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Six ways to grow your PR career

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The PR sector can be exceptionally competitive. By focusing on career growth, you could become eligible for promotions, increase your self-confidence, and be viewed more favorably by your colleagues. You may even find your goal-oriented mindset opens up options for becoming a mentor at your company.

Here are six actionable things you can do to push your work-based achievements to a higher level.

Work on your confidence

A constant goal for PR pros – no matter how long they’ve worked in the industry – is to get others to believe in what they are promoting. That often means delivering a pitch with the utmost confidence, whether the communication is written or verbal.

Consider asking a friend to give candid feedback to a practice pitch. Ask for specifics, such as whether or not you make eye contact, how often you flub a certain part, or if the pace of your speech is too slow or too fast.

Think about using virtual reality to help during the practice pitch. A company called VirtualSpeech brings simulated environments, such as meeting rooms or press conferences, for people in sales or PR. There are apps that analyze a speaker’s voice and give feedback, and some of these even have a distraction mode to help the user maintain confidence in challenging settings.

When writing a pitch, avoid words that convey doubt or uncertainty, such as “might,” and don’t begin sentences with phrases such as “In my opinion.” It’s understood the thoughts you’re expressing belong to you and you alone.

Finally, use tools such as Grammarly or Hemingway to check writing for overly complex sentences, which can cause readers to lose sight of the main idea.

Turn people into brand advocates

Having customers serve as brand advocates by doing things such as putting posts on social media can bring momentum to your campaign – especially if you are offering contests or reward programs encouraging people to get involved.

Brand advocates don’t eliminate the need for other types of promotional efforts, but they can help distribute messaging on your brand’s behalf.

Along with customers, employees – especially if they are on your PR and marketing teams – are natural brand advocates, especially on social media. Think about setting a social media policy to build trust with them, and then scheduling training to help company representatives understand how their public actions reflect positively or negatively on your company.

Helping to develop brand advocates, both inside and outside your company, can help put someone working in PR on the path to promotion.

Focus on professional development

A day in the life of a PR pro typically involves activities such as communicating with stakeholders, crafting messages, and using tech tools to help spread content. However, there are many more ways to develop a PR career.

For example, individuals can help demonstrate competency by earning one of several Google Ads certifications. Encourage them to spend their free time reading books about business or catching up on the latest news from relevant blog subscriptions. Webinars are also a good way to expand knowledge about a subject while engaging with others in the industry.

Utilize PR wire services

Showing competency as a PR pro means ensuring the updates you send to journalists and influencers have an expansive reach, thus allowing momentum to develop. When you spread the word for your clients, you’re also spreading their influence.

Plan to send press releases to PR wire services for increased exposure. Those entities already have established contacts with newsrooms and other content distributors that up-and coming PR pros might not have access to.

Leave old methods behind

Career growth connects to a willingness to explore new tricks and techniques for working with maximum effectiveness.

According to the 2018 International Association for Measurement and Evaluation (AMEC) Global Insights Study, 83% of the worldwide respondents – which included PR agencies – agreed it was time to rethink the basic strategies they’ve depended on for years. Otherwise, it might be impossible to overcome current challenges disrupting the PR sector, such as the rise of fake news. To start, become a modern communicator by implementing an earned media management strategy.

It’s time to use engaging, multimedia-filled experiences and smart audience engagement techniques to create content that’s customized for specific audiences.

Embrace new technology, such as virtual reality or artificial intelligence, which are increasingly being used to analyze data and help drive insights about customers.

Make the most of the conference

PR conferences provide opportunities to network with other professionals and gain new perspectives. Career opportunities may emerge while chatting to a fellow marketer over coffee or during a networking break. Make sure to “link in” to any new contacts, and to conference with presenters as well – they are often people that are well known in the industry and can offer mentoring opportunities.

Finally, use the conference to learn about the newest trends and technologies, which can also be leveraged to further career opportunities.

Career growth helps you remain relevant and allows you to stay abreast of developments in the field. It can also lead to greater personal satisfaction, allowing you to achieve things you might not have thought were possible. By following these six suggestions, you can get started on the path to self-betterment.

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