Each month we have been reaching out to notable communications professionals to ask them a few questions about their experiences and interests, with the goal of providing some insights to others in the industry. Our March issue of ‘Questions for the PR Industry’ features Beki Winchel, the Co-Editor of PR Daily, a social media PR consultant, author, and speaker. You can find her every Tuesday hosting #RaganChat on Twitter.
What is your favourite thing about working in the PR industry?
I love learning about what makes people tick. It’s fascinating to watch how people communicate and trends take shape; it’s exciting to understand your audience and craft a message or piece of content that’s exactly what they want. From putting out online firestorms to crafting a winning pitch, the long hours and hard work pay off when you see a successful campaign and know that you had a hand in it. PR can be many things, but it’s not dull.
What skills do you believe are crucial to communicating a client’s message?
There’s a false belief that all PR pros are extroverts who enjoy being in front of an audience. That might be true for some, but certainly not all—and it doesn’t diminish a communicator’s effectiveness. Ultimately PR pros are good listeners as well as savvy communicators. A message can have all the right elements and fall on deaf ears if it’s not properly tailored to your target audience. Outstanding PR pros are strategic and know why each tactic is implemented in a campaign. Other skills, such as writing or the ability to quickly and clearly explain a concept or theory, are also very valuable to have.
How do you put together a pitch?
As an editor, I wish more PR pros mimicked John F. Kennedy by asking not what reporters can do for them, but what they can do for reporters. Too many pitches are desperate attempts to get a firm or client’s name in print. Good pitches offer an interesting story or a unique angle to a topic that’s commonly written about, making short work for reporters. That includes finding a relevant way to insert your organization or client (such as through a quote, or case study) into the pitch but keeping the reporter’s audiences and needs in mind as well.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us, Beki!
Have a story you would like to share? Let us know on Twitter at @PRTheAgency or in the comment section below!