42 tips on being a great PR exec






  1. Read – PR is about telling stories, so try to read a newspaper in print or online, and your industry publications every day.
  2. Monitor – understand what your competitors and your industry are saying. Whether it’s through Google Alerts or setting up your own dashboard using RSS feeds.
  3. Focus – be very targeted about what will help the business you work for achieve its goals.
  4. Research – understand where your audiences hang out, whether that is forums or they read certain blogs or they attend key events.
  5. Give – share your expertise to make the PR world a better place.
  6. Take – attend webinars, training and learn whenever you can.
  7. Listen – to your client. They should be clear about their objectives, so ensure that you listened and understand them. Also listen to journalists, if they want a landscape image, don’t give them a portrait one!
  8. Triple-check – look out for typos, and if you don’t have the time, get someone else to check your work.
  9. Be calm – you will be doing many things at the same time. If it’s all getting too much, just breathe, walk away from your desk, and return when you feel ready.
  10. Be honest – if you tell the truth, people will trust you. If a lie comes out (and they often do), you look foolish.
  11. Accept – that the client is not always right, that you will have to work late sometimes and people will claim your ideas as their own.
  12. Make your client look good – whether that is a marketing manager in-house or your account director. They should repay you for it.
  13. De-junk your email – use colour coding or whatever you have to, otherwise you will miss things, or become overwhelmed.
  14. Use tools – we build our own for intelligence, but subscribe to services like Responsesource and Buzzstream too.
  15. Learn to write – ditch the jargon, try to use a structure for your article and blog posts and always add a call to action.
  16. Get social – whether you are active on Instagram, YouTube or Twitter, use these tools as you will understand how important social media is.
  17. Keep a track – of your work to see how you are progressing towards your targets.
  18. Brainstorm – get together to think of new ideas. If you work on your own, get together town other PRs and bounce ideas around.
  19. Take great pictures – think 300 dpi. If you don’t have great lighting head outside, or better get a professional photographer.
  20. Meet up – with journalists, bloggers, event organisers to find out what’s going on in the industry.
  21. Understand – the product or service you are promoting. This is especially true of technology products or services. If you don’t understand an offer, how can you “sell” it?
  22. Pitch – be proactive and pitch ideas to journalists.
  23. Get evidence – always have evidence in your back pocket. Especially, if you need to write copy where you are making claims that you need to substantiate.
  24. Make lists – for press, bloggers, awards, analysts, events and more.
  25. Keep lists up to date – spend time to watch for moves, new contacts or events etc.
  26. Be realistic – the front page of the FT isn’t possible for most companies, but understand that being in the top trade titles is a good result.
  27. Don’t spam – sometimes you may press the send button and a message goes to the wrong person, but don’t make it a habit.
  28. Check the publication/site – before you send a message. We run a number of blogs and are very specific about our focus, but we still get generic irrelevant news.
  29. Learn to juggle – you will most likely be working on a few campaigns at a time.
  30. Be enthusiastic – no client wants to hear someone who sounds like they don’t want to work on your account.
  31. Come up with new ideas – bring new idea to your clients every week if you can.
  32. Follow – the people who want to influence. We find that LinkedIN and Twitter are good tools.
  33. Be brave – wacky stunts don’t always work, but some do, so have a go.
  34. Recognise different types of copy – articles, releases, case studies and more aren’t written in the exact same way.
  35. Create templates – if you do the same things again and again, then create templates.
  36. Delegate – don’t do everything yourself. Hand over tasks if you can, like media monitoring, especially if there are juniors on your team.
  37. Prioritise – have a daily, weekly and monthly plan and work out what needs to be done now.
  38. Pick up the phone – introduce yourself to new journalists, or talk through an idea.
  39. Learn about other marketing or communications disciplines – see how activities like advertising and direct marketing tie in with PR. This is especially important around SEO – being a PR today means that you need to have a grasp of SEO too.
  40. Invite way more people – than you want to attend an event, as there will be dropouts.
  41. Deliver on your promises – if you say you will organise an interview, organise it or let the journalist know ASAP that you can’t.
  42. Enjoy your job – PR is a great career. Our work helps to keep businesses going, brings I leads, makes customers buy, raises awareness and so much more.

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