Six years of great DRPR memories...

This week is my last one at DRPR. After more than six years in this great public relations agency, I’ve decided to pack my bags in search of a new adventure.

So it’s not a surprise that I’ve been going down memory lane over the past few days… I’ve been reminiscing about the beautiful people and the weird ones I have encountered over the past six years, the fun but also the frustrating times, and, most of all, about all that I have learnt, shared and contributed to.

My public relations career has taught me a thing or two over the years, including some characteristics essential to survive in the industry:

  • Be selfless
    Public relations is one of those jobs done behind the scenes. It is never about us, it’s about our client. How can we help them be in the limelight? Likewise, when we propose a story idea to the media, the questions that must remain front of mind are: ‘What’s in it for them? Why would they care?’. Public relations is a selfless profession. Apart from the occasional pat on the back from clients and colleagues, the strongest recognition for our success comes from within.
  • Be strategic
    Working in a PR agency means handling a number of accounts at any one time, which can be quite challenging. Thinking and acting strategically has saved me many times from being snowed under a seemingly endless task list. One of the questions I’ve often asked myself is: “What is the one thing I could do that would have the biggest impact for my client and me?”
  • Be bossy
    Hmm… A trait of character I already had down pat! What I mean here is not to boss people around, but more to be authoritative. Our clients hire us because we’re the experts. So if a proposed idea, strategy or objective is unrealistic, it is our role to advise them to the best of our knowledge. 
  • Be a good listener
    Working in PR has reinforced in me the need to listen first and speak second. For example, one of our clients wanted us to focus on a particular strategy, but because our experience showed that a different strategy would work better, we charged in head first with our ideas and as a result, couldn’t address our client’s needs. Luckily, the issue was quickly identified and resolved.
  • Keep it simple
    From explaining what public relations is to writing media releases about our clients’ industries, the rule is: keep it simple! Simple words, simple sentences, simple key messages.
  • Blow your own trumpet
    If public relations is a selfless profession, then to go forward in a PR career we need to sing our own praises. This shouldn’t be too challenging for a PR professional – in theory!

Of course, public relations has taught me many more things than I can list here, but I’d be curious to hear from other PR professionals about what they have learnt themselves. So why not leave your comments here?

Oh! And if you wonder what I meant by ‘I’ve decided to pack my bags in search of a new adventure’, just head over here

By Kim Larochelle, PR Mentor

You can find Kim on LinkedIn and Twitter