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.
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.
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.
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!