Smart PR Person – When Stauper and Raptor wrote “Toxic Sludge is Good For You”, we are made to think is Public Relations (PR) a mere tool of the industry they are projecting to the world. These authors opened the veils off the much-concocted industries and spin the news by conniving with the politicians and lobbyists, to keep eagle eyes on citizens. They manipulate the public opinion to favor the public and economic class and make the most hazardous industries get a good escape. Yes, Smart PR Person is the mouthpiece of the companies, organizations or industries they represent. Smart PR Person have to display the companies’ prolific ventures and ideologies with positive ingenuity for the various stakeholders. As being a puppet or a tool of the company is only a small sided of this highly resourced and spirited department who has to face the media, and other stakeholders.
Smart PR Person is no doubt an intense and equally complex occupation that can be challenging, rewarding and equally disappointing too. And, so have been often misconstrued by the people. Increasingly so the lines between PR, marketing and advertisements are now getting blurred placing the industry into a new role. To explain clearly, once you go deep inside into what is PR your perception about this occupation will change as it is totally different than what it is actually is. PR has to be smarter with the audacity in them to present about their company or industry perfectly well.
The Smart PR Person are tossed in a hollow in which they have to pitch themselves in with surfed personality and also able to pitch in the lists and lists of the clients. And all this requires smartness and shrewdness, but how to do it? Here I am suggesting some traits budding PRs need to adopt to be smarter and act smarter and never let anyone boggled them down as mere tools.
There are virtually two skills a Smart PR Person adopts to be smarter: Professionally ordained skills and Human skills. Professional skills show a PR as a qualified person who knows his job well and can perform all the activities as needed by a professional PR. Smart PR Person has to be:
- A good writer
- A best orator
- Good internet expert and
To show himself as Smart PR Person has to incorporate personality traits:
#1. Be Business oriented
PR is doing his job and working for the company but he has to think like a businessman. What is an ultimate objective of the company and to what direction it is going is what a Smart PR Person should consider. Whatever activities are executed is cultivated while keeping the company’s objectives in mind and what is the business aim is. How does the consequence of their action will drive the company’s benefits and draw the bigger picture for the business success.
One action of theirs can either mark or dismark the company’s reputation, so they need to be very careful in their approach and try their level best to maintain reputation and integrity of the company. After all he is appointed to contribute to sustaining and building the reputation of the company in the industry. They also need to be careful about each and every sentence and word they are sending to the press. All the facts which are sent must be substantiated with evidence. And they need to see that all the information that is displayed for the stakeholders is authentic, latest and correct.
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As expressed by knight “In the 21st century PR is a ‘business business’ much like any other. It has had to grow up a lot and PR practitioners who want to grow up with it. You can be as good as you like at pressing the flesh, but if you can’t make the right hard-nosed business decisions, I think your days may be numbered. Whether that will change now that we are officially out of recession remains to be seen – but I doubt it.” (Danny Parker, online)
In fact, Samantha Howard who is a freelance communication consultant too said that “There is something like a soul role in all of us as PR”. .” (Danny Parker, online) They think of the box and happy goers. They do the research, plan the things, build relationships, are the advocators of the brand, are the motivators, and as big thinkers, they are the strategists, analyzers, and have creativity in them.
#2. Flexible and adaptable
There is no such occupation that requires so much of flexibility that PR and social media require. As the requirements of the company keeps on changing and so is the role and strategies of the PR. A good and Smart PR Person is a one who keeps an eagle eye on what changing are taking place and need to adopt in the same in their communication process and the information that they need to pass to the clients. They have to go with the flow and the overall changes happening in the industry. Their presentation in the Social media channels needs to be lively, refreshing and rejuvenating as one post can change the whole mood and environment. They have to be immediate reactive to the situation, be very responsive and have an ability to professionally deal with anything that might come in their way.
#3. Being Agile
To be all round personality, savvy towards the work and reliability takes a lot of efforts. To achieve superiority largely depends on how to take their work. It is quite true in no professional an entry level executive immediately starting making crucial decisions and begin to provide suggestions to the world’s big branded companies. Though no comers can make an impact on their hard work and dedication but there is so much still to learn. Be agile, soft person and adapt what is being given to you. Watch closely how the others are performing, jot down what they have accomplished and learn the work from colleagues. Learning is endless in the ever going PR occupation. The more they learn, the more they would feel like to learn. While interacting with the clients too there is so much to learn from them. A good PR practitioner knows how to embrace the things around them and leverage the date to help them professionally.
