I just finished this post and have come back up here to warn you now that it’s basically just a bit of a rant, sorry…
Public Relations is about reputation. Or as the CIPR say the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.
And with that, I believe that PRs have a responsibility to demonstrate the skills that they advise clients on. To practice what they preach and to show the expertise that they have by demonstrating it on themselves or their agency. So why don’t all PRs PR?
The reason I’ve picked up on this recently? Social media. I have contacts where ‘social media specialist’ is listed on their LinkedIn profile, yet their Twitter feed hasn’t been updated in months. To me, it just doesn’t add up.
Likewise, as an agency, how can you suggest to a client that LinkedIn is the place you need to be as a business if you’re not doing so yourself? How can you suggest to your client that they send a press release about the latest piece of corporate news to the local business pages, if just last week you didn’t take the same opportunity yourself?
It should be part of a PR practitioners role to lead the way and be an example of what they are advising. And, if you do it right, it’s going to benefit all other aspects of the business too. It positions you as an industry expert that quite simply knows their stuff.
Of course, the way the industry works means that often other things take priority, as it does for students and individuals too… and that is always going to be the case. But I believe that just taking a little time out that hectic schedule to focus on yourself is a good habit to get into.
“What’s the point of this rant?” I hear you cry. Well, I guess it firstly comes down to a piece of advice for PR students really. If you’re stuck in that cycle of ‘you need experience to get experience, but you can’t get experience because you don’t have any experience…’
Well create your own.
I was genuinely approached for my first freelance PR role partly because of a blog post. And my first full-time PR role was kicked off by a bunch of Twitter activity. I didn’t necessarily have the experience but I showed I had the skills. I PR’d myself (eugh, did I really just use that phrase?!)
And I imagine that this could extend further. If you’ve got a fantastic agency media presence, companies will see that and perhaps consider you to do the same for them. If you’ve got outstanding social media platforms, potential clients will see this and are going to want you to do the same for them too.
Now, I know my blog isn’t perfect, my Twitter feed sometimes gets neglected and my LinkedIn profile could probably do with a re-fresh, but I give it a damn good go… and it seems to have worked.
So yeah, why aren’t PRs PR-ing themselves?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Pop a comment below or tweet me 🙂