When I started my first public relations job out of college, my boss, the woman who hired me, told me: “your job is about enthusiasm, follow-up and attention to detail.”
Though I am doing a lot of things differently than I was when I was an entry-level account coordinator, my job is still about enthusiasm, follow-up and attention to detail.
Every client wants to know that his or her public relations team loves its brand or business. Even if you don’t personally use a client’s products (for example: since I don’t have children, no one expected me to buy cloth diapers when I was working with a cloth diaper company!), you should still understand the company’s messaging and be able to explain it – with excitement – to media.
As a client, if your product isn’t a personal fit for your publicist, that’s OK! Especially if your product is geared toward a certain life stage, health condition or is geared toward one sex or gender. You should look for a public relations team that will still be supportive and excited about your brand and what you are trying to accomplish.
Attention to Detail
It’s the little things that will make a company trust a public relations team with their business. Even though in life, it’s important not to “sweat the small stuff” it’s important to cross our t’s and dot our i’s in business.
Of course, everyone makes – and learns from – their mistakes! Several years ago I sent a client an email with part of one sentence accidentally copy and pasted into another. Even though the client knew that I was perfectly capable of writing a complete sentence, she was still disappointed in me. Now, I always reread emails one last time before I send them off to clients or media – I’ll never make that mistake again.
It’s also key to pay attention to little things, like the spelling of a company or an address and whether a brand has any trademarks or copyright symbols in their name. While these are minor things, they can really show a brand that you’re on top of your game. If you aren’t paying attention to the “little things” how will they know you’re on top of the important stuff too?
An important part of a publicist’s job is to get a journalist’s attention – the same thing that thousands of other publicists are trying to do! Even though we have a lot on our plates, it’s important to be persistent and proactive to get the job done. I learned early on in my career that “I never heard back from him/her” sounds like an excuse for not completing a task and that if you need to reach someone – be it media, a vendor, or even a busy client – it’s important to try, try again until you get the response!
Thoughts on new and traditional media, current events, life in Chicago and the occasional small Chihuahua photo.