How to Become an (Instant) Industry Expert

Once you commit to being a PR pro, you’re left to decide whether agency life or corporate communications is right for you based on personal career goals, interests, company culture preferences, etc. While some agencies specialize in only one or two industries when it comes to clients, many, including Dittoe PR, do not take that approach. And, in my opinion, that’s where the fun comes in.

 

Whether it’s day one or 1,000 on the job, agency professionals are consistently challenged to become experts in numerous fields on behalf of their clients. It’s not uncommon for a client roster to include everything from healthcare to technology to hospitality. It’s this kind of diversity that makes agency work appealing to so many, knowing he or she can work with clients representing a wide range of industries and services—making no day the same.

 

So, what are the first steps to take when you’re added to an exciting new account that represents an entirely new industry for you as a PR pro? It’s a given your agency and account team leaders will provide invaluable instruction and experience, but there are also many proactive and immersive tactics to conduct on your own to become an immediate value-add to your team and client.

 

Industry publications

When a client represents a new field or trade, it’s critical to begin consuming as much of that field’s media content as possible. It’s up to you to present news and storylines that spark industry reporters’ interest, and you’ll have the most success when you commit to monitoring these publications’ news feeds through e-newsletters and social media channels. In addition, be sure to read publications’ long-form feature articles to gauge their tone, recurring topics, and sourced insights to understand how your client’s voice and expertise can be interjected.

 

Content marketing

The content your new client marketed and distributed can present meaningful learning opportunities. Make it a point to inquire about any and all customer case studies so you can read about the company’s product or service offering and how their solutions benefit customers. Whitepapers and market research reports are also fantastic tools to understand the state of the industry in which you’re now operating, its challenges and opportunities, and your client’s recommended best practices. To get additional perspective, check out the content marketing pieces being produced by your client’s competitors.

 

News monitoring

Finally, for continued education, it’s important to stay up to date on the key topics in your client’s industry. Make it a point to carve out time each week to read the news and developments surrounding the topics relevant to your client. Whether it’s 5G wireless, artificial intelligence or an area of government legislation, this will provide more context and guidance as you frame up story ideas for your client. Tools like Talkwalker Alerts can be very helpful to deliver industry and competitor news directly to your inbox.

 

Here’s to embracing the challenge and landing exciting new clients that keep you loving life as an PR agency pro!

Tips for Successful Influencer Relations

Although it’s been around for decades in the form of celebrity endorsements, influencer relations is the latest craze in public relations and integrated marketing and is only going to continue to grow in relevancy. Rightfully so, too, because if done correctly, partnerships with influencers equate to a more personal approach to telling your brand story and thus generate brand loyally over time.

 

If you aren’t already incorporating influencer relations into your strategy, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Working with an influencer can result in a number of things, including increased website traffic, social followers, new subscribers, brand recognition, and hopefully product or service sales.

 

First things first, though: Spend time identifying your goals and objectives for a social influencer campaign, as well as a clear understanding of your target audience. Once that is set, you can build your list of influencers – researching to find ones that align with your brand, have an engaging follower base, manage a presence across more than one platform, and showcase the ability to tell a story with each post. Influencers come in many forms – from celebrities to bloggers to creatives – so look far and wide to find those that are most likely to positively impact your brand and convert into engaging customers.

 

As PR pros, we have been bred to run successful media relations campaigns. We understand the research and creativity it takes to consistently secure our client’s a spot in the headlines. Whether earned or paid, successful influencer relations campaigns require just as much thought, strategy, and personalization.

 

There is not a hard-and-fast equation to follow when engaging with influencers. Instead, ensure that these relationships are specific to both the influencer and the brand you represent based on the desired target audience, deliverables, and outcome.

 

Here are a some of our top tips for your next social influencer campaign:

 

Lay out partnership expectations up front. Social influencer partnerships are often set up as an exchange of product and/or payment for social or blog content. Proposing a clear list of expectations – timeline, number of and type of posts, etc. – will set the partnership up for success from the very beginning.

