I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade…
…wait, we’re not talking about The Beatles’ famous song A Day in the Life; rather a typical day in the life of a public relations (PR) professional. (Nobody wants to hear me sing anyway.) According to the Public Relations Society of America, PR job descriptions can include responsibilities such as media relations, marketing communications, social media, community relations, special events, crisis management, research, and employee communications. Sounds about right.
The Princeton Review describes a typical PR day as one that involves “keeping the public informed about the activities of the organization, fielding press inquiries regarding a specific issue, pitching the media about a specific corporate initiative or disseminating information and news releases externally on behalf of the company.” I say that is certainly a major part of the job, but there is so much more that needs to Come Together to describe a typical day.
A ”Typical” Day
The best way to showcase this is to give a real example of what my day looked like Yesterday. This was my schedule heading into the morning:
- 9:00-9:15 a.m. – internal workstream check-in
- 10:15-11:00 a.m. – internal PR team planning session
- 12:00-12:30 p.m. – weekly client call
- 1:00-1:30 p.m. – weekly client call
- 2:30-3:00 p.m. – weekly client call
- 3:00-3:30 p.m. – new client kick-off call
- 3:30-4:00 p.m. – bi-weekly client call
- 4:00-4:30 p.m. – client messaging interview
A call schedule like that might make some Twist and Shout, but a PR professional takes it in stride, plans their day (as much as possible), and works hard in between calls on required deliverables. Those deliverables, on this day, included:
- Pitching a client press release
- Responding to, coordinating, and delivering a client comment for an inbound request from an editor on two major ransomware gangs
- Reviewing, editing, and coordinating a client blog post and op-ed abstract
- Pitching a client commentary article
- Providing writing examples for our agency’s new business pursuit
- Researching and providing details on an open industry award program
- Managing resources
I’ve Got a Feeling that some might see this as a daunting day—a day when you are an editor, a storyteller, a content developer, a planner, a researcher, and a manager—but to a PR professional this is where we thrive: in a world that is a little Helter Skelter-ish. A little bit of controlled chaos.
The Anatomy of a PR Pro
So, what makes a good PR professional? One that can handle this type of “typical” day? I get this question a lot, and I break it down into five core areas of strength:
- Prioritization: no matter what comes your way during a day, understanding urgency and priority is important to success. The inbound editor’s request with a 2 p.m. deadline for comment takes precedence over editing the blog that is scheduled to be published next week.
- Communication: when dealing with clients, media, and internal team members, you are dealing with multiple personalities. It’s important to be able to communicate effectively between these different stakeholders.
- Management: leading multiple clients and teams requires effective account and personnel management as well as an ability to think strategically. Managing people and projects is critical to ensure proper delivery and provide results that propel your clients forward.
- Relationships: PR is a people-first business. Fostering positive relationships, not only within your own team and clients, but also with the media and other influencers, is a key element to any PR program.
- Teamwork: having a great team to support you and your client’s needs is vital to success. You have to understand how to delegate and that you can only get by With a Little Help from My Friends.
Although it’s not always Strawberry Fields Forever, no day is the same, which makes coming to work fun and exciting. I hope this blog, at least at a high level, provides some insight into the world of public relations. If you’re just entering the field and looking for a Ticket to Ride or are working for an organization that is interested in hearing more about our public relations services, I would love to connect.