Finding someone to handle your PR can be tricky. Do you hire a writer? Should they have a business background? Is PR more of an art or a science?
To get you started in answering these questions, here are some of the most important qualities to look for in a PR hire.
Stories can shift and change within an hour. What was relevant yesterday could already be “old news”. This means your PR hire needs to be flexible enough to adapt.
“In PR, you’ve probably learned by now that a well-made to-do list can go straight out the window at any given minute. But don’t throw it out just yet. When assignments or requests from clients demand attention sooner, take care of them without forgetting about your original to-do list!” – Idea Grove
A good public relations person will be able to re-prioritize their day without skipping a beat – they know it’s all part of the job!
Honesty is an important quality for your PR hire to possess. They should be able to tell a story in a way that is engaging, yet truthful.
“It’s crucial that your reports remain clear and truthful at all times. Always ensure your statements address the situation at hand in the best and most elaborate way, without covering up or sugarcoating anything. Great PR pros are never afraid to speak the truth.” – Agility PR
Remember, the media is looking for a good story too! While overselling might work to get you press at first, you’ll find reporters less likely to work with you in the future if you’re misleading.
They Have A Background In Sales
It’s common to want to hire someone with a public relations background to handle your PR. However, it might actually serve you better to hire someone in sales.
“Typically, people with traditional backgrounds in PR are writers (or they wanted to be), and they will want to write newswires and press releases all day. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what you want—and need—is someone who can deliver a persuasive sales pitch and follow up with everyone he or she contacts. It seems simple, but it’s not.” – Cameron Herold
They Keep Up With Trends
Someone who is good at PR should have a handle on industry trends.
“A good PR person is engaged in the world and keeps up with the news in the clients’ industries as well as current events and trends and developments within our own “industry.” – Wainger Group
Curiosity is what drives someone in public relations to come up with the best story. Even when they’re off the job, they’re interested in what’s going on in the news.
They Can Tell A Story
While your PR hire might not be a writer, they must possess great storytelling abilities. Good PR is about making connections. It’s about drawing engaging conclusions from a vast and sometimes diverse set of data.
“Although you cannot make something go viral, you can drive the phenomenon of social sharing by instilling value and emotional relatability in your story.” – Business 2 Community
PR isn’t just about research and promoting facts. It’s also about an ability to understand what’s important and what’s not. Those in PR should be able to captivate the media with their ability to spin a tale. They should be clever enough to know what elements will stand out to individual news outlets.
PR can be tough. Someone who does it well needs to be reliable, honest and flexible. It also helps if they have a background in sales with a keen sense of storytelling. Look for these qualities, the next time you’re hiring someone to do your PR and you won’t be disappointed!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!