Matter Chatter

An AC’s guide to surviving PR

As I approach my five month mark as an Account Coordinator here at Matter Communications, I’ve realized how much I’ve learned in such a brief time. Yes, I’ve learned a lot more about media, pitching and press releases, but more importantly I’ve learned how to work in an agency. It’s an experience like no other and navigating through it can be tricky. I’ve finally found my groove and I think it’s time I share those learnings! So here are a few important lessons I’ve learned along the way:

1. Accept that your team won’t let you fail

One of the great things about doing public relations in an agency setting is that you have a built in support system, your team. It’s important to remember that they are there to support you, not to judge you or knock you down. If you have questions, ask! (See #4) No one wants to see you fail because we are all in it together. Utilizing your support system is essential to your sanity and your success.

2. Read everything… seriously, everything

I’m talking emails, industry news, press releases – everything. I can’t stress enough how important this is. Whether you are an AC or a VP, knowing what’s going on with your clients as well as what’s going on in the industry is a must. There will always be a million moving pieces and it’s important to stay in the loop. Keeping as up-to-date as possible will help to put those pieces into place and help you stay on track.

3. Keep track of your responsibilities

We all know PR is crazy and at times can get very overwhelming. Keeping track of your daily responsibilities is your best weapon in getting everything done. Having a visual list of to-dos will also help you to prioritize and gives you a sense of what else you can take on. How you keep track is up to you. Whether you prefer to use a white board, online calendar, or good ol’ fashion pen and paper, just do it.

4. Ask questions

It’s okay not to understand everything, but it’s not okay to just accept that and move on. If you don’t know something, ask! PR pros are a source of knowledge for their clients as well as their team members, so make it your mission to learn as much as you can. This seems like such a simple thing, but we can get in the mindset of being embarrassed when we don’t know or understand something. Do your best to figure out the answer, but if you can’t figure it out on your own don’t be afraid to ask.

5. Enjoy it

This is a big one. What we do is fun. It’s hard, stressful and at times overwhelming, but it’s fun! Those crazy days are exciting; don’t let yourself be so stressed you forget why you got into PR in the first place. The number one tip for surviving PR is to enjoy what you do. Remember that and you’ll be golden.