Posts Tagged ‘ jobs ’

what makes a PRofessional?

With a title like making a PRofessional, I’m surprised I haven’t already covered exactly what makes a PRofessional.  So I took the question to all my friends on HARO for their opinions on what makes a PRofessional, what doesn’t make a PRofessional and how important is accreditation like APR — not just for individuals, but for the entire industry!

I was pleasantly surprised with the responses I received.  So, in all its glory, here is what I got:

  • Can I get an order of Experience, with a side of a Degree?
    • Experience counts over a degree… for most.  Out of about 40 responses, only 4 said a degree was an absolute necessity.  That’s only 10%.  Most established Professionals said that being seasoned in the niche one works was more important than a piece of paper from an accredited university.  Remember my earlier post about impatience being a virtue?  Don’t wait to get started building your amazing, PRofessional portfolio.  Cause even with a degree, you still need experience.  At least three years from what I’ve seen for most entry level jobs.
  • Know your Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of the Media
    • Before you pitch a story do yourself and every other PR pro a favor…  Seriously.  Research your writer.  Read at least THREE of his or her writings and, if he or she has one, read their blog or friend them on a social media platform.  And do this before you pitch.   I’ve said it in an interview… bad pitchers would be the one thing I would change about what we do.  KNOW YOUR MEDIA!!!  KNOW YOUR REPORTER/WRITER/EDITOR!!!  Look here if you want to see some bad examples of media relations.
  • Like the Song Says… Smile Like You Mean It
    • Did you know that just smiling can change your whole attitude?  Yeah, that’s right.  And apparently employers are looking for personable people with positive  personalities (that hurt my soul a little).  Take that alliteration to heart because it could help you win in an interview and show your soon-to-be boss that you have what it takes to build great relationships with reporters, clients and fellow employees.  So turn your frowny face upside down and make it an awkward smile.

 

The responses didn’t stop there.  Here are some qualities PRofessionals are expected to have:

 

  • Remember that degree we talked about…?
    • Even though most hiring Professionals said experience was more important than a degree, you still need one.  And it doesn’t have to be in PR.  It can be in English, journalism, marketing or another communications field.  Some employers even prefer that new hires have a background in the media and it’s no surprise that many PRofessionals  come from journalism.  You know, because we do so much work with the media (see the second tip above). 
  • Don’t Be Pushy
    • This is kind of like smiling.  It’s important to be persistent, but know when to call it quits.  No one likes to be pushed into a corner and although being pushy may get you one or two stories in the media, continuing an abrasive behavior will strain your relationships.
  • Write Well
    • Writing is to PR what latex gloves are to doctors… Everything begins with latex gloves.  It is imperative to have good writing skills in PR.  You must be capable of communicating efficiently in your writing.  You must be capable of telling your client’s story in your writing.  You must be capable of persuading in your writing.  Writing is in everything we do as PRofessionals: pitching, creating press releases and newsletters, developing speeches…  Everything.
  • Think On Your Feet
    • ‘Nuf said.

 

Then there was the A. P. R.  Most PRofessionals seem to not carry the three letters behind their name that means they went through boot camp like training, studied like grad school students and reassessed their whole career.  With complete respect to the APR, I really feel like this is just a major accomplishment, not an industry be all, end all.  It sets a standard for the industry, but you don’t have to have it to practice PR and it certainly doesn’t give you the power to fly.  However, it’s an accomplishment I want to have.  With that said: Zackery Moore, APR… Yeah… that sounds cool.

 

ZM

 

P.S. I do not have an APR, just wanted to see what it felt like to write it behind my name.  Feels fancy.

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