The criticism of PR today is that many publicists either don’t understand the actual business objectives of the companies that they represent or that they lack the communication skills to translate the business objectives into relevant media opportunities for their clients.As we’ve talked about on this blog before, the PR landscape has and continues to diversify and expand, making it more important than ever for publicists to learn a plethora of information about their clients & its industry.But since the majority of publicists don’t have a formal background in business or marketing, it can be a difficult task for many to wrap their heads around their clients’ business model while managing the everyday duties that a publicist must complete in order to be successful at his/her job.
However, learning the basics of your clients business is not just beneficial, it’s now a necessity.But in order to do so, a publicist without a formal business background must dedicate some time to learning and understanding the dynamics of the overall business world & economy – a time consuming task to say the least.As someone who is currently studying business communications, I wanted to share a few tips that we use at Horn Group that can help publicists without a business background to better understand their clients business objectives, the overall economic environment and how to translate that knowledge into quality PR opportunities.
Here are a few quick suggestions:
- Sit in on your clients marketing meetings - You might not understand all of the rhetoric at first, but you’ll undoubtedly uncover some strategic information that might not present itself during PR meetings
- Embrace Investor relations (IR) - Be familiar with executive summaries and earnings reports.Understand what investors expect and coordinate PR activities to help your client meet these business expectations
- Don’t let the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) be your guide - Just because the DOW is down, doesn’t mean the industry that your client is in will suffer.Be aware of the economic conditions that will affect your clients the most and preemptively plan a PR strategy accordingly
- Read! - It doesn’t have to come from the WSJ or the NY Times, but reading about the economy on a daily basis is critical to understanding the business world.Subscribe to a blog, newsletter or a reporter’s RSS feed that you think provides the most value to you and your clients business
What do you suggest?