A reflection 6 months in – My journey in PR so far

Thus far, I have been in the agency for a little over six months, and it’s been a ride. While I have yet to dip my hands in a number of PR disciplines, the bases have been mostly covered, and I can now say that I am not walking around with my head in a bag. Let’s be honest, we all started like this Even from the start, I was not 100% sure of my purpose – thinking that it was solely to assist clients in their core work through media coverage and publicity. I was only partly correct in thinking that. The full answer is that the agency works with the client to promote their brand, communicate their values and messaging, position the organization in a favourable way, and to develop a good relationship with the media, to ensure that the brand continues to enjoy good coverage. But of course, I couldn’t start off doing that straight away. Like fishing, carpentry, engineering or accounting, PR has a formula, and every formula consists of steps. But I will say that I have yet to cover half of those steps. Take one step at a time Of what I have learnt so far, however, I can say with some pride that it has been applied with good outcomes. In the past two weeks alone I had helped clients successfully secure media coverage. In glancing back at the process of each success, there has always been a consistent series of steps:

  1. Understand the announcements/products/events you are about to help the client to promote
  2. Create a good media pitch, which involves extensive research about the editor’s/publications recent work, and the relevance of the story to the focus of the media
  3. Writing a concise, short yet interesting pitch that will not bore editors
  4. In doing follow-up calls, always highlight the name of your client to jog their memory

They seem simple enough, but the path to successfully internalizing these steps required month after month of doing the same things and occasionally not being able to generate any tangible results. Along the way, excellent guidance and mentorship has led to my eyes being opened much wider, especially when dealing with situations that on the surface seem very bland, or appear to not have any recourse. Always think out of the box Of course, this is nowhere near to being a significant milestone. Lying ahead of me are a myriad of other challenges, such as the steps in writing a good bylined article, the art of navigating clashing schedules in arranging interviews, and much more. All I can say is that, if you want to learn how to fish, fish. You don’t necessarily have to read from a book, and under no circumstances should you ask a butcher. The best way to learn is through doing (although of course we now have YouTube, which is marginally less useful than doing)  

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