How to Choose Your PR Expert
What is a PR Specialist or Expert?
A Public Relations Specialist is responsible to communicate with the public (online and offline) on behalf of a client such as a company, organization, individual, politician, or even a government.
The PR Specialist must handle different challenges on a daily basis and cover all communication needs that may occur. Usually, makes clear and loud the official voice and spreads the client’s branded message to the public.
Nowadays it is common to use also social media and other digital networks in order to provide a faster response. Inside companies, a PR Specialist may also hold the title of Communication Specialist or Media Specialist.
PR Specialist Responsibilities
To start with the most important responsibility, we must refer to the absolute need of exceptional public speaking skills, as well as the ability to conduct effective public presentations. That said, you can imagine the importance of having deep knowledge of the structure and content of the native and English language, including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition and grammar.
The use of AP Style (Associated Press Stylebook) is mandatory. The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, usually called the AP Stylebook, is an English grammar style and usage guide created by American journalists working for or connected with the Associated Press over the last century to standardize mass communications.(Read more about AP Style at Wikipedia…)
Being in the Digital Era, a PR Specialist must have advanced working knowledge of the Internet, including utilizing the web to perform research or/and collect data and related information. And Social Media interaction is a must have process for the everyday communication with the public.
Flexibility and adaptability should be a second nature if someone wants to achieve high results in emerging weekend media requests, meetings and pop-up travels or events. Familiarity with best practices in traditional and digital media are part of the essential and needed skill set.
PR Specialist Duties
Public Relations Specialists usually deliver speeches, attend meetings and community activities. Due to the nature of their work they travel a lot. They work in high-stress environments, often organizing several events at the same time.
- Develop press kit materials
- Write Press releases
- Pitch letters
- Prepare information for the media
- Present case studies
- Write feature articles and trend stories
- Coordinate projects
- Provide research
- Create original brand voice
- Handle company newsletters
- Curate/produce news website
- Supervise digital content and social media strategy
- Sharing PR results with internal communications
- Execute projects to advance the company’s brand objectives
- Evaluate advertising and promotion programs
- Develop and maintain the client’s corporate image and identity
- Develop and carry out fundraising strategies
- Develop and attend trade show press briefings
- Manage pressroom accommodations
- Conduct post-show follow-up
- Cultivate and maintain relationships with regional and national media
- Fulfill media requests for photographs and information
- Identify main client groups and audiences
- Determine the best way to reach client audiences
- Coordinate scheduling for all related departments
- Work with advertising and marketing staffs
- Support the organization’s top executives speeches and interviews
How to Find the Right PR Agency
When I am searching for the perfect match between a client and a PR Agency, I seek for referrals and I pay close attention to their case studies & portfolio. After that first evaluation, the one-on-one communication starts with those I find most suitable and would potentially work with.
Most of the times this process last almost 30 days. Once the top PR Agencies are narrowed down, I have a list of key questions that is my final test:
- Who would be handling the account?
- Does she/he have an outstanding portfolio? Show me, don’t tell me.
- Would like to meet the PR Specialist before my client.
- Previous achievements to similar accounts of this particular Specialist.
- How did you manage a big fail?
- What would you do to keep this project alive and kicking?
- How do you spend your free time?
- What is your big dream?
- What questions do you have for us?
If the answers do not make you skip a heartbeat that means that there is no business chemistry, and probably you should keep looking for the perfect match.
Choose wisely your PR Expert because in most cases a mismatch can cost a brand’s legacy and credibility. It is a crucial element of the Digital Marketing Strategy. So, pay attention to the details!
About the author
Areti Vassou is a Digital Strategy Director. Make Ideas Happen @ Social Media Strategy, Digital Copywriting, Digital Graphic Design, Web Design, SEO, SEM, Email & Content Marketing.
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