Good PR talent is scarce - How to nurture & groom to be best in the business

Public Relations as an industry has evolved and has become an integral part of business strategy, adequate numbers of skilled and experienced PR personnel to lead the PR industry growth is a cause for concern.

While this talent crunch needs to be addressed on an urgent basis, what is also required is to groom the existing PR personnel and equip them with the skill sets and tools to operate in a digital PR ecosystem. There are always ways and means and opportunities to encourage the young PR professionals in a systematic manner and nurture them.

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Today, PR has become an important communications tool which works in tandem with the sales goals and marketing strategies. To offer the best value to your client, you need to encourage your PR professionals to think beyond the mundane operations.

Here are some of the things that an agency can look at to keep their employees motivated and energised:

  • People are your biggest asset: In the PR business, your human capital is the core of your business. So, giving your freshers the right training is paramount and do not be in a hurry to make them face clients. Give them enough time to settle down before they take guard to strike their relationship with the clients. Keep a close eye on and review them every week and look at the progress and the challenges that they are facing. The senior leaders in the organisation should constantly talk to them to build confidence and bring in the belongingness within the organisation.
  • Know your clients better: This is one area that many executives in the PR business are lacking. Often no efforts are made to deep dive and understand a client’s business. One should know and learn the art of asking the right questions to their client. Asking questions will dispel all your doubts and you can work on your communications strategy with a very focussed messaging. More data points and research will always help in crafting a strong message. Hence, it is important to know you client’s business thoroughly and more importantly, about their competition to cull out the insights. Keep reading and keep alive the hunger and passion for knowledge.
  • Setting up expectations: Define and draw out the expectations so that there is complete clarity on what the employee is expected to deliver. Ensure that they need to understand and know the complete information about the client at all levels so that when they write a pitch note, it is compelling and enticing for the journalist to go for the story. Here again, one needs to work closely with them to construct a good pitch note for a story. So, teaching them the finer nuances and secret of good pitch story will boost their confidence.
  • Media Relations: In India, over 70% of the PR still happens through strong media relations. Understanding media is crucial, so the agency has to ensure that regular media visits have to happen to build a healthy media relation. Make them understand the complete media landscape so that they are able to talk to clients with confidence on media. Now, with the digital transformation they need further hone their skills to understand social media, which has revolutionised the media dynamics as managing online reputation need a different skillset.
  • Ideas & Brainstorming: Go out of box and look at innovative ways to pitch your story by sharing it on a video or presenting with infographics with your notes to make the pitch forceful. Such little extra things will make a huge difference in getting a very meaningful story out. Find out ways and means to grab the attention of the journalist. The organisation should also make it a point to encourage even the freshers to be part of any brainstorming session when ideas are generated. The young mind will always think differently and bring in a fresh perspective to the discussions especially for a new business pitch.

The PR industry will only keep growing and demands from clients will keep changing in today’s fast-paced digital world. So, to encourage employees and bring out quality talent, a strong work culture needs to be infused within the agencies. Motivating, encouraging and recognising the employees at the right time should pay dividends. Show them that the future is bright in this industry, and people who show the hunger and passion to learn and deliver will always be recognised and rewarded.


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