As a PR professional, we tell our clients to make a good first impression and work very hard with them so that they get it right! So how come we forget to apply some and a little more on ourselves. Here is an awesome checklist for an enterprising PR professional as they get ready to climb the professional ladder.
Dress professionally – comfortable and trendy. Don’t overdo either. PR professionals also need to balance both client and media expectations. Your dressing style should not be intimidating for the media neither too shabby nor non-conforming for client servicing. Confused? Take a clue from the media and client vertical you work with. Pick out the magazines or blogs that cater to their power dressing styles and pick out the best one that suits you. Make sure you are comfortable with the style you choose and it looks great on you!
Balance it. Wear a statement piece if you like but don’t let it overshadow your awesome personality. Let it reflect your style. Your bag is a very important part of your look. Choose one with lots of compartments so that you can organize your files, electronics, wallet and make up kit…and find it easily when you need something!
Keep The Names Straight |
In the PR profession, we meet a lot of people every day so keeping names straight can be a bit of a challenge. As far as possible try and match the names to the right people. Use mnemonics to remember the name if you like. It is always a good idea to ask them for their card on some pretext so you can re-confirm the name if you are in doubt.
|Dress Awesomely !
The best advice ever given is if you know what the name then don’t experiment. Nothing pisses journalists off more than you messing up their names or faking an overt amount of familiarity by distorting their name or making up a ‘cool’ nickname. Make sure they are all right with that before you start hi-fiving them with the new nicknames…unless you don’t want them to recognize you…ever!
Overdoing Smiles |
Yes … we are told to smile and be pleasant to everyone around – client and media alike. But there is a fine line between smiling and smiling too much. We don’t want to come across as people who are wide-mouthed at everything. Don’t try too hard to make everyone think you are pleasant. Just be yourself…your best self.
Stay Calm |
Playing with your ring, pulling at your hair or tapping at the desk. Not only is it annoying it also gives people the idea that you are stressed out or are doing something you shouldn’t. Your body language speaks volumes.
Pay Attention |
This is the most important rule if you want to make a good impression. Look at the person and really listen to what s/he has to say. It irritates a journalist no end if you keep checking your emails and facebook or your WhatsApp keeps pinging every 10 seconds. If your social media life is so urgent and cannot wait 10 minutes of your precious time then you might have just as well not come into that meeting with the journalist. If you are there for the meeting then be there 100%.
Inappropriate Jokes |
You don’t need to say anything and everything just to make them laugh. And inappropriate jokes are certainly not the greatest conversation starters as they are made out to be.
Ease Up On The Talking|
While you need to express your opinions a great and much-appreciated quality is also to listen! Let the journalist sneak in a question or two while you take a breather from talking about your client. Encourage them to question.
Know Your Journalist |
Before you go on rambling about your new Jimmy Choos to a journalist make sure s/he is interested and from the fashion vertical. If s/he is writing on the BBMP beat imagine how miffed they would be at the excess of luxury. If you are unsure then stick to safer topics.
Avoid Direct Confrontations |
It is okay to not like everyone you meet. This tends to happen especially at a media gathering like a press conference or event. But in the world of PR, you never know whose help you might need for the next story. So instead of putting the person down subtly plan cues with your team to pull you out of a conversation if you meet someone you dislike. It is best to avoid a direct confrontation unless it is an extreme situation. It is always a good practice to have hidden cues within your team. Baseball and cricket teams use it effectively. Who says you cannot.