1. Take interest in the news
PR professionals work closely with members of the media to help pitch stories for clients. An understanding of the kinds of stories certain local reporters cover, as well as their schedule, will help you foster relationships with them and increase the chance of getting your clients’ stories placed. Keeping an eye on the news will also help you develop your instinct of what the media determines is newsworthy.
2. Foster a love for reading and writing
In my job, it’s important to have a love for reading and an aptitude for writing. Press releases, which are a major tool in a PR professional’s tool belt, need to be written in AP style with an objective tone. Sharp writing skills are key to producing effective print and electronic newsletters as well as social media posts.
3. Develop an interest in social media and technology
I recently heard a quote that said that all jobs are becoming tech jobs. I’d have to agree that’s true for the public relations/communications field.
Social media platforms are a viable channel to help your client reach their audience, and also for you to reach reporters. I once got a reporter’s attention to write my story by tweeting to him. If you’re not already on Twitter and Facebook, I suggest making an account, so you can become familiar with how they work.
We also do a lot of work with websites, so it’s helpful to have a basic understanding of website design and development. The Clermont County Transportation Improvement District’s website, GoClermont.org, is an example of a website we helped develop and manage.
Do you have any other tips that would make your “Top Three?” Leave them in the comments!