Working in public relations is not only daunting because of the pressure for constant creativity and the expectation of superb writing, but the need to have all the media contacts. Because at the end of the day, you can’t do PR well without them! So if you’re like me and are a few years out of school and wondering how to succeed in the world of PR, I have three tips to help a future #PRgirlboss out.
Connect on social.
It’s one thing to tell a media contact that you love a story they wrote, but to cite something you saw on social media really proves that you’re paying attention to them (and in a totally non-creepy way). Commenting with emojis on their Instagram doesn’t count. Only comment when you can really engage and add to the conversation. So now is the time to offer up a restaurant recommendation or let them know you’re coveting their new lipstick. They’ll appreciate that you want to connect with them beyond your jobs.
Never assume that you don’t know anyone.
When I started back at ACPR last month, I took stock of mastheads to see where folks I already knew were working. While this list is pretty minimal, looking at LinkedIn and Facebook actually shows me that I’m more closely connected to many than I initially thought! Noting that they went to the same school as your sibling (and are still friends with them!) is something to keep in mind. It’s a degree of separation that could prove to be handy in the future when you’re forging a connection with that person.
Rely on your company’s network.
I’m fortunate to work for someone whose name really means something in the PR world (Allyson’s note: Awwww!), especially amongst media contacts in the home, beauty and lifestyle worlds. Allyson’s name gets me more responses than anything, and as I slowly grow my own network, she’s the best resource I have to lean on when getting an editor’s attention. And I’m not afraid to use it! So don’t be afraid to use your network to help you build yours.
So the moral of the story is, don’t fret if your rolodex of contacts isn’t quite stuffed yet. We’ll get there with the right guidance, advice and passion for PR! I can feel it.
Kelly Tafoya is the ACPR Public Relations Coordinator. A Fort Collins native, she has a penchant for shoes, obsession with swans and a serious case of wanderlust.
Photo courtesy of @allysonconklinpr