My author friend, Neil Plakcy, invited me to share my life in public relations with his communications class at Broward Community College. I probably learned more from the students than they did from me, because of their knowledge of social media.
It’s a different world out there today and I’m not sure what some older folks can teach younger ones these days. The Internet has opened up new worlds to youngsters that we know nothing about.
Below is what I offered them from my experiences off the net.
12 Tips from 40 Years In PR
Tips for a PR Professional In-House (In A Company) Or At An Agency
1. Read everything. You must be a big reader of everything from the front page of the New York Times to BuzzFeed to E! News.
2. Have a big personality. Your voice (opinion) is very important. Be an authority on something.
3. Learn how to explain things in simple, dumbed down terms. Give an overview of only a few sentences. No one listens to long explanations.
4. Be ready to provide background or orientations in a swift fashion on PR campaigns – just the facts.
5. An editorial pitch is just like a sales call. You have to pitch a story, not the way you want to say it, but the way the writer wants to receive it.
6. Content is everything: the better the content, the better the results. Research, Surveys, Opinions Polls and Statistics always make the pitch more bonafide.
7. Create FAQ’s, Frequently Asked Questions, and answer them. This document becomes the foundation for all interviews. The interviewer and interviewee are referencing the same facts.
8. Media train spokespeople so they know what to say, how to say it, and when to say it. Their delivery makes or breaks a story.
9. Wikipedia and Google are your best friends. Research all recent stories the writer or TV personality wrote or produced. Let the writer/broadcaster know you have taken an interest in them.
10. Be a social media super star. Be active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. Engage people in dialog for networking purposes. Let the world know you are approachable.
11. Resumes: Education is important and activities are super important. Everyone wants to know “what have you done for me lately.” Resumes must reflect work experience, creativity and accomplishments.
12. PR Internships: Paid or Unpaid. This is the best way to learn the business without being held accountable. The reputation of interns has increased dramatically over the years. Many companies are relying on the enthusiasm of interns to get the job done.
Thank you Neil. It was a lot of fun.