What do you understand by public relations?Public relations is a profession that looks after the reputation of a personality or a company. public relations specialists work with the aim of helping the company and its customers earn mutual understanding. PR is a planned and continuous effort of establishing and maintaining goodwill of any organization or person.
This job is created to provide positive publicity to a company's clients and enhance its reputation. A perfect PR must have the knowledge of some important factors such as persuasion, information, communication, public opinion and public policies.
What does it take to be a public relations specialist?Public relations specialists must have good communication skills, a methodical approach to find information, and an ability to work in a stressful environment. Being a PR professional, I must know how to create and maintain clients' reputation in public. I should even have good writing skills as there is a need of written material for press releases, plan and direct public relations programs, and raise funds for the organization I am working with.
These are the basic qualities that every PR person should possess. Here are some additional qualities that can help me grow faster.
-Excellent interpersonal skills
-Good IT skills
-Ability to prioritize and plan effectively
-Awareness of different media agendas
I believe that I possess most of these qualities and being a quick learner enables me to pick up the new ones fast.
What do you know about the job profile of a public relations professional?If you are a public relations specialist, your job profile depends on the type of organization or company you are working for which can either be a public body, business or a voluntary organization.
Their work is to communicate important messages, often using a third party endorsement, to the target audiences in order to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between the organization and their customers.
Below are the things that are commonly included in the job profile of a public relations specialist:
- Writing press releases for the media.
- Knowing your main clients and finding out the best ways to get in touch with them.
- Pitching out media people and taking out information from them.
- Looking after your clients while they communicate in public and helping them at times.
- Writing speeches and scheduling interviews with your clients.
- Working with advertisers for various ad campaigns.
- Design and launch email marketing campaigns.
- Promoting products and services through public relations initiatives.
- Researching about the media coverages and industry trends.
- Dealing with enquirers from the public, the press, and related organizations
What are some of the growing trends in the public relations industry?As the field of communication is growing, public relations is more than press releases and press conferences. Social media and Internet are the recent trends for PR strategies, and here are some trends to watch.
- Change in the traditional forms of press releases - the old forms are mostly filled with texts and it gets boring for the reader to read so much without illustrations. Through the Internet and social media these documents will be more appealing to the readers with images and videos.
- Public relations specialists will be required by every corporate office - With The growing trend of Internet and social media the pressure on businesses to be transparent and practice open communication, has increased.
- PR will be more about building relationships - Social media will be used by public relations specialists to deliver relevant information to the public and get connected to them. Followers are not just a number of people, in fact they are opportunities to build stronger relationships.
How would you balance advocacy and objectivity?Public relations is more about building your client's reputation but at the same time you need to be honest at some places as you cannot cheat your audience. A customer does not require each and every information of your organization but he should be given what is in his interest.
Advocacy is more about presenting information in a transparent manner. So, being a public relations specialist, you need to be transparent wherever it is important to be, but you need to remain objective at times too, as it is stated earlier that your audience does not require every detail of the company. It is all about balancing the reputation without compromising on the facts.
How would you put together a pitch?Being a public relations personnel you must know the techniques of making an effective pitch. Here are some common ideas to put a pitch together.
- Choose your target- Your target must be according to your requirement, so that it actually fits.
- Go through the writer's previous articles- Before you make any pitch you must go through the writer's articles and know about their interests, styles, and know the ways you can promote them further along their lines.
- Plan your pitch in advance- Plan out your pitch on the basis of what the story would be. You can make your first pitch through an email and then, you can call.
- Speaking to the point- While making a pitch you must speak to the point and let the reporter know what the subject is and what your reasons are for taking the interview. And at that point there is no sense in buttering them as they must know your interests are sincere.
- Be specific about the purpose of the interview- If you are not specific about the purpose of the interview, reporters may entertain you once but not from the next time.
What kind of media outlets do you follow on a day to day basis? Why particularly those?The kind of media outlets you follow reflect your interests and your character. If you are appearing for a job interview in a company that deals with technology, you must follow outlets like Wired, Gizmodo, or TechCrunch.
It is not just about following media outlets, make sure that you did a serious research since interviewers are usually smart enough to know who is genuine and who is not. If you are following any social media website, you must have reasons to follow it like you get updated on technology through Wired or TechCrunch.
What skills do you have that would help you in responding to a client’s message?Here are some skills that you must have as a public relations specialist when you are responding to client's message.
- Be a great listener
- Must have a good communication skills
- Be calm and have patience
- Be confident of what you are speaking about
- You may face some pressure but make it a habit to deal with them
- Use positive language
- Be a leader
- Behave in a friendly manner -Manage time
- Analyze problems as soon as you start speaking with a customer
- Negotiate and persuade
How would you go about finding relevant contacts and sources?Finding relevant contacts and sources is quiet easy now-a-days with the help of social media and Internet.
- Get email notifications directly to your inbox whenever journalists tweet or link to articles matching your search term.
- Contact directly through their email.
- You can keep an eye on which journalists are following or sharing your content on social media.
- Maintain a list of media people and include private notes from past campaigns to make your upcoming outreach more efficient.
- There may be a situation when you may not have any contact or source of information of a particular media house; so you can search for their website and the contact us section has contact number of the important people of the organization.
What is a PR Crisis? How would you deal with one?PR crisis is the situation that arises when an organization or individual is facing a challenge to its reputation. It can happen because of an unpredictable event threatens can seriously impact an organization's performance and generate negative outcomes.
If I would be in any of such crisis I would follow the steps that are mentioned below.
I will be finding out what exactly the crisis is and will note down every detail of it.
Base on the happenings there has to be plan of action. So, I'll evaluate my requirements and options.
Based on these, I will address the relevant audience.
The organization should accept their mistake if they went wrong somewhere as public is more willing to forgive an honest mistake than a calculated lie.
It is important to be demonstrative because the media as well as the public will have their own assumptions if no information is given to them by the organization in crisis.
I should show my concern to the public as they must know that we care because people will be more forgiving if it is clear that the organization cares about the victims of the crisis.
Maintain two-way relationships as it is important to know the status of public opinion by listening.