10 winning media relations plays for PR professionals
As two of the best teams are getting ready for Superbowl 50, I know many of us are thinking about our own winning plays. If you aren’t yet, hopefully you will soon--after reading this post!
Get ready for a lot of football pun(t)s, because here are 10 winning plays in public relations.
1. Be a good coach. Whether you work at an agency with clients or have internal clients, coaching them on the best way to communicate is critical.
2. Study the competition. One of the ways in which great teams win is by studying their opponents and anticipating their strategies. In order to differentiate your company from competitors, stay on top of their news and developments, so you can provide rational recommendations on what your company should do next.
3. Have a good track record. Every play counts, and ladders up to the end result. Building and fostering relationships with the media is a smart, long-term strategy.
4. Go in with a plan. To win, duh!
5. Learn from your and others’ mistakes. As working PR is never in a silo, comparing notes on what has and has not worked with the media is one way to maximize results and impact. If you’ve run the same play three times before and always fumbled, it’s time to try something else.
6. Always look for ways to improve. There is an old anecdote about how Tiger Woods would practice his swing in the sand over and over again. Apparently, Tom Brady (from the Patriots) runs drills with his receivers. Just like playing a sport, working in PR takes practice and expertise. Always look for ways to improve and challenge yourself.
7. Pick up endorsements. Being known for things other than being a great player is part of creating a personal brand, and athletes are great at that. Though not all of us have the opportunity to be the face of a luxury or athletics brand, we can be a voice for ourselves, through extracurricular industry activities and volunteering.
8. Think fast. Changes are always running towards us in the industry, and sometimes it’s even a blitz. But thinking fast, like the quarterbacks of football teams, demonstrates leadership and adaptability--two critical skills in PR.
9. Be a good sport. Whether you win or lose, you still shake hands with the other team. If you don’t get a response from a reporter, or the outcome from your outreach is not ideal, be ready to move on to the next game.
10. Hydrate! PR is a stressful job, so hydration and sometimes, staying sane, is necessary. Don’t forget about “life” in the work/life balance, and do something fun and stress-free on game day.
Julia Sahin works in corporate communications for financial services at one of the largest PR firms in New York and is a monthly contributor to Muck Rack. She was the first to publish academic research about regulation, reputation, and banks. She plans on doing big things.Connect with her on Twitter. All opinions should be seen as her own and do not reflect her employer’s.