect, connect and connect. Your media connections are worth gold. 2. Be respectful to them. 3. Always think of a good story
— Janette Speyer – Digital Marketing Strategy (@JanetteSpeyer) May 11, 2021
“Be respectful to them,” here, Janette refers to those connections you make along the way. Remember, if you are considering sending an email to one of your connections, so are twenty other people out there. Be mindful of people’s time, continue to bring value to them, and you will strike a golden relationship.
Take the time to revisit that Twitter thread every few weeks to gain some inspiration. Starting a new career is always overwhelming, but having the right mindset from the get-go will enforce a positive change.
If you liked this collection of advice, you might also enjoy our piece on 10 Underrated Skills In Public Relations and 5 Things They Don’t Tell You About Pitching. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to the monthly newsletter to receive more info like this straight to your inbox each month.