P.R. Tips to a Rookie
P.R. is a wide field or work. It’s not like I.T., engineering, education, design, science, or a particular role which needs particular qualifications and experience. It’s less fixed and if done well, it can be more entrepreneurial. But sadly, it isn’t always done well. Here are a few basic tips.
Maintain professionalism at all times
This sounds like pretty simple advice for all jobs, everywhere. But in PR, you are the constant face and representation of the company. You will encounter rudeness and stupidity, the same as all workers. But, you must always take the high road, be gracious and maintain professional communications at all times. Don’t let emotions come in to play – keep that PR mask firmly stuck to your face.
Don’t make should citations
“oh please come and visit our restaurant some time”, “You should definitely try our shampoo”, “You are welcome at the spa any day”.
Either make firm invitations to media people, industry insiders, and associates or don’t. Don’t ‘suggest’ that they come and pay money to your company or your employer – anyone can do that at any time! If you want the feature, the exposure, the relationship, then make a clear invite that you are offering a free trial/experience/whatever to the person. If not, then don’t make the ‘suggestion’ that they become a customer – it’s confusing and potentially annoying.
If you have secured a free piece of PR or media exposure, and they didn’t include all of the details you want – or even if there were some errors in details, move on. Ask, politely, if the error can be corrected somehow, but don’t nag, bug, or push the person endlessly. If it wasn’t a paid ad, advertorial or the like, then be grateful for the exposure that you did get – and don’t forget to say ‘thanks’.
Don’t create a clique
Favoring friends is natural. But only maintaining media relations with a small group of people that you like to meet with and gossip with makes you seem like, well, a gossip. Ignoring most people in the media and keeping to the same few channels is like burning your bridges before you’ve even built them.
Don’t be a Pre Madonna
Nice and simple advice. But remember that Shanghai is a very small place. If you used to work at a media company and then left, then constantly communicating with your ex-colleagues and trying to stir up trouble in your previous company makes you seem small and completely pathetic. Never go messing with other people’s jobs. It’s such simple advice but there are some who haven’t realized it yet.