 

Take the relationship beyond transactional. This rings true in media relations, too, and it’s just as important with social influencers. Treat them as professionals but don’t forget to be personable. Engage with them on their core channels and build a relationship before, during, and after the partnership.

 

Do your research. As previously mentioned, the personal brand of the influencer should align with the brand of the company you’re representing. Spend time reading their blog, scrolling their Instagram, or watching their videos to understand what content performs well for the influencer before proposing a partnership. Every relationship and partnership should be customized.

 

One post is not enough. Work with the influencer to build a partnership that extends beyond one post on one platform. Opportunities that engage with an influencer’s audience repeatedly are going to have a higher ROI by gradually creating better brand recognition and by extension brand loyalty. In other words, consider monthly partnerships with options to extend based on the success of the campaign.

 

Create a social media budget. These days, most social influencers require compensation, so be prepared to offer more than just a product exchange. Set aside a percentage of your marketing budget for influencer relations if it’s an important medium for your business. There is always room for negotiatian but be careful not to discredit an influencer’s work.

 

It’s not about the follower count anymore. Influencers worth working with should have an engaging and loyal audience. Also deemed as micro-influencers, those with fewer followers may have a higher ROI than those with tens of thousands of followers. Analyze how their followers engage with their content – such as comments and likes – and the type of content that performs best for their audience.

 

We’re no strangers to successful social influencer campaigns. Need assistance? Contact us for a consultation.

 

Public Relations Summer Internship Call Out 2018

If you’re interested in experiencing PR agency life and gaining real-world knowledge and experience, then Dittoe Public Relations may be the place for you! We’re hiring public relations interns for summer 2018, and we want you to apply!

 

Here’s what you need to know:

 

Dittoe PR interns are responsible for assisting with the execution of strategic public relations and social media initiatives and contributing to the success of the firm’s clients, which span multiple industries. The internship position is an opportunity for detail-oriented, self-starters to develop a well-rounded public relations skillset in an energetic and challenging environment. The ideal candidate should have strong communication skills (both verbal and written), initiative, creativity, high energy and an outgoing personality. Interns will gain experience in media relations, research and analysis, reporting, writing and more.

 

Interns will be mentored by intern directors and work closely with the firm’s entire staff, from account coordinators to the company’s partners. Interns should feel comfortable juggling multiple projects and deadlines.

 

Responsibilities:

We are looking for paid interns to work with us on a wide variety of client projects, including but not limited to:

  • Drafting content including press releases, media advisories, media pitches, social media posts, byline articles, blog posts, monthly reports and other materials as directed
  • Carrying out special event planning tasks
  • Attending and participating in agency meetings, training sessions, presentations, and brainstorming sessions
  • Handling research and analysis projects in support of client objectives as needed
  • Delivering client-ready materials for each project assignment
  • Researching and developing comprehensive press lists for local, national, and trade media
  • Assisting with client, business development and management projects as needed
  • Assisting with administrative duties as assigned by staff

 

Qualifications:

  • Actively enrolled in or a recent graduate of a university journalism, public relations, strategic communications, marketing, advertising, or other related program
  • Previous professional and/or relevant internship experience (public relations experience is a plus)
  • An understanding of basic journalism and media relations skills
  • Solid, versatile writing skills in both creative and technical fields
  • An ability to be professional and personable in written and verbal communication
  • Demonstrates attention to detail and good judgment
  • Smart, creative, assertive, and innovative individual who thrives in an extremely fast-paced environment
  • Flexible and willing to collaborate with teams
  • Proven ability to effectively prioritize and manage multiple tasks and competing deadlines
  • Knowledge in social media, design, photography/videography are a plus

 

To apply, send a cover letter, resume with references, and three varying writing samples to Kate Stuard at kate [at] dittoepr [dot] com.

 

No phone calls please. Applications must be submitted by 5 P.M. EST on Friday, March 2.

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