There’s no such thing as a normal day for public relations professionals. From drafting press releases and pitching the media to managing social media accounts and responding to crises, our work varies according to client needs and many factors beyond our control.
At first glance, many of our day-to-day activities may seem unrelated, such as advising clients during a crisis and developing entertaining graphics to share on social media. Yet, there is a thread that ties together all the work we do, glue that binds the various aspects of our profession—helping others own their stories and tell them.
First and foremost, owning your story means getting in the field. We often counsel prospective new clients considering a public relations program that sitting on the sidelines means sacrificing the opportunity to speak for yourself. While tactics and strategies may differ on issues such as which mediums to use and how to engage with each audience, they are all designed to allow you to take control of your own story.
Just as crucial as agreeing to get in the game is determining a strategy—which means understanding yourself and developing a message. This phase of the process is naturally self-reflective and allows you to deeply assess your company’s mission and decide how you wish to be perceived. All that follows —content creation, interviews, social media—flows from first determining for yourself what your story is.
There are many challenges that firms face throughout this process, but it is important to take risks and meet your audience where they are. For example, many companies have trepidation about launching a social media presence, but if your customer base is active on social media it’s important to speak to them there. Moving outside of your comfort zone to amplify your message is vital in owning it where it counts.
Fully developing and actively owning your story takes time, but it’s important to always push forward. Don’t become discouraged if a particular strategy or effort is less fruitful than expected—take both successes and disappointments in stride and be sure to learn from them.
Although presented in the context of businesses, these lessons can be applied at the individual level as well. Each of us has a story to tell—one that explains who we are, what we value and how we view the world around us. From personal and professional interactions to social media activity—we can all benefit from these key PR lessons.
Own your story.