Public relations are a key component of any operation in this day of instant communications.
Public Relations is fundamentally a service industry. Choosing a career in this field can be competitive and challenging but also extremely rewarding. A media student opting for this field requires determination, tough skin, and a creative mind.
The PR industry is evolving and flourishing, and it will continue to do so in the coming years. The demand for PR professionals is increasing as the need for understanding communication strategy is growing. The digitally-driven society has made evident the high demand for PR professionals.
Recent years have shown rapid growth of Public Relations in the industry. For instance, the PRCAI report shows that in India the PR industry grew 12 per cent to reach Rs 1,600 cr in 2019. The report also shares that 68 per cent of corporations continue to see PR planning as equally important as strategic planning.
Here are 10 tips for media students who are aspiring to be PR professional:
- Networking and Online Presence: Networking, building media relations is the basic characteristic that every young PR professional must possess. The age of social media has made networking easier. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are great platforms to reach out to the public, make announcements and publish content. Creating a PR profile on LinkedIn can be very beneficial for getting a job or building a strong network.
- Polishing your writing skills: Aspiring PR professionals need to hone their writing skills as a huge portion of PR communication is based on rhetoric skills. A PR agency always stresses on the writing skill while hiring PR professionals as they continuously need to write email correspondence, press releases, and creative pitch angles. Therefore, majoring in a writing program or being a part of creative writing workshops will surely level up the writing game.
- Understanding what Journalists want: A media student willing to pursue PR must understand how the media industry works. A PR specialist relies on journalists to share their stories. Hence, a PR professional must acknowledge the journalist’s point of view and know how to respond to their requirements.
- Levelling up your Promotion Game: Promotion is the best way to draw customer’s attention. A PR professional having better exposure can draw interest in other marketing communications. Therefore, every potential PR professional must have great networking in the industry. Media students can build their network on various social media platforms, events, workshops, seminars, etc.
- Knowing your audience and their perspective: A PR professional needs to have a deep understanding of their target audience. PR professionals should always plan their campaigns from the consumer’s point of view and not from a PR professional’s perspective. A PR person needs to use certain words that will convey a strong, positive image to the audience. To be one step ahead, aspiring PR students can always run their content with peers and professional partners to see what they think of the message before releasing it.
- Research is essential: Research is a vital part of public relations management as it makes a PR professional work more strategically. Only through research work, a PR specialist can learn how the target audience can benefit from that piece of information. The research will guide a PR professional to understand their competitors and will give ideas about outmanoeuvring them.
- Being prominent on the internet: The Internet has become the most vital platform for disseminating information. It has also become an important tool for businesses to share their messages. So PR professionals must know how to customize the SEO and choose the right keywords based on what the targeted audience is likely to enter into their search engines.
- Getting media attention: Media houses are always looking for news that is exciting, different, and creative. An aspiring PR student must learn what type of news will attract public attention. Using the right keywords, statistics, and doing extensive research on the subject will give the audience in-depth information that will surely grab every reader’s attention.
- Learning to respond to a crisis: When it comes to a PR crisis, there is tremendous pressure to respond immediately. Therefore, a PR professional must understand the facts before making any statement. Learn how to tactfully handle the crisis by being truthful. But one must keep in mind that reputation management is achieved only by sharing what the public needs to know and not what a PR professional wants to say. The focus should be on sharing a good level of detail with those who are impacted by the crisis.
- Always choose the ethical way: When it comes to PR or any other business, violation of the code of ethics is non-negotiable. Being unethical, especially in the media industry, can backfire terribly. Your PR efforts must maintain the principles of truth and liability that are vital in establishing faith and credibility with the stakeholders.
With all the above tips, aspiring PR practitioner can enhance their skills. These tips will help any aspiring PR practitioner to start on the right foot in the industry.