For any public relations professionals who work in an internal or external capacity, it is sometimes challenging to get folks to understand what you actually do. Thinking about some of the challenges, I thought for #FunFactFridays I pull together a list of do’s and don’ts when interacting with your PR folks.
Don’t be Last Minute
So here’s the thing, while most of us get that things pop up unexpectedly there are a few things that can be planned for: conferences, speeches, philanthropy events, big deals, and the list can go on. Bottom line is if you didn’t plan for it, it is hard for the PR person to be successful. Ultimately, you are putting us behind the eight ball. Not that is different than other professions (is you don’t plan, you plan for failure), but the more time you give PR folks to do their job, the more successful your initiative will be.
I love to hear ideas, but that is just that. I like to “hear” not just be told what to do. Two different approaches. The best PR programs are the ones where true collaboration takes places. No one wants to hear, “ it so easy to write this media release, all you have to do is.” While the activity seems rather easy, there is a lot that goes into a PR program and its strategy.
After publishing this post yesterday, my colleague Allison commented, “While it’s great to bring ideas, bringing fully baked ideas is key. If you haven’t fully thought out your idea, it’s best to keep it in the oven until it’s ready. But if you feel confident enough that you have a kernel of a great idea (and this would be a huge gut feeling of confidence not an inkling), collaboration with your teammates may turn it into something great.”
Don’t think I just Send Media Releases
This is my favorite. While it is true PR folks send media releases, this is just the first step. There is a lot more involved in public relations activities. Ragan did a fabulous article recently on how PR folks are like sales people. So true, there is a lot of steps and activities we engage in everyday: calling reporter, researching angles, stalking editors, changing subject matter experts, and the list goes on.
Do use PR to Story Tell
I truly believe that public relations is the corporate or master storytellers. It is your role to paint a cohesive and consist story about your organization. Storytelling is PR; it essentially boils down to connecting an organization and people through a story.
The same is true in PR — multiple perspectives make a brand story more genuine and believable. And think about, it is in our human nature to share and respond to great stories.