Monday, August 31, 2015

and the New PR Girl said, "...newspaper?!"

Fresh from graduating with an advertising and public relations degree, my mind was ready and focused on approaching my new position here at C. Pharr & Company. If we are being honest, my professors would warn, “While print is important, it is also dying” and “Our class will focus on digital, since that is where advertising and public relations is headed.” With these things in mind, I whole heartedly believed that as I moved into my first job, my focus should be on improving digital strategies more than solely focusing on traditional approaches to PR.

Hear me new public relations professionals:

Within my first month here, my eyes were opened to the reality that there is no separation between “traditional PR strategies” and “digital strategies.” Rather, the combination of the two working hand in hand is vital to a successful campaign. Several industries, particularly those with business-to-business communications strategies, heavily rely on the press coverage that print publications allow as well as online coverage. This may seem like common sense, but after speaking with communications students who graduated with me, they all related to my new found epiphany.

That being said, I feel the need to share four basic things new PR professionals should know:

       1.  Read the news, but don’t rely solely on Twitter. Knowing what’s being reported in local publications is important to your clients! 

 2.  Learn to clip articles. Clipping coverage for clients shows them the results of your hard work, lets them know that you’re reaching their target audience with their message and shows that their communications strategy is being effectively executed. Plus it just makes you feel good to know how many pubs ran your story. 

       3.  Media lists, people. Extensive and accurate research of print and online contacts when building the list is key.  PS - color coding is your friend!

       4.  Know your local reporters better than anyone else should. Building relationships with these professionals will help you as you pitch in the future.

Moving forward, it is clear that my goal will be to become an expert on combining both traditional and digital PR strategies – using them both harmoniously. Understanding that print is equally as vital as digital or social platforms will not only make me more knowledgeable as a professional, but will allow my clients to be well-rounded and assure that they are reaching their audience. PR is always evolving, but some things will always be the same. 


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