A day in the life of a PR professional usually starts with tracking the newspapers for client coverage, drafting pitch notes, press releases, pitching to the journalist, documentation, complying with the internal processes and client engagement. In the daily routine activities, one often does not pay too much attention to sharing advisories/counselling the client about the impact of major macro-economic issues and the trends in the sector. It is very vital for a PR professional to be well-informed about the industry happenings and its possible impact on the client’s business. This requires thinking and more importantly thinking through. Here are some tips that can be useful:
1. Read the Newspapers/Magazines beyond client coverage: When you scan through the newspapers/magazines on a daily basis, make sure that you read beyond the direct client coverage and the headlines. Dedicate sometime to read the editorials of the newspaper as well as the cover and feature stories of magazines as they write on topical issues that could be of interest to your client/it’s business. Even more set alerts to read websites/online portals for a perspective on industry trends/happenings. This will help you to build a holistic understanding about the business environment and also give you talk points to have a conversation with the company’s CEO/CXOs.
2. Think of Advisories: Once you are up to speed with environment scanning, sit back and think of ideas about how the company can take cues from the political, economic and social happenings and share a perspective/comment about it’s possible impact on the sector. Alternatively, the company can also elucidate specific initiatives undertaken by the company and link it back to the industry happenings. This kind of critical thinking and advise should be a part of the KRAs of the PR consultants across all levels
3. Social Media Listening: Make sure to map bloggers who specifically write on sectors that are relevant for your clients, follow them on Twitter and be connected with them on LinkedIn. Also, make sure to keep them on your mailing list for announcements and updates from your clients. Additionally scan through international websites, blogs, competitor’s social media properties that can help you get some tips/ideas/best practices that can be adopted for your own clients
4. Third-party stakeholders: Keep a track of industry reports and forecasting by the industry analysts/experts. Look up the trade publications that cite analyst research and quotes from analysts – it can provide additional insights about their research and opinions on industry trends/breaking news.
5. Keep a Tab on Competition: You need to keep a hawk’s eye on what the competition is saying and how they’re approaching the media for stories. Make sure you set up a strong mechanism to track all stories where the competitor has been quoted. Also keeping checking the company’s website for new developments.
With the information deluge, one often gets into the dilemma of where to begin, so to sum it up, focus on reading the top 3 – 5 publications that matter to your client and also utilize tools like Google Alerts that will push real-time stories and information. And yes, do not forget to dedicate time to THINK and THINK THROUGH for your clients day-in and day-out.
Do share your experiences about sharing of interesting advisories with your client and how it helped to build the client’s confidence? Share your story in the comments section below.