My public relations class was lucky enough to hear a Luckie & Company employee speak last week. Lori Merricks is a Senior Account Supervisor for Luckie. She has worked for Luckie for ten years and says she loves it more and more each day. Merricks enjoys what she does, but she says there is never any “down-time.” She said she is always working. When she is in public she’s always trying to find something to help better the companies she represents. Merricks says that there are many important ways to be successful, but I am only going to touch on five of them.
1. RESEARCH. Research is vital. Proper and credible research is important. Research is necessary and it saves a lot of money. Also, Merricks said that knowing what’s going on around you is important. Staying “up-to-date” with the news and trends will help you be more successful as a PR practitioner.
2. GATEKEEPERS. Merricks said that PR practitioners are “gatekeepers for information.” She said, “We make sure the story lines meet the editorial standards of each individual media outlet and each editorial format.” They make the journalist’s world a lot easier. You need to know the business as if you were working for them.
3. PUBLIC. It is important to know the trends, the likes and dislikes of consumers, what the competitors are doing and the influential’s. Knowing each of these will help to promote the brand.
4. BRAND MARKETING, ALLIANCE AND PROTECTION. Brand marketing is basically maintaining loyalty to everyone. The more people can trust you, the more successful you will be. Brand alliance is cross marketing, brand licenses and co-brands. You set yourself up with another company. An example is like the SEC championship football game: the Chik-fil-A bowl. Brand protection is crisis management. This is the most important of the three because you need to be able to deal with crises properly.
5. WRITE. “Writing is the most effective form of communication,” Merricks said. You have to be able to take a pitch or idea and help other people understand what’s going on through writing.
Merricks is very successful. She has worked for Luckie, the thirteenth largest AD agency-owned PR operation in the United States, for ten years. She started as an intern and was quickly promoted. She is young, but has worked hard to earn the great reputation she now has at Luckie. It’s easy to ignore what some people say, but I would take these 5 helpful hints to heart since they are coming from someone who has been in the business and knows how it works.