December 27, 2016
/ by Julia Rabin
This year, I got to join the staff writing the Behind the Headlines segment and began brushing shoulders (or exchanging emails) with some of the biggest influencers, movers and shakers of the journalism and PR industries.
Looking back on the 2016 segment gives us a snapshot of thought processes, lessons, and insights from a variety of journalists, VP of Communications, PR professionals, communications directors and more. Each person provided a unique story, advice and important lessons — if you haven’t checked them out yet, I encourage you to do so here!
It was hard to pick a top ten, as we spoke with a vast number of insightful and successful individuals. But, I did my best. What would your top ten be?
Below are some of the biggest themes and my favorite quotations from this year!
This might have been the biggest theme from 2016 interviews — if you want a journalist to respond to your PR pitches, you need to explain why the news is important and relevant. Understand the person, their interests, their past coverage and be strategic and selective when you choose what to pitch and when.
As soon as you start presuming you have every answer, you start failing your clients, consumers and audiences. Bring your unique perspective so that you can ask the right questions and best interpret those answers. Always be curious.
With so much content and noise, a brand is well served by engaging with others – – credible experts, consumers, and more. Utilize paid, earned and owned media strategically to project your voice in the marketplace.
Crisis situations are inevitable and always seem to pop up when you least expect it. This year, we were reminded that investing time and resources into preparation for that moment allows you to be in the most effective position to quickly and properly respond .
When working in a global marketplace, every word you use must be intentionally crafted for the specific audience, platform and culture. As communicators, we all take language seriously, but sometimes we need the simple reminder that every single word makes a difference.
We’ve asked around for the key features of a successful communication strategy and time and time again we’ve heard the same two words: alignment and consistency. The messages need to be consistent across the company’s channels and they need to align with the business strategy and mission.
Technology and communication tools are constantly changing, with consumers finding themselves bombarded by information on every side. To stay relevant, you have to always be thinking a few steps ahead and be ready to catch every new trend.
As someone new to the industry, I was always asking and looking for advice from those who have been successful. The biggest takeaways: be a sponge, constantly learn, take risks, be present, be a problem solver, take initiative, and find ways to make yourself indispensable.
Social media has transformed (and will continue to transform) PR and the ways we communicate, likely in unpredictable and unprecedented ways. Create a presence that is informed, authentic, and engaged.
It’s one of the cornerstones of storytelling, and it’s true whether you’re a journalist looking for a story or a PR professional looking for a new angle: it should always go back to some universal human truth. This makes a story relevant, evokes emotions, and helps an audience connect, care and eventually be motivated to action.
Cheers to lessons learned and another full year of lessons, insights, and growth ahead!
Images via Pixabay: 1 , 2, 3
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