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The Best Advice

This post is for all you PR/Marketing/Communication people out there who get the quizzical looks when you say “I work in PR.” Or for those times when you feel like you’ll never understand this industry. Or when you feel like everyone else around you knows everything, and you’ll never catch up. You are not alone, my friend.

This list of advice is for you. Check out what other professionals are saying has been the greatest advice they received. Really good stuff.

Just like any industry, when you’re starting out as a young professional, it can be very overwhelming. But I find it comforting when other professionals admit they don’t have it all figured out.

I think marketing/public relations/communications is a tricky place sometimes, for a few reasons:

  • you’re expected to always be creative
  • you’re often expected to do everything, even if it’s not really marketing (enter staff appreciation lunch coordinator title here)
  • people don’t really understand what is that you do, so they sometimes fail to give you enough credit or respect

It’s a fuzzy type of industry that does have some concrete standards, but often it falls to the professional to make your individual plan, event or campaign work with constantly changing expectations, metrics and budgets.

I fortunately had a great mentor at my first marketing job, and know the importance of having someone to tell you it’s OK to make mistakes, it’s OK to not know it all in your first job, as long as you’re passionate about what you’re doing, and willing to take risks. Believe me, there were several days (and still are) where I went home feeling like a complete bozo because I just couldn’t seem to grasp it. But the good thing is, if you stick with it and keep learning and keep trying, things start to become more clear. And everyone else in the room has been where you are.

Want some more vindication that everyone feels like you do? Here are a couple of blogs that I follow that have advice, funny anecdotes and authentic realities about how being a young PR professional can be:

Ask A PR Girl: http://askaprgirl.com/

PR Breakfast Club: http://prbreakfastclub.com/

The UnLost (thanks Kate + Kristen!): http://www.theunlost.com/

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5 Emerging PR Trends

i heart pr

Being in one industry for a while, you start hearing the same themes, patterns, MUST HAVES and skills over and over again. Even in an evolving industry like marketing and public relations, you still hear the same, familiar tropes and seminal works on what it means to be a great marketer.

  • the medium is the message
  • good writing is good marketing
  • evolve or die
  • etc. etc. etc.

That’s why I found this article on the emerging trends in public relations so refreshing. It looks at what skills are becoming more and more important for this industry, and how to apply them to your current work. Instead of focusing on the traditional skills everyone must learn, this looks at what you can expect to be asked to do. Here’s a quick look:

1. Storytelling — Would you tell the same story the same way to two different people? What if one person was a 45 year-old mom and the other a 7 year-old boy? The audience will change, and investing time into learning what your audience is about and how they like to be spoken to is key.

2. Quantification — ROI is huge anywhere, but it’s been nearly impossible to track relevant and usable data in marketing and PR. That’s changing and it’s important to know how to analyze data and pay it forward to the next marketing plan or project.

3. Visual Communication — The article is right, everything is visual and the latest apps and websites that are thriving hinge on good design and visual appeal i.e., Pinterest, Instagram, etc. Knowing how to turn your message into a compelling visual can take storytelling even further and make it more memorable. Everyone loves a good picture, right?

4. Proactive and predictive monitoring — Instead of reacting to what the media has said, look ahead and get in front of the conversation. Maybe start the conversation? But reactive media monitoring puts you a step behind.

5. Adaptation — Probably the scariest one. As the term “marketing” and “PR” grow more fluid and all encompassing, professionals need to be able to move quickly, learn even quicker and become experts at many different things. Being a student of the industry can get you pretty far if you’re willing to take the time to observe, soak it in and learn everything you can.