On Friday, our Principles of PR class had the privilege of hearing from PR professional Lori Merricks. Merricks is an Account Director at Luckie & Co., a public relations agency based here in Birmingham, Alabama.
Luckie is currently the 5th ranked ad agency owned PR operation in the United States. The company has been doing PR for 58 years, and Merricks gave insight to their success. Her advice was crucial information for any student pursuing a career in PR.
1. It’s helpful to have a journalism background. Knowing how the media works from the inside helps PR practitioners know how to present information to different news outlets. It also helps them know the best and worst times to pitch something to the media.
2. Know your brand. Know everything about the product or company you are representing. Know what’s being said about it in the media. Know how it works. Know the history and reputation of your client. Know what your competition is doing. Be a walking encyclopedia.
3. PR is a dialogue not a monologue. Communicate with the public. Listen to what they have to say about your product or client. Their reactions and opinions are helpful guides when planning your next move.
4. Use social media to your advantage. Learn which social media outlets are the best for your client and use the. Generate good conversation about your product online. In the words of Steve Rubel, “Everything is a Press Release.”
5. Be a good writer. PR is all about effective communication. You can be the most creative person in the industry, but if you can’t write, your message will lose its impact.