Why it Matters by Priya Vaswani
Over the past 18 months, I had the opportunity to participate in Edelman’s Associate Enrichment Program, rotating through the Media Services, Digital, Health and Consumer Marketing practices. Having just wrapped up the program last month, I wanted to share what I learned from each practice that can make your life easier, no matter what your specialty is.
1. Follow a Varied Media Diet
Just because you work on a nutrition account, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep up with what retail brands are doing and vice versa! You never know when you’ll be pulled into a new account. In Media Services, I learned to challenge myself to consume different media each week. Spend one week immersing yourself in late-night TV and another reading food blogs. You will be amazed at how much you learn about whom covers what and where there may be opportunity.
2. Be Well Armed for a Crisis
In Digital, I learned that you should always have a protocol and approved messaging in your back pocket in the event of a crisis. Timing is key when it comes to managing issues. As you develop programming, anticipate issues that could arise and develop social media updates and/or a top-line press release, so that you’re not keeping your audience waiting for a response.
3. Maintain a Master Media List
Building a strong media list is undeniably time-consuming. While spending time in our Health practice, I learned to effectively use one master media list for the account I worked on. Organize all the topics that are important to your client by tab, including the relevant reporters, producers and bloggers for each. Continue to update it as you learn new information so that your list is always current.
4. Keep Up with Trends Your Client Cares About
Does your client want to boost their Twitter presence? Keep an eye on what other brands are doing in the space and pay attention to the site’s new offerings so that you’re able to share updates in real time. Through my rotation in Consumer Marketing, I learned that by staying on top of relevant trends, you can often be the first to break important news to your client, which will make you an invaluable source of information for them.
5. Understand Your Peers’ Strengths
The most important lesson I learned as I made my way through all four of these groups was to understand the capabilities of other practice groups. If you work in Digital and your clients want blog coverage, set up a meeting with a colleague in Media for fresh ideas and learn what their team can offer.
As PR firms continue to divide themselves up by practice, professionals can work in the area that is the best fit for their interests and become experts in that field. However, mastering one area shouldn’t stop you from seeking knowledge about other facets of the industry. What key learnings or tips have you learned from your cross-practice neighbors?
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