Top Tips For Aspiring Publicists

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We asked some of our favorite publicist for the best pieces of advice they would give to someone who just starting out in the Public Relations industry.  Check out the list below on the top things aspiring Publicists should know when breaking into the industry.

Be sure to follow them on social media.

Thomasina Perkins-Washington

CEO/Principal Publicist, CAPITOL PUBLIC RELATIONS

Top things to know is there are no quick fixes! Understand who you are and who your clients want to be! Be Honest keeping your Integrity in tact will keep you working; your Name is all you have in this business, of course not everyone will like you but RESPECT is universal! I had a potential client say to me once “when interviewing me…they shared the fact they asked around and the person who recommended me said “I don’t particularly like Thomasina but if you want the job done right she’s the one you need to hire”. Guess what I’ll take a hundred of those…

 

Camille Davis

Chief Publicist & CEO, Montage Public Relations, LLC

1. Build relationships and constantly update your media list.
2. Know who to pitch; research their beat.
3. Respect lead times and deadlines.
4. Of 100 pitches, you may only land one. Keep pitching.
5. They’ll never know how much you fight for them. Do it for the love of it. Not for the acknowledgement.

Christian Reed-Ogba

Founder/CEO, EHCU PUBLIC RELATIONS, LLC

Definitely consider government contracting – it’s a lucrative option if you are trying to build contacts, connections AND revenue. Working with smaller businesses require quick results, while working with organizations or corporations can mean slower results and more mentors, i.e. corporate teams.

 

Yvette Harris

CEO, Harris Public Relations

Familarize yourself and build a connection with your local reporters, editors, and news directors. Don’t just reach out to them when you want them to cover your client’s story. A note to say hello, or a heartfelt thank you goes a long way.

Make sure you read, read, read. Most media outlets are online. You should be reading some of the top media outlets like the New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, Amsterdam News, Miami Times, USA Today, to name a few.

Never send your press release as an attachment. Don’t send a press release period. Most media professionals don’t have time to read it. Create a pitch that covers all the essential items and why your story should be told. If they ask you for one, then send it.

Brianna Gillard

Founding Partner, BMG Media Group

My top three things a newcomer should know are:
1. How to pitch with the media
2. How to help their clients define their brand
3. Have the ability to form relationships outside of your clients with the media
**Bonus**
4. The ability to think outside the box

Cathy J Hood

President | Publicity | Corporate Communications, Pristine Initiative, LLC

My top three recommendations are:

1. When creating a PR strategy, always consider these five elements: Who, What, When, Where, and Why
2. Become a persuasive writer. It will help you to make compelling pitches.
3. Follow different journalist, reporters, producers, and any other leaders in your field on social media and stay in tuned with what they are working on.

Shakeema Bouyer

Principal Publicist, Mattie Clay Branding & Public Relations

I would say the one thing that someone should know is how to write. The art of writing rules in the PR world. As publicists, we have to be both creative and technical. Our role calls for crafting the perfect pitch, writing a press release that gets noticed, outlining a PR strategy customized to each client and we may be involved in content creation for ourselves and/or clients. People skills are important but you have to be able to effectively communicate by putting the pen, or pencil to paper – well now, the fingers to the keyboard.

CHANDRA GORE

Principal Consultant - Publicist, Chandra Gore Consulting

Before starting in the Public Relations industry the top things someone should know are the category they would like to specialize in and whether they would like to work for an agency, in-house within a dedicated company or to start their own firm. Starting out someone should be sure to do their research on what category you would like to specialize in.

There are quite a few categories for Public Relations to chose from. The categories range from media relations, community relations, crisis management and integrated marketing and communications to name a select few.

Narrowing down what your speciality will allow you to focus on gaining the skills to succeed in the category of choice.

Making the choice to be an entrepreneur once you’re established in the industry would make the leap to do so easier.

Someone would also have to determine if they are suited to work in an agency rather than in-house work from the outset. Finding out if you enjoy different challenges and managing multiple types of projects, as well as a fast and more versatile pace of life then an agency would be a favorable work environment. If being dedicated to a company and knowing its ins and outs, wanting to give their products and clients dedicated attention and you prefer to work within one sector, devising strategies and managing budgets in a specialized environment then working in-house would be great.

Melody johnson

publicist & brand manager, Melody PRM Group

Beginners in the PR world should know:
1) Being successful in this field depends upon your ability to communicate and network.
2) Always remain professional. Your client’s image is also based on yours.
3) Always be confident. Clients, media and colleagues can detect insecurities a mile away. Practice public speaking and your elevator speech often.

What are some of the tips you have for up and coming publicists? Leave them in the comments!

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