Briefing Points Before Starting a Public Relations Internship

I was lucky enough to work at a well-reputed Public Relations firm this year. To make things easier for anyone and everyone that is interested in doing the same, please see below to get yourself acquainted with the job.

First things first, you will be assigned Four basic things that every Public Relations intern gets to do:

  1. Media lists

You will be asked to update Media lists. This may seem like a very trivial thing to do but its integral for every PR professional to know what journalists cover which beats from which publications. If it’s done right, this will help you get your basic PR learning in this regard.

  1. Media follow-ups

You might also be asked to make up follow up calls to journalists to get opportunities in getting coverage for your client. For this, make sure you write down a script with every possible question and response you anticipate from this conversation. Try a few trial sessions and before you know it, you’ll get a hang of it.

  1. Print/Online/Broadcast/Social Media tracking for your clients and their competition

You will be asked to either manually or digitally track the news for your client and competition. This will take a lot of your time but make sure you track properly. Take breaks when you can, don’t let this process get the better of you.

  1. Media Releases

To get yourself ready for this task, read as many press releases as you can find online. Try to understand the language and the framing used for them.

Practice, practice, practice.

Apart from these tasks, it’s extremely important to do your research about your firm, key members of the firm, members of your team, your client and your competition. This knowledge will help you add value to the team.

Likewise be aware of what is happening not only in your industry but all industries in the country. For that, you’ll need to read newspapers and follow web pages of regulatory bodies. This will help you become a force to be reckoned with in your team.

Be enthusiastic and make the right connections and hopefully your company will ultimately integrate you into their firm.

This post originally appeared on the author’s blog site.

-Ishaan Lahiri

Ishaan is a student of the Class of 2018 of the PG Programme in Public Relations at SCoRe. He has completed his Bachelors in Psychology from Ambedkar University, Delhi. He can be reached at Ishaan Lahiri on LinkedIn and @LahiriIshaan on Twitter

What Public Relations Professionals Do for Their Clients

One of the most integral parts in a public relations career is not client servicing but client delight.

Public relations professionals are hired to become an extension of a client’s team. Client’s work with us and depend on our ability to solve a challenges with our expertise. To win their trust, a PR professional must already have the answers and solutions in place before the client ask the questions.

A few things I’ve learnt about client servicing are:

  1. Firstly, setting clear expectations and painting a realist picture to the client.
  2. From time to time we must create graphs and charts of the goals achieved and share them with the client. These will help them know where their money is being invested. This also ensures that there is something to measure with and compare to later.
  3. Always, always keep the client in the loop of activities performed and the crucial materials. This way, everyone is on the same page with the goals and company messaging.
  4. We are playing the role of a communication consultant. Therefore, we should have in-depth knowledge about the industry and client’s company. Using this, we need to provide strategic advice to our clients which will help them strengthen their position.
  5. PR campaigns are successfully carried out based on a reasonable understanding of the client’s objectives, goals and need.
  6. In client servicing, it’s important that PR professionals work towards fulfilling the outcomes, as well as understanding and integrating the client’s needs too.
  7. Difficult clients do exist. It is a skill to be able to work out something that suits both you and your client. If reasoning with a client does not work, you need to adjust the plan accordingly without compromising on the main goal and targets.

The ones who master the art of client servicing will sail smooth in the field of PR and communications.

– Devika Joshi

Devika is a Management Trainee at Genesis Burson-Marsteller. She holds a postgraduate diploma in Public Relations & Corporate Communication from Xavier Institute of Communications (XIC), Mumbai and a bachelors in Management Studies (BMS) from Mithibai College. Devika loves to explore new places, and travels whenever she gets a chance. She can be reached at @Devika_J on twitter and here on LinkedIn.

Public Relations 3.0 – From Output to Outcome

As the saying goes ‘change is the only constant’. PR now needs to horizontally integrate and focus on outcomes rather than outputs. In the last few years we have increasingly, through insightful conversations, come across companies who were having bad experiences with traditional PR firms. The need of the hour is to address those ‘Bad Experiences’ through integrated solutions using content and advocacy programs as it helps fill the void and help companies achieve their goals in ways traditional PR has not!

The move into 2018 also comes with some new trends that are entering the marketplace and its high time that the industry pays attention to these. The rise of online has left many industries in a state of flux and traditional PR becoming increasingly digital is no exception.

