How to overcome 4 major PR obstacles

PR is changing.

Gone are the days of sending traditional press releases with boilerplate
and headshots to an entire media list. Gone, too, is working independently
of your organization’s sales, IT, marketing or HR departments.

This shift provides many opportunities for communicators who embrace new
skills and help extend the frontiers of the industry. However, it also
comes with challenges.

Here’s how you can overcome them, with help from speakers at our upcoming
PR Daily World Conference:

1. PR pros’ responsibilities are staggering.

Communicators now wear multiple hats and must keep current with digital
media trends, media relations best practices, crisis communication
strategies and measurement. Many PR pros do double duty with marketing and
social media, and the increasingly cluttered media landscape requires you
to be skilled in
writing, data analysis, marketing automation, strategy development andmore.

It can be overwhelming.

myriad sources are available for lifelong students of PR. You can read up on best
practices in industry publications and blogs, attend conferences and
workshops, network with others in your field, or take classes to stay
current or develop a new skill.

PR Daily World power tip:
Check out how Jake Jacobson,
PR director for Children’s Mercy, is
spreading tales of “brave kids” and “brilliant docs” through its patients, news outlets and social media.
Then learn from him as he shows how PR pros can tear down their organization’s silos and blend
strategies and channels to boost the bottom line.

2. Crises can come swiftly, thrashing your reputation.

PR pros have always stayed mindful of potential problems that could affect
their organizations, but because people can spread information—and
misinformation—quickly through videos and social media posts, an online
firestorm can take hold in a matter of minutes.

Recently, brand managers have dealt with the aftermath of hurricanes
Irma and
Maria; other organizations have scrambled to address the
mass shooting in Las Vegas. Many PR pros now have to worry about
President Donald Trump criticizing their organizations in tweets.

The way to quell a crisis is to
plan for one before it arrives.

That includes having an up-to-date communications strategy in place and a
trained team that’s ready to spring into action. Some organizations achieve
this by
running practice drills. When you’re facing a calamity, reference your plan—but don’t forget to be
as authentic and transparent as possible.

PR Daily World power tip:
Sharpen your crisis response with tips from Vanessa Picariello,
Norwegian Cruise Line’s senior director of PR.
She’ll show you how to validate customer concerns while sidestepping trolls and how to tell
whether a bad situation requires your immediate action.


Join us for PR Daily World Conference at NPR in Washington, D.C.
and save $200 off your registration

3. It’s hard to stand out in a sea of content.

Sixty-five percent of B2B marketers say that their content marketing efforts are more successful now compared
with a year ago. That’s great news if you’re trying to sell a client or
executive on why you should be writing articles and creating videos and
pictures, but it’s tough if you want people to favor your copy over
everyone else’s.

You can enhance your writing by
keeping your audience in mind, using active voice, cutting fluff andcarefully editing. Outstanding writers also
know how to say more with less.

With continued practice and an eye for what makes stories go viral, PR pros
can sharpen their copy and entice consumers to click on their headlines.
Brushing up on your writing skills can help you more easily land media

PR Daily World power tip:
Take advice on how to hook journalists from one: Amir Bibawy,
Associated Press’ editor of breaking news and digital strategy,
will tell you how to uncover stories readers care about, include visuals to complement your
prose, and comment on a breaking news story or hot trend with a fresh

4. Pitching is harder than ever.

As newsrooms shrink, PR pros’ opportunity to land coverage grows—but only
if you know how to meet reporters’ needs by pitching relevant stories that
their readers would click on.

Michael Smart says outstanding PR teams that pitch often (and well) land
roughly 15 percent of the time. Part of pitching well is standing out against a sea of emails: Fractl
reported that 40 percent of writers
get pitched more than 20 times a day.

Start by keeping your pitch and subject line short and sweet and by quickly
telling reporters what’s in it for them and their readers. Doing thorough
research can significantly boost your pitching success.

Many journalists want to get pitched via email or social media, and
some—such as HuffPost’s Alexander Kaufman—have their information
readily available:


However, Kaufman, who is a reporter on the politics team, probably won’t
look too kindly on your plea to cover your new tech product or agency
opening. Make sure you research more than your reporter’s name and email
before hitting “send.”

PR Daily World power tip:
Flex your media relations muscles by pitching a panel of journalists that
include Bibawy, Kaufman and

USA Today’s

Donna Leinwand.
Not only can you practice your PR prowess, but you can also receive real-time feedback on what works—and what falls

You can learn from these speakers and more at our PR Daily
World Conference at NPR in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 8–9. Save
$200 off your registration by signing up here.

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