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Wouldn’t it be fantastic if PR pros got the communications equivalent of a bulletproof vest upon college graduation? Come on, we’ve all needed a little bit if kevlar from time to time! Since such a product doesn’t exist (although it should), here are 4 Tips to Bulletproof PR!
Tip #0.5: Have this song playing in the background while you read this. It helps.
Tip #1: Plan Start to Finish For a plan to be useful, it needs to go as far ahead as possible. Of course, it’s subject to change for any of a million different reasons, but it goes back to the old writing adage that it’s easier to edit than to create. The act of creating a long-term plan forces you to think about causes and effects of your campaign. Before you send out one release, make sure your entire team (and of course, any client contacts), know the next steps. From a client relations standpoint, having a plan reinforces your image as an expert.
Tip #2: Anticipate the Bad
Poop Happens. Know it, accept it, plan for it and be ready to deal with it at all times. Look at it with this analogy. If you take your dog for a walk and bring a plastic bag with you, when your precious pup does his…uhhh…business…you don’t end up with poop-covered hands and a smell that won’t go away. The more you think about, discuss and prepare for the inevitable moment when the stuff hits the fan, the more bulletproof you’ll be.
Tip #3: Be Honest and Transparent What’s one sure way to NOT be bulletproof? Get caught in lies and deceptions. Just look at the recent BP oil spill as a “How Not To” guide. Seemingly every day, there as been a report of the public being misled on the entire incident, from the initial explosion to the clean-up efforts. Sometimes the truth can hurt. A lot. Like to no end. However, if you tell the truth from the start, it’s ALWAYS better than being caught in a lie down the road. Protect yourself and your client by just not lying.
Tip #4: Know When To Stop Talking Perhaps the biggest lesson a PR pro can learn is when shut the hell up. We are a gabby sort, us PR folks. We like to talk, share, learn, etc., etc., etc. But knowing when to stop talking and sharing is critical. Every PR pro I know has inadvertently said something they shouldn’t have to a reporter. It’s OK to not pick up the phone or wait a little while before returning an email. I know it sounds like a direct contradiction to Tip #3 (be honest and transparent), but saying NOTHING is much different than misleading.
What other tips for Bulletproof PR do you have?
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