The saying, “Inch by inch, life’s a cinch” is one for all seasons. As you go about your job as a public relations practitioner in a corporate organisation this year, you will do well to bear it in mind, always. You make progress in little steps.
This year, like all others, has 12 months. I have written out 12 things, you can do this year to be better at your job.
1. Be Up to Date
As public relations professional, you do yourself a world of favour when you stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in the public relations industry. This includes understanding new social media platforms and communication tools, as well as keeping track of changes in media consumption habits (how people consume information).
2. Build and Maintain Relationships with Stakeholders
We can all agree that one of the most important connections for PR practitioners is the one with journalism. It is a symbiotic relationship. So, you will do well to build and maintain strong relationships with journalists, bloggers, and other key influencers in your industry. This will help you get your brand’s message out to a wider audience and gain valuable coverage for your company.
3. Audience Analysis
It is equally important to develop a strong understanding of your target audience so that you can tailor your messaging and communications strategies accordingly. The focus here is understanding what motivates and interests your audience, as well as what channels and platforms they prefer to use for communication and to get news.
4. Know How to Develop Social Media Strategies
In today’s world, social media gradually becoming the chief source of news for many people. You, therefore, need to understand how to create and implement a comprehensive social media strategy that includes a mix of paid and organic content. This will help you reach a wider audience and build brand awareness.
5. Practice Openness
Endeavour to foster a culture of transparency and openness within your organisation. This will help you build trust with stakeholders and the media, and it will make it easier for you to respond to any issues or crises that may arise. You will have to lead by example and be willing to leave your desk. Funmi Onajide exemplified this in the MTN days.
6. Develop And Practice A Comprehensive Crisis Communication Plan.
This will help you effectively manage any negative situations and minimize damage to your brand’s reputation. The secret of effective crisis management is relentless preparation
7. Keep An Eye On The Data
They say data is the new oil, but to optimize it, you have got to keep your eyes on it, constantly. You must therefore explore how to use data and analytics to measure the effectiveness of your PR campaigns and identify areas for improvement. This will help you refine your strategies and get better results. PPlus Measurement Services is showing what is possible in this space.
8. Embrace Diversity And Inclusivity In Your PR Efforts.
This includes considering the needs and perspectives of diverse communities and promoting diversity within your organization. To achieve this, you must be aware of and sensitive to the different perspectives and experiences of diverse groups of people, make sure that the language and images used in PR materials are inclusive and respectful of all individuals and possibly consider providing diversity and inclusivity training for staff members.
9. Explore The Power Of Storytelling
You must explore how to use storytelling to engage your audience and build emotional connections with them. In telling stories, you highlight the human side of your organisation. It is a great way to create a sense of trust and relatability that can lead to stronger relationships with stakeholders. This can be particularly effective for building brand awareness and loyalty.
10. Videos And Other Visual Content
Utilize video and other visual content to communicate your message and make it more engaging for your audience. The use of videos involves creating branded content for sharing company news and updates, hosting webinars and virtual events, creating social media content, thought leadership and even Influencer marketing. I can tell you for free that videos allow PR professionals to effectively communicate with their audience, humanize their brand, and create a deeper connection.
11. Collaborate. Collaborate. Collaborate
Enhancing cross-functional communication, increasing brand awareness and creating more effective content are great ways to improve collaboration within the firm. Overall, collaboration allows for more efficient and effective public relations strategies, by leveraging different perspectives, knowledge and resources to achieve common goals.
12. Be Up To Date
You will need to stay up to date with the latest laws and regulations related to public relations, particularly those related to data privacy and consumer protection. This will help you avoid legal issues and protect your company’s reputation. Of course, you should register with and be a part of relevant regulatory bodies and associations. The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) is calling you today.
The young public relations professional needs to understand that the work does not stop. You have to keep learning and keep doing.
Elvis Eromosele, a Corporate Communication professional and public affairs analyst lives in Lagos.