Starting a career in Music PR can be tough! You have to build up your contacts, clients and knowledge. To help you on your journey Catherine Smiles, Founder of Smiles PR, put together her 10 top tips for making it in Music PR.
A curios PR = PR pro. Never stop being curious! You have to continue learning in order to stay at the forefront of the industry. I have been in PR for nearly 8 years and even just yesterday I learnt something new.
Always know what going on in the news agenda
It’s all well and good reading your favourite blog everyday but as a PR you are supposed to be an expert in the story, the media and the news. How you can be an expert if you don’t know what is happening day to day? Read the newspaper (the very least the Metro & Evening Standard) then stay on top of sites like Yahoo, Huffington Post, Guardian and the BBC. Keeping up with what they are all writing about on a daily basis.
Never make the same mistake twice
You will make mistakes. We all make them and if you don’t then quite frankly you are not human. The key to your continued learning and improvement is to take note of the mistakes you make and ensure you never make the same one twice. I remember some huge mistakes I made when I was on the come up as a baby PR. At the time they were horrendous and I wished the ground would swallow me whole. But I can remain confident in the fact that I have and never will make any of those mistakes again.
Attention to detail
This one is fairly simple. Sloppy mistakes is the quickest way to lose your audience i.e. the journalist. Always read and re-read your work. Mistakes can really affect your credibility as a PR because you are essentially supposed to have a high command of the English language.
Learn how to manage your time effectively. As a PR (especially one working for an agency and not in-house) you have to know how juggle. The workload can increase exponentially in a single day, and you need to know how to manage the expectations of your clients.
For every campaign always ensure you establish objectives, strategy and tactics.
Objectives are what you need to achieve.
Strategies are how you plan to achieve the objective
Tactics are the actions you take to achieve the objective.
You have to become a writer overnight so make sure you learn, learn, learn!
Writing is critical to your job as PR. There is always a report, a press release, a biog, a pitch, a deck (presentation) around the corner for you. Take a course if you need to, because you will be doing a lot of writing!
Learn to stay level-headed in crisis
Depending on your PR practice you may or may not deal with crises. However in some practices more than others, difficult situations can arise all the time. Be the person who is calm and collected and problem solves with ease. Never lose your cool/be frantic especially in front a client. Always focus on solving the problem.
Think outside the box
The normal typical PR approach may not always work for your client. Here is where your ability to be flexible comes in. Find unique and different ways to get your client in the news agenda, plug them into different areas of the media that different from the regular channels. Always think about how you can maximise PR in ways that isn’t the same at every other PR.