Practice makes perfect – a lesson you’ve heard repeated hundreds of times since your days in elementary school, but does the same principle still apply to the real world?
In public relations, it’s easy to get complacent and do what we know works. However, it’s important to keep in mind that one of the most critical aspects to succeeding in any industry is personal growth and ongoing learning. After all, the comminication space is changing all the time, and you’re success is dependent in part on staying ahead of the curve.
Cultivate the habit of being helpful
In the PR world, your relationships are everything, not pitching, For instance, picture a “friend” who only shows up at your door or calls you when they need something. You see right through that, right? The business world operates in exactly the same way and the relationship between publicists and editors is a game of give and take. Make it a habit to foster existing and foster new relationships based on reciprocity. Each month, rotate through your connections and reach out to anyone you haven’t spoken with in a few months. Find out what they’re up to by sending a note of appreciation on a recent venture or article, share something they might like, a song or the new best spot for cocktails. Calls and emails and tweets are fantastic, but aim to get out of the office and meet in person. notch further.
Develop a daily reading practice
Your reading material influences the way you write and communicate with those around you. Every morning, I set some time aside to read at least one chapter of a book (for those curious, I’m currently reading Love Is The Killer App by Tim Sanders). I’ll usually get the kettle ready as well and prepare a fresh cup of Coconut Chai for myself. Just like breakfast, your morning routine shapes out how the rest of your day will turn out. You might be in the habit of reading the morning’s big industry news stories on sites like WWD, PR Newser, Refinery29 and PR Couture, but also make room to be inspired by novels, personal development books, positive news websites and blogs in different industries.
Your reading material influences the way you write and communicate with those around you
Make measurement a priority
I’m sure you’ve encountered the question, “How do you track ROI of PR”? oh, a few hundred times by now. And while the answer is complex, confidently explaining how you evaluate your PR efforts is how you will land and retain clients. Extend your expertise to include analytics. Determine the effectiveness of digital campaign with tools like KISSmetrics, Optimizely, and of course, Google Analytics. A consistent reporting process will improve your strategy, recommendations and client confidence.
Make time for media list updates
“She with the biggest contact list wins” ~ Betsy Plank. Okay, maybe not literally, but there’s a point to that. Your media list is critical in the fashion PR world and so should be the priority action item of keeping it up to date. Rolodek offers a lengthy list of contacts in the fashion biz that has personally saved me the hassle of starting from step one, and PR Couture offers media and fashion buyer lists. Take time weekly to update media contact information, add in new players to watch, and consolidate new business cards received. Set aside time to discover new bloggers and read industry publications like MinOnline and Fashionista to find out about changes / additions in editorial staff.
Keep notes on everything
Though daily writing is a habit that I’ve started recently, its already had quite a big impact on my personal thoughts in such a short amount of time. Everyday, our minds run through hundreds of different thoughts, some which have little pertinence and some which are worth paying attention to. By putting your thoughts on paper, you don’t have to keep them circulating any longer, so you can focus more on the ideas that actually matter. You also capture those little lightbulb moments that are, pardon the pun, gone in a flash. All you need is a simple notebook or notes app.
Engage in social listening
The PR industry is a living, breathing animal that is constantly shifting in new directions everyday; therefore, it is important to keep yourself up-to-date regarding news, changes, and updates within the business. Make it a regular routine to not only read trade magazines and online publications like PR Couture, but to also listen in on conversations around Twitter and the web. Social media in general is an enormous platform that provides entry to thousands of happenings and affairs around the world as they happen. Get into the habit of finding podcasts, blogs, or newsletters that are relevant to your topic and keep you engaged and entertained.
Photo Credit: krizzly7