Friday, October 25, 2013
Public relations is an essential part of most businesses but not a lot of people actually know what public relations really is. It sounds like a nice, dynamic, media friendly field in which to work, but apart from those little jewels of wisdom, most people would probably be pretty stuck if they were asked to define exactly what public relations is and how it is done best.
For those who think they might like to work in public relations, but really have no clue as to why, here are some key pointers to help you along your way.
Be a People Person
Public relations involves you making a lot of contacts with people outside of your organisation in an attempt to get them to talk nicely about your product or service. Whatever business you are, this is the premise.
It is essential then that you approach all of your communications in the most personable way possible. This means that no message you ever send out should look like SPAM.
There is nothing people hate more in the media industry than receiving a generic email that they can instinctively see has been sent out to a hundred other people. What motivation si there in that for them to keep reading? None.
A good PR person knows how to tweak a general message in a way that will make the receiver feel as though that you have in fact done even the tiniest bit of research into them as an individual.
Look Beyond Media
The media are your lifeblood in PR but there are ways of making an impact without directly looking to court the media. One of the best ways to do this is to take part in events which allow you to speak and showcase yourself and your business.
Having a visible presence at local events helps to build your profile and this in tun will allow you to make the contacts that will see business come to you.
Make sure that you research these events properly so that you can present something that will be fun and interesting to the audience. You should not treat this opportunity not as a direct sales drive but more so as one that simply introduces you to new possibilities.
If these kinds of events are not on the agenda in your area, simply go about setting one up of your own; this is sure fire way of bringing in some highly positive attention.
Don't Get Big Boots Before You Can Fill Them
One of the biggest mistakes made by those trying to enter into the world of PR without any real solid background or an already highly visible brand to promote, is that which sees the new PR person think that just because they have something great which they believe in that the whole world is also going to be interested in your particular story.
Good PR work takes time to build up and the best practitioners of it always started at the bottom and worked their way up.
For those getting started in the field, there is no way that anybody from a serious media outlet is going to even open your emails until you have built up a reputation that recognises you as somebody people should pay attention to. You need to build this reputation by working locally from the outset, targeting those who aren't usually called upon to help in PR campaigns. These people will be happy to play ball and the positive media that you generate on a small scale will soon start to snowball into something that will mean the big boys will want to know about what it is that you are doing before too long.
By Susan Glover. Susan is an independent writer and marketing consultant based in Barcelona, Spain. In her free time Susan is a hiker, swimmer and semi professional salal dancer.