Public Relations: The Inside Scoop
What is public relations again?
The best career advice anyone has ever given me: “Complete at least one internship during your college years.” The pressure is on to tackle as many as possible before I graduate.
As a rising junior who attends The College of New Jersey, my passion is public relations. I love writing and social media. This summer, I was fortunate enough to spend my first internship at The S3 Agency, as part of their PR team.
Quite frankly, I did not know much about public relations as I previously thought. College courses are great, but hands-on experience is mandatory in today’s world. I have grown tremendously in these past three months at S3.
In a nutshell, here is what I learned about public relations:
- Public relations is its own discipline, but it strongly links to marketing, advertising, and social media. Hence, S3 has 3 different teams that collaborate: advertising, public relations and social media.
- Public relations is essential for any good brand. It’s a necessity in order to thrive and maintain a business, especially in this Web-dominated sphere. Never underestimate the power of PR.
- It’s all about new opportunities, so make them. PR pros are constantly on the lookout for potential new angles for their current clients – as well as for new clients themselves. Businesses need positive publicity.
- Research is important. Whether you are targeting new coverage for current clients or seeking new business opportunities, be prepared. It takes time to get an in-depth prospective, but the results are worth it.
- Competitive news matters. Stay updated and browse the headlines daily. Know what your clients’ competitors are doing and keep track of what outlets are writing about them.
- Be on brand point. Every client has its own tone. The message is never the same. Always make note of the language and voice being conveyed.
- Planning is everything. Big events and programs take months (or more) to organize.
- Creative thinking is always welcome. Good PR requires creativity.
- Know how to write effectively, clearly, and with good grammar. PR involves tons and tons of drafting. (Think pitches, press releases, and emails to reporters.)
- Last but not least, always ask yourself: who is my audience and what is my message? Tools like Cision allow you to narrow down your focus and build contacts or outlets to pitch new products. But it’s up to you to think about what is or isn’t on strategy.
Don’t forget #11 – Bake awesome brownies on your last day for your team! Thanks for everything, Allison, and best of luck in school. We will miss you!