Throughout a career in public relations, there are milestones to strive for. There are many teachable moments that can be used by senior professionals to show younger professional how to carry out tactics the “right way.” There are also times when strategy can be learned and approaches can be observed. However, across all professions, there is at least one important characteristic that cannot be taught: how to be a leader.
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Working for a nonprofit may be a rewarding experience, especially if the organization is aligned with your personal beliefs. Public relations professionals who work in the nonprofit sector often consider themselves lucky that they can use their skills to fight for a cause that they truly believe in. However, working for a nonprofit isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. Due to shoe-string budgets and a focus on maximizing resources, often one person is tasked with doing the same amount of work that would be shared among many in the for-profit world.
When a tragedy occurs, PR professionals should understand that there is a fine line between an opportunity and shameless self-promotion. This week, with the death of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams, we had the unfortunate opportunity to see many practitioners blatantly step over the line for the benefit of their clients and organizations. While some misdirected tactics may be a lesson in how not to respond to a tragedy, we have benefited from some appropriate responses.
When done properly a seamless public relations campaign can generate the levels of exposure and publicity for your brand or product that most practitioners dream about nightly. You’re able to position your brand in the best way possible and you leave your target audiences buzzing. However, when you rely on a one-shot publicity stunt that goes wrong, public relations professionals are often placed in the line of fire by company executives and (worse) the media. The situation may arise from a PR pro utilizing a misguided pitch or pitching a product that isn’t quite up to snuff, in either case the results are almost always negative.
This week on PRSAY, we discussed the obstacles one faces when trying to re-enter the public relations field after “time off.” Among the many reasons why this can be a difficult task is the simple fact that the industry is constantly evolving and a major factor of that evolution is social media; if you’re not paying attention, you’ll be behind the curve. Between staff meetings, end of the month reports, time sheets and client work, public relations professionals must also keep up with the latest news, tips and tricks affecting the social platforms and how they can affect daily tactical responsibilities.
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PRSAY is a forum for PRSA members and other public relations professionals to engage in a dialogue with PRSA leaders, exchange viewpoints, and share perspectives on issues of concern to the Society and the public relations industry as a whole. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policies or positions of PRSA.