By Charlotte Felix
One of the things I’ve learned in life, is that it doesn’t pay to be a one trick pony. In Public Relations this is accentuated. A PR person wears many hats, all of them essential to making things work like a dream and it’s important to embrace them rather than be afraid of them. After spending nearly 3 months here at Suppagood PR, I’ve been delighted to discover some of the most important hats worn by a PR Person, and even don some of them myself as a PR intern.
Ze French Beret
You are an Artist.
The biggest task of Public Relations is to create messages that stick to the public. Hence why here at Suppagood, we Angels (and their Assistant), are known as the ultimate messengers. To do this, we need to take ideas and present them in the best light by crafting emails, proposals and pitches that are easy to understand yet get your readers hooked. It takes a lot of brain juice to make something stand out in today’s ocean of ideas. We especially take pride in adding personalised touches to anything we create or send out. But, making messages shine is not where the artistry ends. We also get physical by dressing up products and gifts, and even creating things like name place cards and other cute branding items.
You are a Private Eye.
Crafting the best messages takes some serious know-how. As well as know-what, where, when and why. So it’s imperative to research your client, the market they’re in, and who they’re up against. Get to know what your client is all about and see them from all perspectives. Getting started is easy - Google them. Talk to people about them, and of course, talk TO them. From here, it’s like taking an Instagram worthy selfie - find the best angle and work with it. Investigation doesn’t stop there. You then need to track your client - or in this case, track their coverage. I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming, but in PR there is a whole lot of tracking and paperwork to be done. Not to mention the countless calls and emails to follow up on media for coverage. But that’s what you want. The more coverage you have, the more effective your job is.
The Top-hat / Fascinator
You are a Social Butterfly.
See, now here’s the hat I must admit I was most excited to wear. As a PR person, or a publicist, we go to events with our clients to make sure that they are visible to the right people. Here’s where an outgoing and pleasant personality really comes into play as it’s your job to break the ice over and over again with new people. Use that smile like a pick-axe. Making friends at events is always a good thing, because you never know when you might need to call in a favour. On the other hand, when you’re the crew who is running an event, it’s your job to be approachable. You will most likely be the first person that a guest may think to turn to with their questions, so be someone you wouldn’t be afraid to walk up to.
Bonus Hat: The Hardhat
Bob the Builder, eat your heart out.
Being the intern means being crafty, because on top of paperwork, there will be lots of handiwork, especially in the first couple of weeks. In my time here I’ve played Christmas elf, creating a DIY Christmas display for a client’s event; done the handy-work in cutting up, folding, sorting and filing of a myriad of cards and documents; and assembled all kinds of IKEA office furniture (God Bless their comprehensive instructions). But that’s the beauty being an intern because doing the handiwork is the best way to familiarise yourself with the clients and media before getting into communications with them.
Interning here has been especially good, because the people here have been an absolute pleasure to work with. The learning and laughing never ceases. For one thing, knowing what tasks require focused time and energy, and what tasks you can work smart on is a real time-saver when it really comes down to it. And any PR person will agree with you - you need ALL the time you can get. Also, shoes. Get comfy shoes. Events mean A LOT of standing and walking (and sometimes running). So if you want to look cute, make sure you get shoes that are hella cute but also wont break your feet after 6 hours. In short, come prepared, be resourceful and always have your hats at the ready. It can be a roller-coaster but it can be a fun one.
A PR Person wears many hats - and luckily, I love dressing up.