Now more than ever, it’s important for PR professionals to be versatile and agile – to move between industries seamlessly. While developing a speciality in one area certainly has its advantages, the PR generalist is one of the most nimble and necessary communications professionals out there, bridging B2C and B2B communications with H2H (human to human) strategies.
Who is the PR generalist? They’re the professionals who seamlessly switch between pitching organic teriyaki beef jerky to hopping on a briefing with Computer Reseller News; those who, at the flip of a switch, can go from talking to a reporter from Teen Vogue to typing away on a bylined article on 2018 tax implications for the professional services industry. PR generalists do it all and love every minute of it. There’s a certain thrill to learning about several different industries at once, and a satisfaction to becoming an expert across many boards.
Why is being a PR generalist so great? The answer is simple: by easily maneuvering across industries we can offer more value to our clients. Because we are so adaptive, we can take any account head on. When you’re a PR generalist, you can pull experience from other industries and explore new tactics that perhaps may seem unusual for a given industry. For example, thought leadership is not limited to those who lead B2B companies. Consumer brand executives are also thought leaders within their respective fields, and possess expert insights that can be built into a PR program. When you’re a PR generalist, you’re leveraging the knowledge you gain across clients to build stronger, better programs for everyone.
How do you accomplish this? There are three cornerstones to being a PR generalist:
- Versatility | Don’t pigeonhole yourself into one industry or another. The biggest component to being a generalist is being open to every industry, no matter how complicated it may seem at first.
- Awareness | As media hounds, we do a lot of industry reading for all of our clients. Use this knowledge, which may serve you well where you least expect it. Learnings from working with one company could easily lead to pitch angles, campaign ideas, and more for your other clients. Don’t limit your thinking to just that industry and client — think broadly and amazing things can happen. Your teams will appreciate the new perspectives when it comes to brainstorming.
- Confidence | Our clients rely on and seek our counsel. In order to provide it effectively, we need to be confident. Be sure of your diverse background and share how it’s useful to clients and their business goals. The awareness you have of a broad range of industries will come in handy down the line.
This all sounds great, right? Becoming an expert in a variety of industries? Well, an agency setting is the perfect place to get your start as a PR generalist. One of the things I love about working at Matter is the ability to work with industries that I would have never considered pursuing if I had specialized early on in my career. Even if you’re not on a specific account, in an agency setting you’re able to leverage everyone’s knowledge to make the biggest impact for your client.
Looking to become a PR generalist? Or want to work with us? Drop us a line.