With a title like that, you know a session is bound to be packed. Especially at a conference for PR nerds – this moi, included. This session’s presenter, Virgil Scudder, outlined these ten essentials for succeeding in a PR position:
As Scudder argued, everybody has to write something at some time; professionals must be able to write adequately. In addition, we should edit everything we write. Everything.
Scudder suggested watching and studying the best presenters and practicing in front of a video camera. While visual examples are important, he also said to avoid using presentations as crutches Finally, use short, direct sentences and common language.
Read, read, read
Scudder advised reading newspapers, professional journals, PRSA case studies and even classic literature and autobiographies.
Professionals are humble and tactful, willing to share credit and accept blame.
Scudder stated that we should listen more than we talk; this process shows interest in others and their work. It’s also important to ask the right questions for drawing out information.
Know the profession
Scudder recommended studying successful campaigns and placement as well as asking questions of experienced professionals. Find a mentor and/or get involved in professional organizations and functions.
Know the media
What kinds of stories are of interest to what outlets? Ask journalists what they want, and be a resource for them.
Read business pages and publications and study shareholding earnings calls. Scudder also recommended investing and following one’s own stock.
Good work habits
Scudder suggested such habits include punctuality, reliability, openness, meeting deadlines, thinking creatively and volunteering.
Networking, as Scudder explained, includes connecting with others in professional organizations and in-house, as well as in alumni associations.
Scudder summarized by saying work hard; be ethical and do the right things. Our number one job is to be a counselor to our bosses.