Working at a public relations agency is no small task. Between managing clients’ desires, balancing media requests, and battling oncoming crises, a public relations professional has to be a jack-of-all-trades to get the job done.
However, even the most seasoned public relations expert can make mistakes. Here are the top three most common mistakes we see agencies make, and the ways to fix and prevent them.
MISTAKE: Not doing research
If you are an experienced public relations pro, you may think you don’t want to waste your time with research. However, every industry can change at the drop of the hat, and staying on top of trends, market demographics, and consumer interest is crucial to good public relations.
FIX: Spend the first 30 minutes of every morning doing research to ensure you’re not missing out on news that your clients should know about. Subscribe to newsletters, magazines, and news sites that are relevant to your brands to stay up-to-date on the latest trends. Consistently check-in on your client’s competitors and see what they’re up to.
MISTAKE: Not proofreading
With the amount of writing that PR professionals do, it’s easy to assume that errors shouldn’t be an issue. However, even the best writers make mistakes, so proofread to avoid embarrassing errors.
FIX: It’s simple – proofread! Review all of your writing materials to check for errors. If it’s something especially important, have a co-worker or your client look it over too. It never hurts to have multiple sets of eyes!
MISTAKE: Not understanding the client’s needs
Miscommunication is one of the biggest problems in the public relations world. To prevent miscommunication, it is essential for the public relations pro to fully understand what the client is looking for. More often than not, clients don’t fully understand what public relations entails, and are looking for guidance from the agency to provide them with realistic expectations and advice on what would benefit the client the most. Without clear communication, the expectations of both parties may be different, leading to conflict and unhappy clients.
FIX: As the public relations professional, it is your responsibility to be the advisor for your client and ask them the questions you need to know to understand what it is they are looking for. Before signing a client, be sure to find out exactly what they expect from you by setting goals together, and continuously check back on these goals throughout your contract to ensure you are both on the same page.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to be a successful public relations professional, click here.