PR: The Package
The best thing about being in the PR industry (or studying it) is that everyone in the industry is so happy to share with you tips and tricks to be a better practitioner. We use wise snippets of knowledge as our bread and butter, a solid foundation, for how to survive in the world of communications.
The annual MCSA PRINZ Auckland trip, last Friday, was the perfect opportunity for a soon-to-be graduate to get some final bits of advice from professionals already in the industry. Speaking with representatives from Eleven PR, Velocity Recruitment, NZTA, Westpac and Network Communication, three pieces of information really came through that gave me a different perspective of PR: data, creativity, and convergence.
Firstly, data. Even though I’m only starting out, I have heard that people who chose to study PR and Comms do so because they don’t like numbers. But in this number crazed business world with everything requiring justification, having a way to prove and measure the efforts of PR have become important in showing its worth. If in PR you are able to measure your efforts whether it’s via engagement or outputs it adds real worth to what we can achieve.
Secondly, creativity. The new theme “Creative is not a department” was something that also was mentioned throughout the day. Creativity cannot be something that is pigeonholed. It is important that we, as future practitioners, stay one step ahead and to keep finding creative ways of getting our audiences engaged. Communication is more than just telling a story it’s about getting people to interact with the messages we are producing. PR campaigns are a way we can let rip our creative sides and create noise, and distribution to get our messages heard and actually listened to.
Lastly, convergence. It’s important to be multi-dimensional. When clients are coming to you for something, it is likely that they are going to need a variety of services. Bringing a mixture of PR/Comms, graphics, marketing, and advertising professionals together in a single space allow you to create that total package that clients are after. The one stop shop.
So wrapping up my whole day what did I learn? Good writing skills are essential! Sell yourself, you are a service and you want to be paid what you’re worth. Become a trusted source, this will help you build relationships and these networks are crucial. Embrace numbers – this is a weak spot in PR. To be the best PR practitioner you can you need to create a package; creative ideas, numbers to prove your success, and your exceptional service.