In addition to reading The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, every good publicist should regularly check out the industry’s top PR trades. There is much to be learned from flipping through the pages (and websites) of the trades, and below are just a few reasons why you should find time to familiarize yourself with them.
Following industry trends. Whether you’re a CEO, entry-level employee, or somewhere in between, it’s beneficial to stay on top of industry trends. Being knowledgeable about industry norms for internal purposes – salary, benefits, etc. – and external reasons – the latest in PR measurement, newest tools for social media monitoring – will ensure you are recruiting and retaining the best talent and clients.
Gaining inspiration. No matter how talented and creative your colleagues are, there are other brilliant PR masterminds doing great work every day who don’t work at your agency. If a campaign is covered, it’s for a reason – read up and take note on what made the program a success, and what lessons and strategies can be applied to your clients.
Keeping in touch. PR trades make it easy to stay abreast of the latest industry news, including personnel announcements and agency new business wins. Naturally, you should want to know what the industry’s top movers and shakers are up to, but reading these articles might also be helpful for networking purposes. Have you ever found yourself wishing you had kept in touch with your supervisor at your first job? Congratulating him on winning a new piece of business is a natural way to reach out.
Knowing your media. Several trades offer media guest posts; in fact, PRWeek even has a semi-regular Journalist Q&A column which has featured interviews with power players from the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Financial Times, and Bloomberg BusinessWeek this year. These interviews are a great way to glean valuable insight on journalists’ biggest pet peeves, tips for forming a relationship with them, and which pitches work for them. While reading, absorb every detail possible, including the personal information they might share. The editor’s love for his pet might not be relevant to you now, but when you’re trying to get media to attend your pet-friendly event five months down the road, this tidbit just might come in handy.
The bottom line: no matter how busy your schedule, make time each week to read the industry trades and keep your PR IQ high.« TGIF: The Best PR Advice I Ever Got from Grandma | TGIF: Requiem for a Pitchman (and PR Master) »