Being a newbie in PR can be a bit overwhelming and intimating, to say the least. After 3 weeks at my new PR internship, I am quickly learning just how different learning about PR in a classroom setting is from actually practicing PR professionally. The difference is stupendous!
I’ve literally gone from the highest-ranking student at my university to bottom of the barrel employee at my internship. But guess what? That’s ok! Don’t shy away from the things you don’t know. Embrace them and research them! Going the extra mile to educate yourself about things that you’re unfamiliar with will determine your success in field of public relations. And if you’re anything like me, everything is something you don’t know.
Here are several tactics that I use to keep my head and maintain my confidence while making the transition:
1) Become best friends with Google. Google any- and everything that you are even the slightest bit confused about. Gaining a deeper understanding of things that confuse you will make you that much more prepared to dive into the assignment at hand. Learning things on your own also shows your supervisor(s) you take initiative in the office.
2) Look at criticism in a positive light. Any time someone above you talks to you about something you’re doing wrong, embrace it. Every bit of a criticism you receive is an opportunity to improve. Meet criticism with open arms and smile.
3) Don’t take it personally. Anything that you are assigned to write in PR will likely be sent to an editor, whose job is to rip your work to pieces. And trust me, they will do just that. Editors have a tendency to be blunt and completely insensitive to the writer’s feelings. That’s their job! Internalize the fact that even the highest-ranking authority figures in any PR business have their work edited and ripped to shreds as well.
Whether you enter the PR field with a significant amount of background information or none at all, like myself, conducting research about PR skills, PR tips, current events, or anything else you don’t know will always be vital to your progression in the field.
No need to be alarmed! Collateral material is just a swankier way of referring to information that is documented and distributed to the public in a paper format. Here we’ll discuss why collateral materials are useful in PR as well as take a closer look at some of the more common types of collateral materials. Let’s get to it!
If you have ever been walking own a busy street and been handed a brochure or flyer, than you have just been handed a type of collateral material. Collateral materials are another medium that PR professionals can utilize to reach target audiences. They are beneficial because they help to explain aspects of an organization, company, event, or situation in a simple and strait forward way.
Use collateral materials for two main purposes: to inform and to inspire. They should provide key messages directly and succinctly, but with some pizazz. The idea is to format the message in a way that will grab the reader’s attention, causing them to read the provided information and then for that information to inspire them to conduct further researcher.
Types of collateral materials:
- Brochure: A small booklet that contains information and pictures about your organization and its services
- Flyer: A piece of paper with an advertisement or announcement on it
- Fact Sheet: A piece of paper, typically used for publicity purposes that has bulleted information about a particular issue on it
- PDF document: Forms that can be downloaded and/or printed from the computer
- Direct mail: Unsolicited advertising sent to prospective participants through the mail
- Door hanger: Plastic or cardboard signs that are made to fit around a door knob and used for advertising purposes
- Leaflet: A piece of paper, usually folded, with information or advertising on it.
Public Relations professionals commonly use case studies to display business success and serve as a representation of what the PR professional can do for a prospective client.
A PR case study should describe a challenge or crisis that was identified and the organization’s action plan used to solve the problem. Most importantly, the case study should present measurable results and the overall positive outcome of the strategic communication plan.
Properly written case studies can set your organization apart from competition, and give potential clients a reason to choose you as their representative.
When writing a case study, remember that the case study attests to all you’ve done for a particular client. Be honest and consistent. Make sure to talk about outcomes and results because future clients may ask. Include photos when appropriate, and be sure to use refreshing language to keep the reader interested in the results.
Within the case study, provide measurable data in support of your success. Was exposure increased- If so, how much? Did the organization win any type of award for their product/service? What benefit did the organization reap because of your PR practices? These are the questions to be answered in an effective case study.
Here are some of Tricom’s case studies: http://www.tricomassociates.com/case-studies
Here at Tricom, we write every minute of every day. We’re constantly creating more content for blogs, social media accounts and other projects. According to PR blog Spin Sucks, though, 65% of people are visual learners, which means they learn through visual content like graphics, images, videos or audio.
Videos have long established themselves as one of the best ways to promote a company or organization. They combine the emotive strength of photos with the power of a narrative to create a very moving experience for the viewer.
The video below was created by GetUp! Action for Australia, “an independent movement to build a progressive Australia and bring participation back into our democracy.” The group promotes social justice, economic fairness and environmental sustainability. The video specifically promotes gay rights and the message “love is love.”
PR agencies can either use videos produced by other organizations or create their own to promote their specific issues and messages. If your client is a union, you could create a video explaining the purpose of unions for those who don’t know. If your client focuses on preserving the environment, your video could demonstrate the impact your client has had on various ecosystems.
Video content has a huge potential to motivate viewers to change their values, beliefs or behaviors -- which is the ultimate goal of public relations.