#4. Writing skills
As a good PR, they should have good writing skills. They need to add value to their existing prolific deeds through writing. Now as clients want much more, a good PR strokes their mental powers’ and awareness in the words to dispel the information provided by the company. They have to become an articulate person and creative thinker with the positive outlook and adopt the traits that should dispel any negative personality of a PR. They have to write impressive emails, blog posts, and content for pamphlets or work on any official documents. So it is writing and writing that they should care of and think about. Each and every written piece should present the company and its products very professionally, creatively and its best.
#5. Keep Updated
Whatever the market or industry they belong to, a PR person keeps himself always updated. They care about what all is going on, both in the sector and in the world and position themselves in the top of the world to pull everything that they are aware of their product and craft stories. In short they have to keep themselves aware of what is going on in the industry and any news and happenings that can have an impact on their business and work.
#6. Bear the criticism
Bearing the criticism which might make them feeble, bears the mark of the positive traits in them but positive criticism has more of positive notes rather than negative. If they are getting a lot of successes with the bosses and clients with stories, ideas, articles, profiles, sometimes they can also get shots of criticisms. A positive Criticism is taken positively and it is all the more required to adjust and modify one’s activities as per the situation and grounded reality. The experiences that they would get could ultimately make them stronger and the best.
#7. Maintain Patience
Keeping patience is a virtue, whether they are waiting to hear from journalists or producers or clients or simply waiting considering that PR campaign does take considerable time to get its successive attractions. Keeping patience would help them gain but patience should go with companies and clients obligations. As they have already pitched themselves in advertising campaigns, they should keep in regular contact with a press or other agencies to update the status of their campaign. They need to convince them that they have to meet the deadline and protocols. So each action of theirs should be time oriented, and as per schedule, for instance if they are sending a press release for a launch of their product on a particular date, they should release the report at least one week in advance, giving the journalists time to evaluate it.
#8. Be Sociable and Friendly
Smartness in PR comes from being sociable and friendly. They have to adopt personality to catch the nerves of the people and act accordingly. They have the ability to form relationships and build rapport with the clients and the media. Involving in meaningful conversation with the stakeholders means that they are interested in building strong relationship and this connection brings fruitful result for the company. A good PR has to display controlled aggression in their behavior which means they should have the ability to control their emotions and anger. The most pertinent thing is critical thinking as they should think like a journalist.
#9. Adopt Simplicity in Conversation and Socializing
To instill in the capability to involve in conversation and socializing is a great way. Good conversation involves speaking politely, authentically and assertively. A good personality is one thing but the way you speak is what attracts. You need to tone your voice and adopt it in the style that makes others attractive to you. A good PR also should be able to speak very comfortably in an audience of executives and other stakeholders.
#10. Eager to Gain knowledge
The best PR people are the ones who can place the things in the right context. Adopting an idea and broadening it to pitch a story and to figure out the way to target it, is the best quality of a PR. They have to be aware of what’s all going on in the industry and update themselves with all the latest happening and events. Their knowledge of the latest events or happenings helps them to advise clients and companies on what direction they should move tomorrow. Knowledge is a smart trait that takes a PR towards its objective.
Ethics: A Good PR has to abide by the standard that is expected of him in the company or in the industry. They have to draw in the ethical line. Never to lie, being a straight forward, an optimist is a most ethical thing to do.
These are further five ways in your profession to be a Smart PR Person and that’s quite the S.M.A.R.T way, an idea that’s suggested by Jeremy Porter. S.M.A.R.T means being specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-based.
- Specific means charting out the objective so that everybody in the company are aware of what you are trying to achieve.
- Measurable: it is about calculating whether you are progressing as per your objective with ease or not? It is important to define the activity that is needed to meet the objective.
- Actionable: Take an action that would enable you to reach your objective within a reasonable period of time.
- Realistic: Make realistic goals and be honest with yourself on what you can do and to what extent or level you can achieve the target.
- Time-Based: Maintain time-based schedule, the more specific you are with time, more capable you would be. Make use of any task or a project management system that would encourage you to set the deadlines for your projects.
Being smart does not mean looking beautiful but having an overall personality and traits that are required in a profession. It is about being true to yourself and adhering to the principles and goals that’s set by the company.