7 principles of successful PR pros

If you keep your word, read a lot, and treat others with dignity, you’re on your way to a long career in public relations.

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Let’s consider principles. I can’t say these will work for you. I can only say they have worked for me. I call them principles to succeed in PR, but they may be relevant for those in other industries.

My seven principles are:

1. Your word is everything. If we give our word, we must keep it. It’s a choice. I tend avoid absolutes (“never,” “always”) in PR because there are almost always exceptions. But when it comes to our word, there are no exceptions. We either keep it or we do not—there’s no in between.

2. Choose persuasion over manipulation. Critics might argue semantics, but I believe the contrast is stark. Aim to convince people your idea is so compelling it merits interest, rather than try to fool bloggers or reporters for a quick hit.

3. PR is a marathon, not a sprint. PR is not a quick hit. It usually doesn’t happen fast. It happens over time, and snowballs with momentum. Whether you work for a corporation or an agency, we must manage expectations to allow time for us to persuade.

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