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. For the November edition of ‘Questions for the PR Industry’ we chatted with Michelle Leroux, a freelance public relations and communications consultant in Pemberton, BC. In 2016 her client work included regional public relations efforts for Red Bull Canada’s events in BC, and communications for Pemberton Music Festival. Michelle also led the announcement of Whistler Blackcomb’s Renaissance, a $345 million dollar investment.
Tell us about your guilty media pleasure
My guilty media pleasure would have to be binge watching Buzzfeed’s Tasty videos on Facebook. I love to sit in bed, with my morning coffee, watching clip after clip of someone else cooking delicious (and usually unhealthy) recipes. The short and snappy videos satisfy my desire for instant gratification, and I often get some inspiration for my dinners…albeit without the tubes of pastry and copious amounts of cheese!
What do you see as the future direction of the PR industry?
The backbone of public relations has always been storytelling. With content marketing at the forefront of how many organizations are now spending their marketing budgets, public relations practitioners can play a significant role in supporting, or even driving, these initiatives. We have spent our entire careers distilling key messages into media pitches that we target at the right people, at the right outlet, at the right time. Fueled by a marketing budget, public relations tactics become even more powerful. PR practitioners can become the editors of their brand in owned channels, like social media and on web platforms, as well as on paid channels. Using public relations practitioners to craft compelling copy and identify the influencers who can amplify messaging to the right audience leverages storytelling to its full potential.
What skill(s) do you believe are crucial to working in PR?
As we all know, the ability to build mutually beneficial relationships is key to successful media relations. Relationship building goes beyond being someone who invites journalists to fun events or hooks them up with free swag. We need to be able to identify the needs of the media we are working with and make it easy for them to engage with us. Responding immediately and bundling all aspects of the pitch serve to make you a contact they will rely on, and reach out to again and again. In my case, media know that while I represent specific clients they can depend on me as a Whistler expert who can connect them to the right resources for the destination, regardless of who my clients are. Being incredibly responsive and helpful results in more proactive outreach by media to me, which then translates into more opportunities to get messaging out there for my clients.
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