5 Key Tips For Every Newbie Working in PR
So you just started your career in public relations and you’re looking for some tips to get the ball rolling and hone your craft.
Luckily, you’ve landed in the right place! We spoke to the PR experts here at LaRue and gathered five key tips for anyone learning the ropes of the public relations industry.
- Pitch from a journalist's perspective
- Set realistic expectations for your clients
- Do your due diligence on the industry you're pitching
- Research the editor
- Show appreciation
Pitch From a Journalist’s Perspective
When you’re writing a pitch, be sure to think to yourself, “If I were an editor, would I want to write this story?” Thinking about your pitch objectively can help spot potential areas of weakness and think of ways to engage your reader beyond just giving them the basic information. Does your pitch contain an interesting hook? Is the subject line enticing enough for the editor to open and read? And potentially more importantly, is your writing clear and free of any misinterpretation or misspellings? Here are a few more questions you can ask yourself to ensure that you are pitching from a journalist’s perspective:
- Is the topic trending in the news right now? Or can it be tied to current events?
- Is this something that will resonate with the publication’s readers?
- Can your client offer a fresh perspective on a buzzy topic?
Set Realistic Expectations for Clients
Over-promising almost always sets you up for everyone’s worst nightmare: under-delivering. Don’t over-promise or guarantee placements quickly if you feel it will take some time to build up to secure press. Setting realistic expectations for your client keeps everyone on the same page and ensures that all parties generally know what to expect out of the relationship. Good things take time, right? Another way you can set those expectations with your client is to share an estimate on approximately when the client can expect press to start going live. Additionally, keeping the client up-to-date on media feedback, pending interest, and passes will make certain that they’re aware of the progress.
Do your due diligence on the industry you’re pitching. If you’re looking for unique ways to pitch your clients for consideration, you must understand the trends and current event items that are happening within that industry. While that may sound daunting at first, think of yourself as becoming a jack of all trades. Another way to do your due diligence is by always considering these two questions: Has something recently gone viral on social or in the media that your client can speak to? And, does your client have a product that can fall into a social media trend? To be sure you are always in the know, you can set up Google alerts for specific keywords or follow relevant press/industry leaders in the space so you can keep up on all the latest news in real time.
Research the Editor
Like our first tip of pitching from a journalist’s perspective, researching their background is imperative to scoring press for your client! Be sure to research the editor as much as you can to ensure you are sending valid pitches for the subject they cover. You can look into the editor’s niche via programs like Muck Rack, Cision, or social media platforms like LinkedIn! You should also confirm the editor’s niche by reading their recent articles. To personalize your pitches, customize outreach based on what you’ve learned about the editor. This shows that you understand them, their work, and their beat!
As someone pursuing a career in PR, you are likely aware of how busy reporters can be! So when working with a reporter, make sure to let them know that their time and effort are appreciated. Sending a short thank you note, even if the reporter choses to pass on your story, is a smart practice. Feedback is precious, so whether they are going to write that lead story or shared why they are passing, be grateful for the response!
So there you have it! Five key tips for any PR newbie from our team here at LaRue to to start your career on the right foot. Good luck!