Looking at some key learnings through this omni-channel landscape….

1.Digital takeaways- Digital public relation is measurable, immediate and produces easily shareable content. The realms of digital PR may not be as specified as that of traditional, but it can help grow a brand in an increasingly online world and make waves in a constantly evolving ecosystem.

2.Traditional PR is relevant- but with explosion in digital consumption of consumers, ability to think integrated and marry traditional PR with social media channels has become extremely important. With a smartphone camera in every pocket, with Instagram and YouTube, a part of daily life, visual media is now firmly entrenched in all communication tools. Such was its impact that media outlets feel a pressure to publish at least one image with every textual story, and data visualization exploded as a business stream, when only a few were expecting to take off.

3.2018 is about creating conversation and fewer press releases- The days of writing and distributing news releases, and then pitching media are in decline. While this process is important and still relevant, I’m finding that incorporating creative visuals in the delivery greatly increases the success rates of placements. In 2017, journalists felt the pressure to get social shares from their editors. So in 2018, PR personnel should ask themselves, “is my content shareable?”

4.How brands don’t distinguish between content, PR and social anymore- Earlier, brands communicated by talking about themselves. It was all about being introspective and showing what they were doing all the time — obnoxiously telling their story to uninterested audiences. Well, this type of approach is no longer valid. It’s not enough to talk about your brand — you need to create content and find people who will help get your content out there. Content is today’s king. Brands must understand that external communication relies on different platforms and resources, such as company blogs, social media and even multimedia content, for efficient distribution. Adapting a traditional press release to a much more visually attractive format may become the difference between success and failure. The era of infographics, marketing automation and thinking outside the box to create meaningful messaging is here to stay!

5.Expanding Skill Set- Need upskilling if you are in the industry and it is at the brink of something very exciting and relevant. Disciplines in PR have always been wide-ranging, and PR professionals have to be flexible and on top of current trends. This could include content creation, corporate communications, crisis management, events, internal communications, media relations, social media, reputation management and much more.

6.Paid vs Earned- Debatable? What part of the eco-system in PR, which is largely to be earned, is going to be now paid. For the longer run, editorial which was once an unadulterated stream, is peppered with paid, sponsored and blogger content. Its to navigate in this world of influencers and micro circles that can emerge as a new stream within the confines of PR 3.0!

– Komal Lath

Komal is the founder of Tute Consult – an integrated communication firm based out of Mumbai. With over 15 years of experience in communications, she has worked with an array of celebrities, international labels and brands. She holds a degree in Anthropology from Oxford University and completed her masters from MICA. Komal teaches at various premium institutes and is a speaker at several communication colleges and forums. She likes to travel and is a voracious reader. She can be reached at @Komall on Twitter and here on LinkedIn.


India’s Best Institutes of Public Relations

In the last couple of years we’ve gotten a chance to take a close look at several institutes of public relations in Mumbai, NCR and Bangalore – where (post graduate) PR education is provided or from where PR consultancies recruit. After studying various factors such as curricula, career prospects, affordability, location, industry connect, infrastructure, alumni network, we’ve shortlisted these five:

Read more “India’s Best Institutes of Public Relations”

An interesting week in the Indian PR’s Big Four

The week between January 29th and February 5th was historical and in some ways connected to the Big Four Indian PR firms in terms of the two key things that matter to Indian PR firms – Client Acquisition and Leadership. First, on Monday, the 29th January the boss man at Adfactors PR turned 62. A low-key day and business as usual, including client meetings and preparations were afoot for the big day that was coming three days ahead. On the same day, Edelman India saw its number two in the leadership moving out to be the Senior Partner (read CEO) at a leading risk consulting firm that has its headquarters in the UK.

Read more “An interesting week in the Indian PR’s Big Four”

18 things that can make us sharper and smarter in 2018

If there were a handful of things we would need to know to become sharper and come across as smarter, here they are. This is aimed at the under 35 professional but certainly would be of help to anyone over 35 as well. It’s 2018 and as a former quizzer I have listed 18 categories for one to beef up in terms of knowledge announcement. If this is not your cup of tea, then spend a day soaking in the Knowledge Factory on Feb 9th in Mumbai.

Read more “18 things that can make us sharper and smarter in 2018”