The top habits of highly successful PR people

It's already month two for 2020. Even if most of the new year resolutions have fallen by the wayside by now, here are some good PR habits one can continue to build. And some bad ones to ditch.

Sorry, not sorry 

Perfect Relations' Divya Tejnani starts off with doing away with a simple habit that really disempowers you. 

She says, "Stop being sorry for doing your job - be it, clients or journalists. PR professionals, at least in India, get used to saying sorry for even asking questions. It's very important to stop doing that."

Know thy tech

Its almost a cliche, but many PR professionals are still not too comfortable with tech PR or the use of tech in their daily work.

Use video for smart pitching: Anupriya Deepak

Anupriya Deepak, associate director, global corporate communications, Nielsen says wake up to data in 2020, explaining, "While working with tech beat, do not assume that they know everything especially on AI (Artificial Intelligence) and VR (virtual reality). A message is lost because of the inadequate explanation of technological complexities and lack of business perspective thrown in. I personally prefer to simplify but not over-simplify while dealing with technology-led PR communications."

Misbah Quadri, senior image manager, Perfect Relations concurs about the use of data, "Becoming data-driven in our approach and backing any information with data/statistics adds immense value to it."

Building smart media ties

The relationship between PR professionals and journalists will forever be fraught but many communicators believe PR bad habits are only contributing to the problem.

Don't be a PR salesperson: Mahima

The Pivotals' Mahima has some strong words for the ambulance chaser approach to following up on stories saying, "PR professionals are advised to establish face value with the journalist. This exercise usually promotes them from tele- caller to the salesman. One must value a journalist’s time and patience. No media calls or media rounds can be fruitful if the client or pitch can't offer news value. At the end of the day, a journalist’s reader is your client’s consumer who has access to information through various means besides the print or online news portal."

Deepak suggests using video pitches, "My personal experience while dealing with an international journalist is that they prefer videos with subtitles in their local market language."

Hari Prasad Gogikar, Concept PR recommends, "Promoting the newspapers on your social media platform as publications are losing circulation (resulting in shut down of some editions in recent times) due to internet penetration."

It's the business of your client that matters 

Don't multitask: Richa Seth

Richa Seth, senior account director, Adfactors PR says a key habit to instil is, "Know the business model of the company - which product line is the cash cow, what is the revenue and bottom line? Have the acumen to spot any business opportunity for the company that could be based on any new policy announced by the Government or any other socio-economic-political development."

A bit of design on your side

In a visual, micro-messaging world, Amulya Nagaraj, associate director, Pepper Interactive Communications advises, "Learn a little bit of design - I'm not talking about extensive photoshop or Illustrator. Communication today needs some basic visual support and a good design understanding can help one create simple infographics and other creatives that can help you stand out. There are enough tools that give you basic templates. You just need to know some elements of design to put together your story."

It is integrated communications!

Amulya recommends, "Tracking sectors beyond your own - a lot of us tend to fall into the trap of tracking only our sector. Working in silos is old! Cross-domain synergies are the new thing."

Bad Habits to ditch

Here are some of the key bad habits to ditch in 2020.

Anupriya Deepak says stop, "Sending press releases without a cover note or a personalised email. This is absolutely a big 'No'. Additionally, any long-winded quote from a spokesperson is also not going to earn brownie points from the journos."

Richa Seth says don't, "Multitask. We are living in the times of multiple screens that cause too many distractions, while we are working on our laptops, we are often distracted with WhatsApp or Social media distractions on our phone. Set aside time for a digital detox, start taking notes on a diary, plan on whiteboards, have more brainstorming sessions."