Tips of the Trade

By Alina Hauptman

Public relations is a dynamic and extremely rewarding profession.  Throughout my career, I have learned that there are certain qualities and values a person needs to have to find success in this profession.

Here are 10 top tips to succeed in PR:

  • Believe in Your Clients: While PR professionals are known to be able to spin any type of story, the most success is had when you truly believe in the brand you are working with. No PR person is that good of an actor – if we were, we would all be in Hollywood! Thus, to serve clients in the best manner possible we need to start by being passionate about their story and find value in their core message.
  • Be a People Person: Surviving in PR isn’t for the faint of heart. PR is a job where you are judged on how well you get along with clients and the media. This isn’t a nine to five job, this is a lifestyle where the lines blur between work and social life. To win in PR you have to be collaborative and LOVE working with all types of people.
  • Knowledge of current events / what’s happening in the world: PR people are storytellers. To tell an effective story we must tie it in with current events and what is relevant at the moment. Reading, watching and absorbing everything in sight is what will make you an even stronger publicist – no matter what your specialty is.
  • Interest in Pop Culture: Just as important as being informed about current events, is having a firm grasp on pop culture. You never know when an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians or Million Dollar Listing will offer the perfect opportunity to help you place your client’s brand. Product placement and celebrity endorsements have a huge reach and can be crucial to the success of your client’s business.
  • Integration of Social Media: Social media comes part and parcel with traditional PR. Against Instagram? Get over it. Don’t see the value of Twitter? Find it. Even traditional PR people need to understand how social media can be used as a resource to help build their clients’ brands and engage with their audiences. You don’t want to be left in the dust… #success.
  • Love of Writing: Being a good writer is essential to both yours and your clients’ success. As mentioned in Tip 8 – we are storytellers and the written word is a necessary way to share your clients’ story.
  • Let Your Passion Shine Through: When you really love what you do, it shows and with it comes results. Even if things don’t go exactly as planned, or you face rejection, having real enthusiasm in your daily interactions and activities will help pave the way to triumph.
  • Sense of Humor: Having a sense of humor is key to finding balance and harmony in life, your workplace is no exception. Think about it, journalists receive dozens if not hundreds of pitches an hour, you can stand out from the crowd by adding in a little dose of humor.
  • Creativity: Again, always try to understand the media’s perspective. They are constantly bombarded by phone calls, emails, texts and every other type of communication channel you can imagine. Always think, how can you stand apart from the competition? Be creative. That means from your email header to event planning and everything in between. It’s all about the angle and your approach.
  • Perseverance: And, drumroll please, the number one thing you need to succeed in PR is perseverance. If at first you don’t succeed… get right back up and try again. We are a persistent bunch that typically don’t take “no” for an answer. Good PR people don’t stop until they get results. The true art of this industry is knowing the fine line between determined and coming off as aggressive.