Dr. Joyce Aryee’s nuggets for young PR Professionals (2)

Mama

…Continued from Dr. Joyce Aryee’s nuggets for young PR Professionals (1)

  • Be a PR advocate

In Ghana, PR continues to suffer from an image problem. Due to this, professionals are either overlooked at times, their contributions trivialized or delegated to the background. In some organizations, PR does not even have a seat at the management table.

Young professionals must, therefore, be advocates for the profession and the best way to ensure that this is possible is by being an outstanding PR professional. Added to this, you must ensure you dispel some of the myths and misconceptions about PR practice in the country.

  • Learn how to build quality Relationships

PR is not adversarial communication. Our profession is all about building relationships with a wide range of stakeholders.

As a professional, you must be able to establish and nurture relationships before you ever need them; especially with Journalists. You must also be able to network with professionals from other professional backgrounds.

  • Be intellectually curious

Reading and becoming intellectually curious should become second nature. Young professionals should develop the habit of seeking to broaden their scope on different subject matters and not just what they do.

Always seek to acquire new information; as this helps you keep up to date with the trend.

  • Have a passion for the Profession (Be dedicated)

For many young professionals, the thought is that PR is an 8-5 job. That perception is erroneous because the profession demands a lot of dedication. So, young professionals should be ready to go the extra mile; sometimes leaving work very late or sacrificing their weekends.

Again, in their quest to stand out, professionals must seek to be relevant and make their organizations the best.

  • Integrity, Authenticity, and Transparency is key

Concepts such as Integrity, authenticity and transparency have become very key in modern day PR.

With the emergence of the internet and social media, you can spin or lie all you can and it will come back to haunt you. As a professional, always dare to be on the side of truth and be transparent in the discharge of work. The truth is not always palatable but it endures.

Again, you must be authentic as a professional. Know your strengths as a professional and leverage them. No matter what you do, remember you will not be like the other person.

  • Have a Servant’s heart

Professionals should be effective and efficient. They should be a resource that people can come to for information and someone who supports others. This doesn’t mean you should be a doormat but you should develop a servant’s attitude towards work.

Additionally, be generous with information and give back to your immediate community when necessary. You must learn to share. After all, they say sharing is caring.

  •  Develop a Personal Brand (don’t forget proper grooming)

The business of influence will demand that you represent your organization most of the time. So, whatever you do or say to a large extent impacts on the organization.

Young professionals must, therefore, ensure good grooming and etiquette at all times. You must develop a personal brand and this should often be in direct relation to what your organization you represents.

Dr. Joyce Aryee’s nuggets for young PR Professionals (1)

Mama

Charting the dangerous waters of Public Relations (PR) as a young professional can be very daunting and comes with its challenges. Nonetheless, when someone with a rich and achievement-laden background of the industry shares insights with you, it’s always refreshing and makes the journey a bit easy.

Somewhere this year, I was privileged to sit in a meeting where Dr. Joyce Aryee, former CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Mines and Executive Director of Salt and Light Ministries, shared some thoughts with fledging Communicators and PR professionals.

Last week, a PR student asked me for advice and I fell on what she shared with us. Today on my blog, I equally share with you excerpts of Dr. Joyce Aryee’s advice to young PR professionals; seeking a place under the sun; as far as the PR landscape is concerned.

  • Listen

PR is about people, what they mean to organizations and what organizations mean to the people we work with. Therefore, it demands that you do a lot of listening.

You must be able to find out and focus on key conversations, and put down any information which will be beneficial or crucial to your organization or whoever you represent. PS: The rule is never pretend to be listening. Listen and Act.

  • Know the Cultural context

A lot of what we do as PR professionals involves interacting with stakeholders and key publics on behalf of our clients or organizations.

Therefore to be successful at what you do, you must know and take into account the cultural setting.You must also be able to understand and speak the local language or lingo of the communities you serve. This is one of the ways you can be able to connect with them for the desired outcome when PR campaigns are concerned.

  • Embrace Measurement

In time past, public relations has been the Cinderella among her two sisters – Advertising and Marketing. This is often due to the fact that professionals have not been able to provide quantifiable results.  But in recent times, it has become imperative to back findings and conclusions with statistics.

Data remains your best ally at the table of management. Don’t do things just to do them but you must measure them in the end and tweak  your efforts for the desired results.

This is the only way to ensure that you can become successful as a 21st century professional. You will need to need to learn how to calculate growth and decline and advise management on the way forward.

Remember, you cannot manage what you don’t measure.

  • Carve a niche

To become relevant where you are as a practitioner, you need to become a subject matter expert. It is good to be a jack of all trades but equally important to be a master of one area of the public relations discipline.

What we have seen in times past is many public relations generalist but few specialists. As a professional seeking to stand out, you must find a niche, live it and  become the go-to expert, when professionals are needed to speak on it or assist organizations in that area.

  • Hone your Writing skills

In PR, how you write is how you are perceived. As a professional, you must be able to articulate you thoughts and ensure that what you write effectively communicates the desired message. If what you write makes sense in your head but your audience cannot understand or relate to what you have written, then your writing is ineffective.

Furthermore, learn how to write well across different mediums; from letters, pitch emails, press releases to creative content.

  • Master Social Media and new Technology

It is an undeniable fact that social media has come to stay and it presents opportunities to  generate leads, expand networks and amplify an organizations brand.

Professionals should understand the different forms available  and use it regularly to create advantage for their organization when it matters. Despite its benefits, do not let the fear of missing out make you an obsessive social media communicator. It is a tool, so use it effectively.

Furthermore, have a strong desire to learn about new technology. Technology has evolved a lot in the last decade and professionals need to embrace this change. Learn how to use RSS, Vlogs, Blogs, etc and apply them to your job when required.

…Find out more about Dr. Joyce Aryee’s nuggets for young PR professionals in my next blog.