Bob Brody is an independent public relations consultant in New York City. A frequent essayist for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, he is author of the memoir Playing Catch with Strangers: A Family Guy (Reluctantly) Comes of Age.
. Doing public relations is an invitation to suffer mood swings all but hourly. Its akin to bipolar disorder. No sooner do you get a streak going winning awards, landing clients, scoring media coverage — than you lapse into a slump. Youre soaring high, then youre plummeting low. Take a deep breath. Repeat indefinitely until retirement.
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much less retain. So give the headlines,tempered with pragmatism and minus any and all delusions. Keep the faith and you practice better PR. Guaranteed.. Everything in PR as in life itself is a negotiation. You give me this,too). As in: I see possibilities here. As in: this is a promising proposition. As in: were going to get this done and were going to get it done right. I refer here,Excellence is a ritual. Indeed. So make your deadlines. Honor your commitments. Deliver on your promises. And remember that how you do anything is how you do everything.. And once youve asked your questions,do you learn in your communications,the less people hear,browser. Pleaseupgrade your browserto improve your experience.Now that Ive practiced public relations full-time for nearly 30 years and you know what they say practice makes Ive presumably picked up a lesson or two. So its time I shared some New Years resolutions that I make every year.. Its essential in PR (comes in pretty handy in life,ask some more. Then question the answers. Only rarely does anyone tell you exactly what you most need to know to do your job unless you ask. Nothing is as educational as a hybrid of curiosity and naivete.Only at considerable length,to be brief. The demand to be concise,I give you that. In the end everything theoretically balances out and everyone walks away happy.. Learn to get rejected without letting yourself. A renowned sports psychologist I interviewed once told me,the takeaways and the implications,by the way,all in short order. Do it until it becomes reflex.finally,to optimism based on reality,ironically enough,is never-ending. The more you say,the highlights,with colleagues and clients,
Likewise, I could counsel you to stay fast on your feet. I could warn that you can seldom be fast enough, that try though you will to get ahead of the news and even stay ahead of it youll always lag a beat behind, that the news is faster than anyone in PR will ever be, and just keeps getting faster. But come on, lets just skip that. I mean, I respect you too much.
. At its best, PR is the pursuit of truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We literally represent our clients in every sense. We should get at the truth no less rigorously than the philosopher, the lawyer and the novelist.
The best public relations professionals are like doctors. In meeting with clients, we must spot symptoms, render a diagnosis and recommend a course of treatment. Unless we do this, were just quacks.
rejected. Most likely, even if your pitch was any good, it lacked real news. or was too small or too soft or too close to other news going on, or the reporter was already busy with three other deadlines, or just in a pissy mood. Perhaps consult a dermatologist about getting thicker skin.
. Then, just as youre absolutely certain that youve communicated enough with your clients and colleagues, communicate some more. You can rarely communicate too much ideally youll stop short of either ad nauseum or ad infinitum but you can easily communicate too little.
Of course Im going to avoid stating the excruciatingly obvious. For example, I could advise you to be braced for anything. I could caution that you never know whats coming the next day, that news is always breaking, that a client is somehow always in crisis, and that unless youre ready for anything, youre ready for nothing. But hey, you already know that.
Never take it personally if your pitches to media are rejected