So much is written about PR tips—what makes you good, how to pitch, how to get results etc. I don’t want to over simplify, but I think there’s a pretty easy formula; or at least two key things that anyone starting out must do in order to be successful.
Read. A lot. As an intern, one of the guys I worked with taught me this early on. I have a ton of bad habits, but this is probably my best. I usually spend the first hour or so of my day reading and catching up on the news that is important to our (our clients) industry, whether it’s on Twitter from the reporters/outlets I follow (the modern day RSS reader), Techmeme or just browsing. Often times people in this industry will say “why aren’t we in this story” or “why doesn’t X publication cover us.” If you’ve done your homework and can actually give them a great, fact-based answer, it will go a long way. Plus, if you work in PR it’s your job to know the media landscape. How can you do that without reading?
Be a human. Be a human, not a PR Person. It all starts with writing like a human. How would you talk to a reporter if you saw them at a bar on a Saturday night? Would you walk up to them and immediately start pitching your company/product/client? Nope. You would ease into the conversation and talk about things that you might have in common and what’s going on around you. Would you use words such as “best in class” “mission critical” “fruition” or “ROI”? Nope. Don’t use jargon. You wouldn’t talk like that in real life (probably because you don’t know what the hell it means), so don’t use it an email.
If you had to give one tip to someone just starting their career what would it be?