The difference between a good organisation and a great one lies in the hands of the Gods–or as we like to call them here at MediaHQ, the PR professionals.

Public Relations is about building positive relationships with the public in order to obtain and maintain a good name for yourself and for your company.  PR effects and contributes to all major aspects of an organisation, and because of this, good PR is vital to its success.

There is no such thing as the World Cup of the PR world, and being the best in this industry is impossible–there is always room for growing, improving, and being better than your competitor.

At the start of 2018, MediaHQ wrote a blog post on ways to transform your PR for the year ahead. Here we’ve put together some simpler approaches to help you stay ahead of the game.

       1) Speak on a Panel

PR professionals pride themselves on their strong communication skills and ability to communicate well with others.  Which makes it so ironic that so many of them suffer from Glossophobia or the fear of public speaking. Public speaking involves standing up in front of a crowd, with all eyes on you.  Every word you’re saying and gesture you’re making, being analysed and judged by your audience–no pressure right?  The best way to not only overcome this anxiety but also become great at doing it is simply by practising.  The easiest way to expose yourself to the art of public speaking is by speaking on a panel.  This gives you the same practice as speaking in front of a large crowd, just in a more laid back and less intimidating environment.  

Not only will a panel prepare you for future work in the PR world, but it could potentially give you the same professional credibility and networking opportunities as public speaking in a career would.  

      2) Take a writing class

On the contrary, as important as strong speaking skills are in this industry, being able to communicate just as faultless through your writing, is equally as important. A lot of the time in the PR world, first impressions won’t come through a face to face interaction–emails and press releases are common ways PR professionals communicate to other people in the industry.  Because of this, your professionalism must shine through in your writing in order to ensure the credibility of you and your company, when your smile and personality cant.  In order to make sure you meet these requirements, we suggest taking a writing class to strengthen your writing and grammar skills– we guarantee you, you’ll learn a lot more than you think.  

Because it seems like such an easy concept, people forget that it’s the little things like grammar and punctuation that will make your writing polished and professional.

3) Mine social media data

As much negative feedback that society gets these days for being so addicted to social media, people in the PR world can use this obsession to their advantage.  With every post, like, and comment that the public puts out, there is a trail left behind by consumers that can be noted, tracked, and acted upon by people in this industry. With this information, PR professionals are able to research their consumers through their behaviour and with that can identify patterns and understand their motivations.  

By tracking your consumers’ social media behaviour, you are gathering valuable information for the growth and success of your company’s future.  You are able to see what works and doesn’t work quite literally by your publics likes and dislikes which is the most direct feedback a PR department can get.

4) Review content of media mentions

Closely related to the likes and dislikes of posts, PR professionals should also be reading the comments that their public post on social media about their organisation.  We all know that people don’t hold back when behind the comfort of a computer screen but this could actually work in favour of PR professionals.  By reading these comments, professionals can carry out more specific research on consumer behaviour. Because it’s easier for people to express their feelings about something Facebook or Instagram comments, their feedback is usually the most honest opinions that they have.  A single comment can directly impact important changes or improvements within an organisation, in order to provide the best possible experience for its customers.  

People want to feel like their voices are being heard, so by reading their comments and taking action, PR professionals are ensuring excellent credibility for themselves and their organisations.

5) Compare yourself with benchmarks

The PR world is a very competitive one.  You must always be aware of what is going on around you, especially when it comes to the behaviour of your competitors.  By comparing your own company’s staffing and results to that of your leading competitors, you are ensuring that your company is not falling behind in many aspects.  

By using a company that is similar in geographical location, similar in vertical markets and similar in social media audiences, you are setting realistic expectations for your organisation and its performance. This will ensure that you’re keeping your organisation on track, up to date, and a step ahead of your opponent, which is imperative in such a competitive atmosphere.  

By practising these 5 simple steps, you will not only improve your PR, but you will also ensure the success of your organisation and its reputation with its consumers.