Public Relations Professional –
Are you a teacher? A Doctor? A Professor? An Engineer? And the exhaustive lists of the careers came to an end with the tirade of the above questions fired at you. If you are among one of them, you belong to the elite group and are the cynosure of all eyes and if anything else, please do not make the extra effort to let your profession be known, the listeners aren’t interested. This was exactly the scenario a decade and a half back when the X Generation had just sprouted its seed. Come to the present times when the X generation leads the way, thankfully we have a range of career options to choose from despite the above few being considered as the most respected. But we don’t care as long as we get to spread our wings under the sky and choose whatever we want to be. we will discuss about public relations professional secrets.
With a host of career options to choose from I have decided to write about the Public Relations professional. I wouldn’t want to write how viable it is, job opportunities and salary at the beginner’s level, instead I would like to concentrate just on the basics of what the profession is all about and if you are interested how do you get your way to become one.
What is Public Relations Professional?
The management of information of organizations, government agencies, business companies and individuals in the public domain is known as Public relations (PR). It can be easily described as a way of communication with the media and public to create a desired positive image of an individual company or the government. It is simply a form of marketing to develop healthy relations and gain exposure in the eyes of the audience without any form of monetary involvement like in the other forms of communications such as advertising and advertorials. The information is made public in the modes of media for the clients for free.
What is the work of a Public Relations Specialists or Public Relations Professional?
Public Relations Specialists are entitled with the task of creating and managing an image of their clients in the eyes of the people. Thus they enjoy the power to be the creator of a brand by managing and guiding them in building a perception about a company’s product or an individual’s talent. This task of building a favorable image is done by addition of superlative layers to the core message delivered by the brand to the consumer. This extensive marketing is done through advertising campaigns, articles, press releases, statements, organizing events thus always being effervescent and present in the eyes of the media.
There is a Public Relations professional involved behind all the products that you find being talked about in the print, television, radio or the web. They create a human angle to all the products and make it relatable to the audience by guiding them through a very effective message that reaches the target audience bang on. They make the story so sugar laced and packed with minuscule details, that it is very hard to ignore it considering the human touch that renders each and every heart to its core.
Every brand has its pros and cons, the good and the bad was initially more related to the product but now it encapsulates each and every segment beginning from the product and entailing to its owners, employees, and endorsers. In the age of social networking, any news or information about any part of the company can make or break the image of the brand. Thus it is a PR’s responsibility to keep the accurate positive details playing continuously in the minds of the consumers and ensuring that the negative is always balanced and interpreted as and how directed by the PR’s.
What is the Job Profile of Public Relations Professional?
Public Relations Specialists have to understand the message that the brand wants to bring across and plan their strategies to promote the brand accordingly. They work out the story, the angle with which it should be written, (drama, hard-hitting, human touch, comic, etc.), how to get the story delivered in the right media house and finally weave an event to bring together all the elements in one go. Here go the pointers:
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- Write Press Releases for the Media
- Identifying the Target Audience and getting the message delivered to them with the usage of the right sections of the media
- Be responsive towards the questions posed by the media for more information and always giving out correct facts as the spokesperson of the brand
- Helping clients to communicate with the people with the right message and maintaining their image in the public eye by creating a specific sign or logo
- Prepare Speeches for the Organizers and Corporate honchos
- Maintaining friendly relations with the media people to get interview opportunities for the top management in their client’s bracket
- Monitoring the advertising and promotion events to ensure that right message is delivered across without any hindrance
- Trying to find out donors and sponsors for the fund raising events that they organize and maintaining healthy relations to achieve good amount as grants
- Preparing a press kit or media kit
In all the above responsibilities that you see that a PR Specialist is supposed to mete out, writing and communication skills occupy a major portion of their work scenario. Writing effectively and error-free copies are important as a Public Relations Professional has to write news releases, fact sheets, op-ed pieces, blog posts, web copies, ad copy, speeches and so on. All these writing eventually shape up one more opportunity to build the image of a brand.
How do they arrive at their Target Audience?
Business World is known for its competitive nature and the ever-present pressure to win new customers to increase sales and retain the existent ones to keep the profit consistent. Thus in search of a fierce scenario, it’s essential to have a distinguished image in the eyes of your consumers while tapping the available opportunity of building in a family of new consumers with your innovative marketing ideas. Thus, reaching out to the target market is extremely crucial for the businesses as well as the PRs.
