What do you do all day if you are a public relations executive? Is your role simply to generate publicity and communicate to the media about a person or business? Well, there’s more to it than that. In this article, we will explore a day in the life of a public relations executive.
Check the News
The very first thing you do, whether you commute or work in a home office, is check the news. Perhaps it’s CNN, Google News or another media outlet related to the client’s industry or business. Is there a merger or acquisition happening? Did the company’s stock go up or down? Is there a new CEO in town?
You may want to issue a comment on the news. Reporters can put your words into their stories. What they’re going to say depends on what’s going on. A PR exec will, therefore, look for:
- Trends or events you may want to talk about: If there’s a relevant event, you’re going to want to comment about it. This is a great opportunity to get your company noticed as the news is happening. Your business will also seem more relevant to its industry, partners and consumer base.
- News that can affect your firm’s reputation: A news feature is great publicity, but only if it’s in favor of your company. For example, if you work for a bank, and the Federal Reserve changes its interest rates, that may affect how customers perceive your value to them. Offering a comment can reveal your organization’s perspective and concern over potential impacts on customers.
- How your competitors are doing: It’s important to know how to react when a competitor makes an announcement. If the CEO of your company calls and asks what to do about it, you don’t want to sit there dumbfounded. You want to consult with them on what to say, how to react and perhaps advise them to say nothing.
Check Your News
Your own company news is very important for your PR strategy. A press monitoring solution is a handy tool. While bigger companies are more likely to be discussed in the news, any business entity wants to stay abreast of the latest headlines. Media coverage mentioning your company can give rise to a major public relations project.
Reporters don’t always notify the subjects of their stories. Sometimes they just write about something, post their story and assume it gets seen. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be something great about your company. It can be negative; in which case, you need to deal with it.
A public relations executive can run interference on negative press in the first place. You could even renegotiate what’s been said. However, this is difficult to achieve. A PR professional has the tools to negotiate with the press. Or, he or she can work with an agency that can engage reporters to reverse or modify negative coverage. They can also give you insights into making a statement to clarify what was said.
Move Your Projects Forward
No matter what news comes out, you must move your own projects forward. Public relations is a multi-faceted discipline. It should consist of various projects, including preparing pitches, writing press releases and seeking media exposure.
People and teams throughout your company should be involved. For example, the product team should have input if you’re announcing a new product. You want to move the whole process forward and get the announcement out in time, which requires ensuring everybody is doing what they’re supposed to (providing information, giving quotes, approving press release drafts, etc.).
Your press kit needs to be updated as well. This might not be an everyday task, but every month or two, perhaps. Just be sure your client’s press kit is up to date and has the right materials that you want reporters to see. Outdated information is one thing you want to keep out; it can hurt your company’s reputation and cause interest in your company to wane.
Keep Your Plan Up to Date
Keeping your public relations plan up to date should definitely be on your daily schedule. Whether it’s for the year or the quarter, your plan must account for:
- Your PR calendar: It needs to include the announcements you want to make, when you want to make them and how each announcement relates to others.
- What has been planned: Are there corporate initiatives to align with? Do you have multiple announcements to distribute over time? This helps ensure you are in line with corporate plans.
- Marketing initiatives: Does your strategy align with key corporate initiatives so you can accommodate the company’s marketing needs in a timely manner?
It’s very important to align your PR strategy with corporate planning. You can therefore be up to date on the status of projects included in your plan. For example, is the company planning to make an acquisition? That will be a big announcement, for sure. But, plans do change or get delayed. If a July acquisition was moved to August, you need to know that. Or, maybe the deal fell through. Your public relations strategy needs to be aligned with the company’s news, message and marketing initiatives. The media outreach absolutely must align with your messaging to ensure press releases and other media tools are in context.
Nurture Your Long Shots
As a public relations person, part of your day is to nurture your long shots. Maybe it’s to be featured on the cover of the biggest magazine in your company’s industry, teasing the biggest positive story you can think of. And if you don’t have a PR goal that’s really out there – get one!
Tend to your relationships with reporters as well. It can take time, but with a bit of work, you can get your stories covered in the way you have envisioned. Network with spokespeople, expert sources and key players in your organization to support big publicity projects that achieve as many of your objectives as possible.
Review Your Crisis Plan
This may not be a daily activity, but you should look at your crisis plan regularly. While doing so, you want to carefully examine the following questions:
- What can go wrong? – Lots of things can go wrong. In this regard, it’s critical to think ahead. For example, countless companies have had data breaches and other cybersecurity incidents over the past few years. Whether small or large, the event must be addressed. It can damage the reputation of your company and the privacy of employees and executives.
- How will you respond? – The moment you get a call from the CEO, you need to have a plan and know what to do, how to react and who to call next. Knowing what to say is paramount to dealing with the crisis, for which you should already have talking points. Most of the time, you can predict the types of crises that can happen. While the specifics might change, you can instantly react to an accident, fire or flood, especially if you have crisis management experience.
- Who is going to respond? – Are you going to say something directly? Do you have a company spokesperson on hand who can do the talking? Perhaps you’ve retained an agency that specializes in crisis management and has a plan to get the right messaging out at the right time. If you haven’t thought through every potential crisis situation, this may be the best way to go.
Comms Factory Can Help Deliver Your Message
These are just some insights into a day in the life of a public relations professional. We look forward to working with you and can get your small business the media attention it deserves. Continue browsing to learn more about what we do. To book your free consultation, contact us today!