At this year’s PRSA International Conference we had the opportunity to meet with a number of recent college graduates excited to enter the profession and, even better, those who’ve landed jobs across the country and are hitting the ground running. While some of these junior practitioners are just entering the workforce, it was pleasantly surprising to hear that they are hungry for tips and information on how to be a better PR professional. Almost unanimously, the first few questions from those we met rounded out to “how can I be better at my job?”
Strategic Planning's archives
Tags: career, Effective Public Relations, pigeonholed, PR plan, responsibilities, Strategic Planning, tactic, training
- They are among the world’s largest companies
- Their brands are some of the most powerful on the globe
- They apply research in their corporate communication decision-making
- Their communications leaders are speaking at the PRSA PRIME Research Strategic Corporate Communications and Research Conference, May 15-16 in New York City
Since each speaker offers a unique perspective on how their organizations use public relations research, it’s easy to assume that with the resources available to such large enterprises, their research is more sophisticated, more expensive and more complicated than anything “ordinary” PR people could attempt. It may surprise you to learn that with everything these companies have in common, they also share one more similarity: in each case, their PR measurement journey began simply, inexpensively and on a relatively small scale.
One of the great myths inhibiting wider adoption for research in public relations is the mistaken belief that research is too expensive or too complicated; that real pros know what works and what doesn’t; that they don’t need research to tell them what they already know. While instinct and experience count, each conference presenter can say that in the high-stakes business environment in which we all operate now, the benefits of a good reputation matter more now than ever. Conversely, the penalties for a poor reputation have never been greater. Good research guides decisions that lead to a better reputation and it provides the objective validation that every PR professional needs to communicate PR’s value to the business.
Never before has such a high concentration of top executives and thought leaders from the world’s greatest organizations been assembled in such an intimate conference setting
Tags: Corporate Communications, Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Management & Leadership, measurement, Professional Development and Training, professional interest sections, prsa conferences, Research & Evaluation, section conference, Strategic Planning, Techniques & Tactics
Strategic planning is at the heart of all public relations. Launching a PR campaign without a strategic plan is like embarking on a trip without a map or GPS. In today’s business environment, with limited resources and ramped up accountability, it’s not enough to head off in a general, vague direction. A GPS-like a strategic plan requires you to input your destination. It keeps you on track.
The ability to think and act strategically is the key that enables professionals to advance from tactical PR practitioners to sought-after strategic planners. Today, effective communicators not only need to know what to do and why, they also need to know how to evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen approach.
It’s such an exciting time for public relations. The landscape of the profession is rapidly changing and new methods and tactics are emerging. It is shedding its past approach from disseminating information to a focus on promoting engagement, identifying influencers and developing brand advocates. But the basic principles for excellence in effective PR still apply: strategy, creativity, integrity and follow through.
It may be 98 degrees outside, but winter is coming.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I have a passion for period TV, and I really love “Game of Thrones.” In case you’re among the uninitiated, the series chronicles seven noble families fighting for control of Westeros, a mythical land that — among several fascinating traits — features seasons and climates of varying and completely unpredictable lengths and severities.
“Winter is coming” is the foreboding promise and motto of House Stark. The meaning behind the words is one of warning and constant vigilance. In a land where seasons are of an indeterminate length, this mantra reinforces that winter remains on the horizon even if we just wrapped what is the hottest July on record, and it very well could be a blazing-hot, ozone action day in your neck of the woods.
Uncertainty is certain: we know that we can’t definitively predict what our next business and communications “season” will be like — or even how long the one we’re in will last. Variables like the presidential election, European and Chinese economic instabilities, groundbreaking R&D and emerging cultural phenomena can shift communications and business climates overnight. But as communications professionals, we shouldn’t feel powerless in the face of unpredictability, because knowing that change is inevitable can actually center us — just as House Stark’s mantra keeps them focused and prepared.
I’m not the type to bask in the sun and deal with winter once it arrives; in fact, I’ve found that the sun’s warmth is all the more enjoyable knowing there’s a plan in place for my firm’s and our clients’ winters. I’ve found that the following steps have helped us prepare even our fastest-moving clients for the inevitable change in seasons, whenever that may occur:
Tags: 2012 International Conference: The Future Starts Now, Corporate Communications and Public Relations, Crisis Communications, measurement, prsa conferences, PRSA International Conference, Relationship & Reputation Management, Research & Evaluation, Strategic Planning, Techniques & Tactics, Trends
Diagnosis: In an ideal world, this should be the first stage of all of our client engagements. But in reality, do we actually give diagnostics the weight they are due?
If a patient comes to a doctor, and based on online research, says “I have a certain condition and I know how you should treat me,” would the doctor simply prescribe the medication requested by the patient? It’s unlikely that a good doctor would do that.
As communicators, we face a similar predicament. We frequently find ourselves faced with specific requests from our clients, such as placing an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal or securing an interview with a morning show, that they think will solve their problems. However, unless we ask key questions and clearly understand the issues, we may not get to the root of their issue by simply meeting the request.
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