A professional PR agency which supports customers from the IT industry is an excellent place not only for a total geek. In such a place anyone interested in technology innovations, who easily interacts with new people and has good writing skills, can embark on a great professional career.
The essence of working in PR is ease of interacting with people. However, in order to be fully successful, one needs to have many other soft and hard skills. Personal qualities are undoubtedly very important, but they need to be accompanied by excellent skills, knowledge of the customer’s industry, language proficiency, good organization of work, and eagerness to continuously develop.
Below you will find a few tips for a PR apprentice. Perhaps after reading this text it will be easier for you to make confident first steps in your dream profession.
Read a lot
And not only about your customer and the industry they operate in. The basic responsibilities of a PR professional include preparing news releases which should attract journalists’ attention. You need to be aware that journalists receive lots of such releases, from invitations to tests through information on product launches to professional articles and expert comments.
There is no other way but to try to stand out in the plethora of similar e-mails and texts. A press release should not only be correct. It should contain something which catches the eye: a non-obvious connotation or emphasis on the product’s/service’s key features in such a way so as to make the intrigued journalist want to go through the text.
So if you read a lot, and therefore deal with a written word, you will definitely broaden your vocabulary, refine your language, and interesting phrases will come to your mind more easily. Simply speaking: you will be able to use the language better and with more confidence.
Right at the beginning of your work, you should make a list of journalists and media which are most important to your customer. This will be crucial in your work. What criteria should you use to make such a choice?
Of course, these do not have to include only the biggest portals and most popular journalists. Sometimes, as part of cooperation with a medium with a smaller reach, you can implement an interesting and valuable project, whereas the same project in a larger medium will only be one of many. For your customer, a smaller industry portal may be more relevant due to a well targeted group of readers. It can also be more influential in setting trends among people particularly interested in the covered topics.
Bear in mind that journalists often change their jobs, moving from smaller media to the larger ones. If you get on well with them, you will also benefit from their promotion.
Find the right people
When you find the key media and journalists, check what they have written about recently and what topics they cover most often. Try to reach every one of them individually, learn what could get them most interested, and what scope of cooperation would be most suitable to them.
Whenever you prepare a press release for sending, think about who it is going to be most relevant to. If you have doubts, review the recent publications of the journalist you want to send the press release to. If you are still in doubt as to whether the topic will interest the journalist, just call them and ask. This way you will make sure that the effects of your work will be presented to those who are interested in them. Secondly, a direct conversation is an excellent ice-breaker. It allows to get to know each other better, communicate, and build a genuine relationship, which is precisely what your work is about.
The same goes for any other project. Ensure that your cooperation offer is made to someone who is actually involved with the given topic.
Develop, invest in yourself
The technology industry is advancing at a staggering pace. You too should keep up with your customers’ growth. There are many companies offering training courses and workshops for PR professionals. If you come across something interesting, do not hesitate to talk about it with your employer and ask for financing your participation in such a course. Already at the recruitment stage, many employers inform candidates that they have a budget for employee training. If you have not heard it before, do not be afraid to ask. Every reasonable boss will care about their employees’ development. Of course, you need to make sure that the training you would like to take part in will help you develop the skills relevant from your boss’ point of view.
It is also worth reading industry magazines and websites to keep up with latest trends and news as well as follow blogs written by the industry’s top professionals, who offer a behind-the-scenes look into their work.
Organize your work and act effectively
Sluggish preparation of an important news release or late reaction to current events is a cardinal sin for any PR professional. Note that the majority of your competitors read the same things as you and have the same contacts, so if you fail to make a journalist interested in a given material at the right time, someone else will do it.
When planning the topics of news releases, try to identify current trends. Find out what the industry media have recently covered and connect the dots. Try to offer something fresh: even if the topic has already been brought up, address it from a different angle, surprise journalists with a fresh perspective. This particularly concerns current affairs.
Of course, the rush must not affect the quality of the materials. You should not put the equality sign between “fast” and “anyhow”.
Even if you think that you are good at multitasking, try to plan your day’s work and write down the most important tasks. Obviously, you will not be able to do it up-to-the-minute, and there can always be some urgent thing to do. Nevertheless, setting priorities every morning will help you avoid getting lost in this maze. It is worth listing all the most important tasks. If you are a kind of person who needs a yellow sticky note to remember that they have something written down on another sticky note, you had better try one of many office applications (e.g. Asana), which help plan the most important tasks and specify deadlines.
Follow us on LinkedIn.