Public relations may seem like a glamorous career, but that isn’t the case for most publicist or PR agents. Few publicists work for big-name celebrities. In fact, many publicity agents work for small business or unknown artists and writers. Public relations is a lot like job searching- trying to get the attention of people that receive tons of emails and/or phone each day. In order to become successful in the field of public relations, you have to know how to stand out. Follow the advice below in order to gain momentum in your PR career.
Know your client. Before starting a campaign, understand your client’s personality, schedule, and goals. What are they trying to promote? How much of their own time are they willing to invest? Get to know their business, book, or field of expertise. You can better schedule interviews and create more appropriate promotional materials if you know what’s right for the individual client.
Don’t make people feel like an inconvenience. If you want someone to help publicize your client, don’t make them feel bad about doing so. Don’t ignore people or make them feel guilty when they’ve agreed to help by doing an interview or writing an article. Remember, you reached out to them. Their time is just as important as your time or your client’s time. If your client can’t take time for interviews, don’t offer them. Apologize if there are cancellations or scheduling changes.
If you want something, give something in return. If someone is helping create publicity for your client, it’s important to offer them something in exchange. It may be in the form of free information from an expert source (your client) or a simple thank you email. One good way to say thanks and to maintain strong relationships with contacts is to connect and interact via social media. Make sure to favorite, like, share and/or re-tweet any posts related to your clients.
Be persistent, but not annoying. Just as you would after a job interview, follow up once or twice with people on your mailing lists. But if you don’t get responses after reaching out a couple of times, don’t keep bothering people. If you aren’t getting enough responses, start finding more relevant contacts or work on your pitch.