Super Pro: Real-Life Powers of the PR Elite

As I sat in the airport at 5:30 a.m. one brisk Tuesday morning, I sincerely wished that I could fly – or even better, teleport – to my next destination.  Alas, I had no such abilities.  So to pass some time, I started to think about the real-life super powers I believe successful PR pros exhibit.  Here are some of my favorites.

Charm Speak:  This first power is no surprise, as words are some of our most powerful allies. To work in the PR industry, you must have strong communication skills.  But to excel in it, you have to be able to captivate and influence others quickly.  A charm-speaker does just that, painting compelling stories and building key relationships with every turn of phrase.

Telepathy:  “I wish I could just read his/her mind!”  We’ve all uttered this phrase before.  Unfortunately, you can’t read your boss’, clients’ or reporters’ minds.  However, you can know them well enough to anticipate what they want, whether it’s a simple call agenda or a group of power players for an attendee list.  This type of telepathy is a huge value as it eliminates last minute scrambling and also builds trust.

Power Mimicry:  A power mimicker doesn’t just admire great abilities in others, but copies or absorbs them.  If he wants the confidence of a CEO, he simply takes it with one touch.  In the real world, this is much more of a give and take, involving observation and proactively asking others to gain new knowledge.  It won’t be instant, but the extra time will be worthwhile in the long term.

Regeneration:  In the literal sense, regeneration is all about physically healing.  This industry may be tough, but there won’t be any aliens with weapons coming for you.  Instead, you have to have to be ready for brutal honesty and potential criticism of your work from clients, consumers and the media.  It can be uncomfortable, but the ability to restart after failure (large and small) is essential to survival and, ultimately, success.  Just take it from these real-life examples.

Marvel won’t be making any movies about our super powers anytime soon, but it’s worth looking at the special characteristics you already possess.  Tell us what YOUR hidden PR super power is or which power you wish you had in the comments section below.  You can also tell us on Twitter, just mention @PPRA.

This post was written by PPRA member Christine Guerrini. Christine is a marketing specialist for social media with Aramark’s Higher Education line of business. In this role, she is responsible for the innovation, scaling and analysis of national social media programs. Christine also has previous experience in public relations agency settings, working with a diverse client roster from Verizon Wireless and IBM’s ACM ICPC to the Salvation Army. Connect with Christine on Twitter (@CMGuerrini) or http://www.linkedin.com/in/christineguerrini.

It’s PPRA Awards Season

Although PR practitioners spend most of their time behind the scenes, there are still ways for the best professionals in our industry to stand out from the crowd. Each year, the Philadelphia Public Relations Association recognizes our region’s most talented, passionate and promising PR professionals — honoring one standout student and one exceptional young professional.

The Dr. Jean Brodey Student Achievement Award is awarded annually to a college junior or senior who has exhibited outstanding professional promise in the field of public relations, has an excellent academic track record and contributes to his or her community.

The PPRA Fast-Track Award honors a member of PPRA who has made great contributions to the organization, profession, the community and who exemplifies PPRA’s vision for the future.

Nominations for both the Dr. Jean Brodey Student Achievement Award and the PPRA Fast-Track Award are due May 2, 2014. You can find more information on the awards and the nomination forms here.

Who Should Be Your Spokesperson In A Crisis?

A recent PR Daily post on choosing the correct person to serve as a spokesperson during a crisis compared the topic to developing a successful sports team. The author of the article argued that when your organization is faced with a crisis, your best bet is to have both star players and strong people on the bench.

As stated in the PR Daily post, an organization usually has three options when they choose a spokesperson to represent them during a crisis.

  1. The CEO - CEOs often want to be the only voice when trouble strikes, but this is usually not the best option. In these situations, CEOs should be managing the crisis and business operations. If a CEO misspeaks early in the crisis, he or she loses credibility and undermines the reputation of the organization. For these and other reasons, it may be a better idea to bring your CEO in as a spokesperson several hours into the crisis.
  2. The PR Person - A public relations representative can serve as a great spokesperson, particularly during the early hours of a crisis when the media and the public are looking for information. The PR person should be a member of the crisis management team and should lead the crisis communications team. He or she should be prepared to make an initial statement where the crisis is acknowledged, basic facts are provided, and a promise to deliver more information is made.
  3. A Variety of People - Though PR representatives are a solid choice when it comes to picking a spokesperson, they don’t have to be the only voice during a crisis. The PR person can speak during the first hour of the crisis, followed by a subject matter expert, and finally the CEO. Media training can help you determine who your key representatives should be.

No matter who your organization chooses as a spokesperson, you should always make sure that he or she has taken part in intense media training. Sending an untrained person out to represent your organization in a crisis is only asking for more trouble.

Who do you think would make the best spokesperson for your company during a crisis?

 

Philadelphia: The City of Brotherly Bandwidth

It’s Philly Tech Week, and PPRA is hosting the perfect event to help PR pros celebrate! Join the Philadelphia Public Relations Association on Thursday, April 10 for “City of Brotherly Bandwidth” – a look at the region’s tech sector and its public relations opportunities.

Philadelphia’s tech economy is growing, with players ranging from emerging start-ups to robust firms.  Our city is even home to Comcast, one of Philadelphia’s first start-ups that is now a global media and technology company. The growth of the tech industry here presents big opportunities for synergy and collaboration between Philadelphia’s public relations and technology communities.

Panelists Include:

• Sam Schwartz: Chief Business Development Officer – Comcast
• Darren Hill: Co-Founder & CEO – WebLinc
• Alex Hillman: Founder – Indy Hall
• Elliot Menschik: Managing Director – DreamIt Health; Founder – Venturef0rth
• Rick Nucci: Serial Tech Entrepreneur; President – Philly Startup Leaders

This is your chance to learn more about Philly’s tech scene and  how you can get involved in telling this community’s stories to a broader audience. Don’t miss out - Register Now!

 

It’s All About Who You Know

As a PR professional, you already know the importance of building a strong network. Now, PPRA is giving you the chance to help your network of fellow PR pros (and yourself).

Our Member-Get-A-Member Program is back by popular demand!

All you have to do is share the benefits of a PPRA membership with those you know and get them to mention your name on their membership application! When you recruit a new PPRA member between now and September 30, 2014, you’ll be entered to win a $100 Garces Group gift card.

For more information, contact PPRA at info@ppra.net.

Rules: Member-Get-A-Member runs from April 1, 2014-September 30, 2014. Persons who join PPRA during the promotion period will have their membership extended until August 31, 2015.. The campaign applies only to new members, not those currently enrolled.