By Callie Gisler
The Hoffman Agency, Vancouver, Wash.
For us PR professionals, learning doesn’t stop after we graduate from college. Our industry is one of constant change – new technology, new tools and new trends. As the New Year approaches, we asked Hoffman team members to share their most memorable lesson learned in 2014 and top PR resolution to pursue in 2015.
Lessons Learned in 2014
“One thing I learned in 2014 is that reporters generally receive hundreds of pitches from PR people on a daily basis, most of which are irrelevant to their beat. It’s extremely important to not only make sure pitches are extremely tailored, but also to thoroughly check that all contacts on a media list are appropriate for the pitch.” – Amanda Margozzi, San Jose
“My 2014 lesson learned is that no matter what you’re told, in order to be a truly strong, creative and happy PR professional, you must establish and protect your work/life balance.” – Kelly Stone, Vancouver, Wash.
“PR equally requires the ability to assemble a thoughtful plan of attack and the ability to adjust and adapt in the moment; based on unforeseen circumstances.” – Colby Reade, Vancouver
“I’ve always been told “Don’t delete anything”, but I’m all about cleaning up my inbox and computer. Sometimes I need to slow it down and think twice before I delete or archive things.” – Jacqueline Meyler, Canada
“My biggest lesson learned from 2014 is just how much the PR landscape is changing. The challenge is no longer getting people to write about your client, but having your client produce something that people want to read, digest and share.” – Giuseppina Chiaramonte, San Jose
“Never leave award submissions to the last minute.” – Lauren Ho, San Jose
“The best results take patience, perseverance and (near) perfect work.” – Michelle Favalora, San Jose
“The same old plan will yield the same old results. Great campaigns require stepping out of your comfort zone and building trust with your clients to go there with you.” – Kali Bean, Vancouver, Wash.
“The importance of media relations was reinforced in many ways and through many examples this past year. Its value can’t be underestimated, and it’s definitely alive and well in today’s ever-evolving media landscape.” – Carey Kerns, Vancouver, Wash.
“Your team is your best resource! Never be afraid to ask questions or request help when you need it. The people you work with can teach you more in six months than what you’d learn in/after a full year in the classroom.” – Callie Gisler, Vancouver, Wash.
“To grow in giving good counsel – rather than telling clients what they want to hear, continue to grow and learn how to best put forth what it is they need to hear.” – Jacqueline Velasco, Denver
“I am deadline driven – I am always working to turn things in on time, if not well ahead of time. But I’ve learned that it’s ok to take a second to step back, or even push back on a deadline, if it means you can devote a little extra time to make something as close to perfect as it can be before continuing down the to-do list.” – Erin Hartwig, San Jose
PR Resolutions for 2015
“Really push the boundaries for creative PR in 2015. That means taking on campaigns that seem scary or daunting, and not settling for ’good enough.’ I want 2015 to be about taking risks. Smart risks, yes – but risks nonetheless.” – Giuseppina Chiaramonte, San Jose
“To renew my focus on true Public Relations – facilitating productive, two-way communication between clients and their audiences.” – Colby Reade, Vancouver, Wash.
“Acknowledge alliteration’s awesomeness as often as is acceptable.”– Michelle Favalora, San Jose
“One PR-focused resolution for 2015 is to push myself to become more disciplined with looking at editorial calendars on a regular basis for potential opportunities for media placements. Although publications do not use them as often as they used to, they are still excellent resources. I need to set aside time from my very busy days to really dig into them more frequently.” – Amanda Margozzi, San Jose
“Become organic search savvy.” – Carey Kerns, Vancouver, Wash.
“My 2015 resolution is to continue to practice and believe in the genuine power of Slow PR.” – Kelly Stone, Vancouver
“I resolve to be a better writer – in 140 characters or less. Sometimes less is more and in an age of tweeting, being succinct is key and can help make content more viral.” – Erin Hartwig, San Jose
“To always remember that the status quo is the enemy and take more risks in terms of creativity.” – Jacqueline Meyler, Canada
“Double our client’s blog traffic by the end of 2015. More generally, I’m also striving to be a trusted mentor to those whom I manage in the Agency.” – Lauren Ho, San Jose
“Think outside the box, take calculated risks and, above all else, wow the client.” – Kali Bean, Vancouver, Wash.
“Never take ’no’ for an answer – some stories take longer to come to fruition than others. Building relationships with media and doing whatever it takes to see a story through to publication is worth the extra effort – even if the process does take months.” – Jacqueline Velasco, San Jose