Public Relations Professional have to work round the clock to create unique interesting stories around the product, trying to strike a chord with the audience by changing their perceptions about the product. Their tools to affect and woo the target audience are different from the business houses and thus their research about the market will also bring about a new variation. Their research is more concentrated on the demographic details and around it, they build their strategic planning to win the audience.
Convincing Consumer’s to buy your client’s brand is a tough task and therefore pitching through all angles is seen as the agenda. However, we would advise you to refrain from ignoring the core facts, jumping the bandwagon at a go and pushing the story blindly tempted by the heat of the moment. Positive coverage should not be at the cost of compromising with the truthfulness of the brand. Otherwise, your tall claims can bring legal consequences for the company and the brand. Thus a Public Relations Professional should be careful in writing copies and must always get the information checked by the company’s or client’s lawyer to be doubly sure that the information released is legally accurate and will give a clear message to the public.
How is Communication an Important Skill for Public Relations professional?
Public Relations Specialists or Public Relations Professionals need to interact with a host of people be it clients, media or public. Thus it is very vital for them to understand their attitude and concerns and maintain a good rapport with them. They need to pitch for their client’s brand image with every reporter possible to ensure that their client’s story gets covered. A positive and friendly attitude always wins over people and helps in maintaining contacts in the media industry. Thus your positive attitude wins a lot of positive coverage for your client’s brand. Knowing the people around and tactfully handling them to get your job done is the key to becoming a good Public Relations professional, and therefore, communication skills become very vital for interacting with people on many levels.
Selling a brand is not easy and often a mediator who can talk to the public is required. By mediator I mean an advocate of the brand whose powerful convincing power will bring the consumers, the public and the stakeholders to the table to appreciate a brand. This is best done with bringing in a brand ambassador-a brand ambassador who is a successful person in his area and people relate to him by worshipping him as an ideal. This convincing strategy is far easier than the stories that are planted through different media. A celebrity sharing the message from their heart is effective and is appreciated by the public.
In order to rope in these celebrities as the ambassadors for your client’s brand, you really have to push your limit. A Public Relations professional at this stage has to be extremely articulate, well read and well versed in the ways of the world. He has to have the knack to use his intelligence to converse with the celebrities and convince the celebrities to be a part of the team. Communication and interpersonal skills, therefore, come into play a very important role. After all, talking with Sachin Tendulkar or Amitabh Bachchan needs preparation and smartness on your side.
Public Relation Specialists are responsible for organizing press conferences to reach out to all the media outlets in one go. These conferences are interaction ground for the clients as well as the media to build contacts and a good image. Public Relation Specialists are therefore trained to appropriately interact with the media and project a great picture. Some tips for prospective PRs in media training:
- Always be prepared with your key message and keep it short
- Prepare yourself for the onslaught of questions from reporters
- Try not to avoid answering the media person but dodge them with a great articulate response
- Never lie, instead curtly refuse to answer the question
How do you become a Public Relation Specialists or Public Relations Professional?
Those of you who are interested to become a part of this very vibrant and challenging industry, you need to understand that while PR is one of the best jobs on the planet, you need to be extremely dedicated and well versed with the subject to be able to represent your organization or client anywhere you go. Thus, you need to be well read and will always have to brush up your general knowledge every day by reading the newspapers and be aware of the current event and happenings around the world.
A bachelor’s degree in any subject is a must to become a Public Relations Professional, however, employers usually prefer candidates who have studied Public Relations, Journalism, Mass Communications, English or Business. Work experience often works as an added bonus for the candidates to get hired. A masters in strategic communication enhances the prospects of the candidate in the competitive job market. Strong writing and speaking skills are mandatory as well as a creative mind and focused efforts to work in teams as well as an individual.
Public relations specialists become pro in their work through experience on their work front and their work is closely monitored by experienced colleagues. At the beginner’s level, the Associate is expected to maintain files of an organization’s activities, go through newspapers and magazines regularly to assemble information for their various writing projects.
Public Relation Specialists work in a highly stressful environment but what’s a profession without some challenge and nerve-wracking stress. If you are interested in joining this industry, begin your training and build your strength around your writing and communication skills. So here’s wishing you all the best in your endeavor to become a successful Public Relations Professional.
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