Essential PR lessons from 40 years in communications

Public relations pros are often fantastic storytellers. This is especially true when it comes to doling out advice. Jot down this pro’s top tips from his decades in the business.

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This article was originally published on PR Daily in April 2016.

In communications, sound advice is invaluable.

Four decades of working as a journalist, internal communications executive, external consultant, university instructor and marketer have provided me with countless nuggets of advice from my various mentors.

Emerging PR and marketing pros should always tune in to a mentor’s advice.

Here’s a roundup of tips from communicators who have graciously shared their insights with me.

Be courageous and honest. Presenting, executing and staying loyal to campaigns requires these traits. Don’t devalue or hide from your advice. Far too many communications pros offer their advice wrapped in apologies; don’t do that. Instead, embrace and defend what you have to offer.

Here’s best piece of client advice I have ever heard:

Sometimes you have a PR problem. Other times you just have a problem, and PR has nothing to do with it.

Once in your career—at least—you’ll have to make a difficult decision because your client or colleague won’t understand that he or she has a “problem.” Although it isn’t a PR problem, this person will want a PR solution, and you’ll have to tell them the truth.

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