On November 4th, I arrived in Miami, FL for the inaugural Women in PR Summit and Retreat. The weekend was empowering and educational; I had the opportunity to meet and connect with other women who were passionate about the public relations industry and willing to share their knowledge and experience. Although the day was packed with session after session touching on topics such as legal matters, entrepreneurial advice and industry specific tips, below are the key takeaways from my time there with some of my own suggestions.
1. Start in your backyard.
By volunteering for an organization, you can gain valuable experience and skill sets for your career. If you are not knowledgeable about the field you want to go into (like healthcare or non-profit for example), learn by offering your services in exchange for an opportunity to get a better grasp of the industry.
2. Your clients need to understand the function of public relations in order to have a successful relationship.
Interview your clients as you would a potential employer. Ensure that they understand what services you are providing and do not have unrealistic expectations. Develop a CNA (client needs analysis). Find out what they want, if they have worked with a publicist before, their interests and experiences. This will set clear expectations for both parties and terms of service.
3. Don’t forget social sharing! Post press releases and media advisories on distribution sites and on social media. A recent study has shown that press releases are most shared via Facebook and Twitter generates the most views. What is taught at most universities is traditional and sometimes considered outdated. Make sure to stay abreast of all the tools and services available to distribute press release and disseminate information.
4. Cater to the media.
Make editors and reporters feel appreciated and make yourself available as a resource. This seems cliche, but many pr professionals still fail to develop mutually beneficial relationships with journalists. Vocus provides journalists’ preferences. Research how they like to be pitched and adhere to their requests. Send thank you notes for coverage and make sure what you are pitching is relevant to their beat or publication.
5. Deem yourself as an expert.
Study, read and fact check. Volunteer information that you know and help people learn. Work on yourself and your brand and people will seek you. Make sure you are active on social media, blog, and read industry news. Being well versed in your profession and niche industry is key in being credible and successful.
6. Don’t disregard bloggers as media.
Some bloggers have a huge audience and are worth pursuing and treating like a journalist. Research their blogs, leave comments on their posts, engage on Twitter and become interested in them and their work.
7. Have non-negotiable rules about what you will not tolerate as a professional.
Assert yourself and make sure you always act in an ethical and respectable manner. You are a brand too and a reflection of the person or organization you represent. You must make sure you do not become complacent and blindly adhere to what your client or employer requests. Value yourself and your work. “People treat you by what you tolerate…You teach people how to treat you”
8. Sell social media as an engagement tool and create own metrics.
No analytical tool has been developed with a reliable metric system, so develop your own system and combine different methods and tools to accurately evaluate and report on your social media efforts.
- Allpublicists.com for leads on clients and organizations looking for pr
- Easymedialists.com to buy affordable and accurate media lists
Women in PR to Follow:
- LaTonya Story – @prsportsgirl
- Julia Wakefield – @juliawakefield
- Erica Lane – @EricaLanePR
- Women in PR – @womeninpr1
- Anje Collins – @AnjeMiami
Any of my #WIPRSummit attendees have anything else to add?