The PR industry is changing at such a rapid rate that it can be hard to keep up. Newspapers are coughing, sputtering and dying, newsrooms turn inside out, new social media platforms arise daily as do new Google search algorithms (and by the way, when I signed up to study PR, it never had anything to with algorithms, for Pete’s sake!).
With all the focus on what’s new and what’s changing, let’s take a look at a few of the tenets of PR that will never change.
Good PR people need to read everything they can get their hands on. They must have their fingers on the pulse of media at all times. They should be aware of what is trending on social media to understand where the conversation is headed. And of course they need to stay up on pop culture: Who is Taylor Swift dating…er, breaking up with? What happened on Scandal last night?
It’s also a well-known fact that reading makes you a better writer. (See #2)
If your number one job is content creation and key message development, you better be a good writer. PR people rely on the power of persuasion in writing and use the language of journalists – the (not-so) beloved AP Style.
One of my favorite writing resources remains “The Elements of Style,” by Strunk & White. First published in 1918, the book focuses on clear writing and good grammar habits – things that should never go out of style. (The co-author wrote “Charlotte’s Web” – he knows his stuff!)
“Build mutually beneficial relationships” is actually part of the official definition of PR from the Public Relations Society of America. Building mutually beneficial relationships with your publics, media and other thought leaders is crucial. The mantra, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” rings truer than ever. Build and maintain good relationships to ensure success in PR.
My advice to other PR people is to keep up as much as possible while maintaining focus on the fundamentals. Ride this roller coaster, but ride it in the first seat with your hands in the air. I wish you luck. You and me both!
What are the fundamentals of PR that you stay true to? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter via @IntrinzicSays.