Life in the public relations realm has many challenges. Most of the time, we deal with things we learned back in the classroom (if we major in communications/PR) including dealing with media, writing press releases, creative writing, negotiations, public speaking, creative thinking, and many more.
Some of us are really passionate PR practitioners and are happy to do our job. As company/image/good impression builders, it is our duty to maintain those aspects. It is a serious job that requires all that you can give. You spend most of your time (sometimes close to 24 hours a day) to monitor news portals in case there are negative issues about your company/client. But, to excel in this profession, serious efforts are needed because success does not come overnight.
Below are some of the things worth trying to take your skills as a PR practitioner to the next level:
1. Be a Sponge
Absorb, absorb and absorb. Your curiosity is your primary “weapon” to have in order to be a PR-pro. As beginners or even as professionals, you should never stop learning new things. We can learn about almost everything from everyone we meet in this life’s journey, and there is so much we can learn from them. There is no any other way to keep you updated except to absorb every good thing around you that you believe can boost your skills. The public relations realm is highly dynamic and we should adjust ourselves to fit in and to keep up with the fast pace.
2. Keep yourself updated
Always be hungry for news updates about (almost) everything. We live in one of the most dynamic and active working realms that it is crucial for us to always keep up to date on changes, news, issues-- anything at all, you just name it. We also live in the world where everything we need to know is just one click away and then “Poof!” You get what you need to know.
There is so much information about almost everything in the world around us --newspapers, online news, blogs, research, and expert journals-- waiting to be consumed by hungry readers starving for updates. As practitioners, we do not have to read them all, page by page and click by click, because we do not work that way. Although we need to know (almost) everything, in reality we only really need to know about issues and information that are most relevant to our industry (e.g., techno, sports, lifestyle, economy, art, culture, etc.). However, people will see us as cool individuals if we know about (almost) everything and can always keep up with them anytime about any topic.
3. Details matter
For some people (including me), paying attention to details is difficult but matters a lot. Checking every business e-mail, double/triple/quadruple-checking our writing to spot typos, and making a personal checklist, are some of the examples to keep us pay attention to every detail, from the simplest to the most complicated. We need to be our own watchers to keep us on track about our progress and to-do-lists, and also to make sure everything is under control. Such efforts do not yield instant results, but practice helps you become a real pro.
4. Thinking out of the box
Always try to think differently than others. People are different, so why should we think the same way they do? Thinking outside the box means positioning your thoughts beyond the ordinary. Try to overlook your surrounding and determine how to take your skills to the next level by thinking out of the box. In a way, working at a PR agency and consultancy requires us to always come up with new and fresh ideas. Again, it can only be gained by learning during your journey and is not something that can be achieved instantly.
5. Maintaining work-life balance
Learn how to determine the priority of your job, how to manage work when you need to fully focus on a particular project and how to set your time to enjoy life as a human being (have enough time to eat, drink, sleep, take a break and go on a vacation). In this profession, you can learn from everyone about how to determine the top and last priorities.
You are the master of your own life, not your boss or your mom. Life as PR practitioners-- especially PR consultants who put client satisfaction and expectations on top of everything--requires us to properly manage our work and daily schedules,
6. Level UP!
Please correct me if I’m wrong, but every PR professional is often faced with several difficult situations, or maybe a crisis, that cannot be predicted beforehand. This may create a turning point for you to level up your quality as practitioners. By learning from previous crises from the pro, we can examine our way of thinking and doing things during a crisis. I’m not talking about the technical steps to cope with a crisis here, but a crisis might be one of the best ways to learn and to proof your quality before your boss and/or client. Only then will people see us as (more serious) practitioners. They know your reputation and you gain their trust.
These tips are not offered by a (real) professional practitioner (hopefully, soon to be), but I learned about some of these from my experience. However, I still learn from everyone here and from my job, just like you do. So, let’s try these together and reach the next level of a (more) serious PR practitioner together.
Cheerio and see you on top!