Press releases and pitching. A year in PR.
Exactly 12 months ago I joined specialist automotive agency Red Marlin Communications in my hometown of Leamington Spa. Following a lengthy search, and a fair share of rejections, an exchange of emails with the boss of a small local agency got me noticed and after a couple of interviews I managed to secure a position as a PR administrator.
In spite of some post-graduation blues I was eager to begin my career. Four years of eating value baked beans straight from the tin will make even the most diehard student crave a 9-5 job. On reflection my first day wasn’t the best way to introduce a newbie into the world of a busy PR and marketing agency. A canal side pub lunch whilst basking in the June sunshine was just lovely, but probably gave me a false impression of a typical day in the life of a modern PR professional and the hard work, dedication, consistency and attention to detail that is needed to work in a successful agency.
Over the past year I’ve been involved in a huge variety of different PR and marketing activities from drafting press releases, managing social media campaigns, writing blogs, producing website copy and pitching features into journalists. But it’s less the basic tools of the PR trade that have helped me progress over the last year rather a few little hints and tips from those in the know.
Here’s the top 10:
1. Be prepared.
Knowing your stuff is everything. Taking the time to research a journalist, what they like to write about and what the publication covers is vital to securing the right coverage.
2. Stay one step ahead.
The media landscape is constantly changing. Keep on the ball to know where consumers are accessing news and information.
3. Get to the point.
It’s a press release not War and Peace. Be picky with the information included and make every word count.
4. Never assume
Challenge your preconceptions on what you think is correct. Research new ways of doing things and check your facts.
5. Time waits for no man
Deadlines are there for a reason. Make sure you stick to them.
6. Honesty is the best policy
A good agency should not be afraid to challenge its client’s ideas and practices. They should be in the driving seat in terms of PR and have confidence in their own ability while successfully addressing the business strategy.
7. Get creative
Explore and expand even the strangest of your ideas that pop into your brain. They could turn out to be a winner.
8. Be nosy
In spite of what your granny told you nosiness is a good thing! Seek out as many PR and marketing opportunities as possible.
9. It’s called public relations for a reason.
Be friendly; take the time to listen to people and get involved in the conversation.
10. Have fun!
PR and marketing is a fantastic industry to work in. It’s exciting, constantly changing and creative. So get stuck in and enjoy your career.