By Maddie Komar, Brand & Account Manager
With any new career, comes some sort of learning curve. Having graduated college with a Bachelors degree in Communications rather than a PR or Journalism degree, it was important for me to learn the most important lessons first when I got into my career in order to be the best PR person possible. I’ve compiled the top three PR practices that have helped me (and continue to help me) on a daily basis.
1. Every Relationship Counts
Creating, building and maintaining relationships is hands down the most important business practice I have learned since working in Public Relations. Not only is it essential for a successful career in PR, but it is applicable in many different areas of the business world as well. Conversations have become so much more important in this regard because you never know
how that person may help you down the road. Someone who may be a journalism intern today, could become the next big editor 10 years down the road. And that’s when being able to maintain a relationship comes in handy. I’ve come to learn to never burn bridges along the way. A great memory that I have from when I interned proved this point to be true first hand. During one of my internships I had the opportunity to be on a local radio show talking about my journey in racing. I formed a very close relationship with the host and fast forward a few years, I was able to connect with the same radio station which had grown. I was then able to provide this radio station with interviews with some of the drivers I worked. Keeping in touch has been such an important lesson for me, and something I have reaped the benefits from first hand.
2. Never Stop Learning
One of the fun things about working in Public Relations is that trends and new concepts are coming out every day, especially in social media. There are so many new types of ways to tell a story, whether that be for a race team, a driver, or a race series. It’s important to never stop learning. Being able to learn about new methods of work not only allows you to get above the curve, but it also keeps your mind sharp. In any type of career, it’s easy to find yourself in a rut, doing the same things over and over again. But when you take on new projects and teach yourself new ways of doing things, there are only benefits that come out of that. Continuing to learn has never been more true than right now with the current COVID-19 pandemic. My work has now been bound by the confines of my apartment, but it has also been a great time to explore new methods, research about different social media practices and also take online courses to continue my education. It’s been an unfortunate change of pace to have to work from home, but it has also been great to have the time to expand my knowledge in different areas of the business.
3. Practice Practice Practice
Getting accustomed to certain press release styles and formats can be one of the most challenging things to learn as a novice in PR. Starting out, I did not have a ton of professional writing experience and I learned that it requires a different set of writing muscles to adapt to the correct format for certain press release styles.
Getting used to writing informative and concise press releases was all about practice. Some of the hardest press releases for me to write in the beginning were for endurance events – races that can last anywhere from 24 to six hours. Trying to compile 24 hours worth of information into a short press release can be difficult. One thing I’ve kept in mind is that primarily, we are writing for the media. And as certain outlets, announcers, and journalists are reading press releases, they don’t want to read a play-by-play of every pit stop. You have to learn how to pick out the most important things that happen over the 24 hour race period that help shine the most positive light on your client. One of the best ways to fast track this process is to get in as much practice as possible. One helpful tool is to read as many press releases as possible. Exposing yourself to different writing styles can help you figure out the best way to get a point across. And of course outside of reading, writing is the most important. Writing practice press releases can help to streamline your work, making sure that all of the relevant information is included and that the release can be written in a timely manner.