3 Things I’ve Learned Working in the PR Industry

In life, we’re constantly faced with challenges that are meant to teach us valuable lessons. Some of the greatest lessons are passed on by friends and family, those we care about the most. However, 5 years into my public relations career, I’ve taken away key learnings that have not only empowered me to thrive in this fast-paced industry, but personally as well. 

Always strive to be a student of the news 

Learning doesn’t end after graduation. In fact, it never stops. Just because there are no more textbooks or standardized tests doesn’t mean we’re no longer students. Amy Power, our CEO, always encourages us to be students of the news. To stay curious. Curiosity breeds creativity, and in the PR industry you never want your efforts to appear stagnant, irrelevant or insensitive. It’s important to take in the world around us and that includes the world outside of our practice areas. While it might not seem like an impending recession will have an effect on your notable fast casual client, it could be an opportunity to present the brand as a thought leader when it comes to operational efficiencies or creating value-meals. Similarly, the appointment of local officials in your area might bring on new challenges or conversely open the door for new channels of growth. We will never know if we don’t position ourselves to continually learn. 

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce won’t solve all your problems   

In a world that is oversaturated with loud brand moments, it’s hard not to want a piece of the pie. However, in order to stand out sometimes we need to strip it down. Not every trend or culturally relevant moment aligns with your brand. And that’s ok. What’s important is being able to draw a connection between your strategies and your goals. If you’re struggling to see a return or feel your messaging has been lost in translation, go back to the basics. Sometimes, all it takes is using the power of storytelling. It’s what we do best. When all of the fluff is removed, what do you want your audience to walk away knowing? Let that be the driving force behind your strategy. Whether it means utilizing your media connections in the traditional sense of pitching or partnering with the next big celebrity icon, make sure you can answer the question – how does this bring me closer to meeting my goals?  

There is no such thing as wearing too many hats 

I’m not the only one who has had to explain and re-explain what I do as a PR professional. I started to think my elevator pitch was to blame. Then it hit me. It’s hard for people to understand what we do, because well, we do so much. The metaphor of wearing too many hats holds no truth in our world. As the creative needs of a brand changes, so do our job descriptions. While some people see us as just writers, we’re also event planners, graphic designers, spokespeople, influencer marketing specialists and so much more. 

For more about me and my role at The Power Group, you can read my bio linked here. 

– Brianna Vallelong, Senior Account Executive