As someone who is interested in a career in Public Relations, having an opportunity to learn exactly what that means is incredibly valuable. As much as you read about something there’s always something else you can learn from actually doing it. PR is no exception. Working with Ideas Collide’s PR division has given me a wealth of knowledge. Some of my favorite things I’ve learned are about productivity, media relations, and reaching the customer. In each experience, no matter if it feels mundane, there is an opportunity to learn.
When working on a PR project you must be productive. It’s essential to be on the ball and to complete things quickly and with excellence. Now you may be thinking that this is the exact same in every field you will ever work in. Yes, you do need to be productive in any job, but there is a unique angle that PR must approach this from. They must come from an angle of creativity. This stems from a few different reasons. One of the main reasons is that it is necessary to always be coming up with new ways to “sell” your clients product to the public and also to the media. You cannot simply keep doing the same things because the public will get bored and the media will stop caring. On top of that your initial ideas must also be creative; otherwise you will never get the attention that is required for PR. New, fun, creative, and sellable ideas are a must to succeed.
Even though it is called Public Relations, the public is often reached through the media. Selling a product to the media is absolutely essential. Why? Well, think about this. Imagine you hear a radio commercial on the way home from work for a product. Now, imagine you watch a story in the news that is talking about a similar product from a different company. Next time you need that product you’re going to remember the news story–not the radio commercial. Commercials are good, but it’s better if you can get reporters on board and backing your product. Ideally you would also start to develop a relationship with those reporters. That will make your job easier and your pitches more successful.
Reaching the customer can happen a variety of different ways, but possibly the most interesting thing about PR is the use of targeted marketing. What do I mean by that? It’s really quite simple. If you have a sports product you would like to market– find the sports reporters. If you want to advertise something local–find the local magazines. This way your pitches are directed not only at specific news sources but also at specific reporters. This very simple idea creates much more successful pitches due to the already developed interest in the reporters that you are contacting. Find someone who already cares, and you will have much higher chances of them caring about your product.
The world of PR is fascinating, but at the end of the day it boils down to a few main concepts. Be creative, be smart, and be sellable.