Getting a job these days is competitive and PR firms are looking for employees who can keep up with the high demand from clients. I’ve had to learn this quickly as I, myself, recently made the transition from the news desk to the PR desk. There are thousands of candidates out there trying to make that same move, so, it is critical that I prove my worth on a daily basis.
Funny as it may sound, the transition hasn’t been that drastic because the same rule still applies – “everyone is replaceable.” You know how you have certain sayings in your head that just never go away – well, this is one of them – and it’s well worth your while to repeat to yourself, over and over again.
Your boss can take away your job at any moment, just like your client can take their business elsewhere. Nothing is guaranteed, especially if you take your job for granted or if you aren’t careful about what you do/say, in person and, more importantly, online (just ask Jim Tressel, pictured above, among others).
However, there are certainly ways to make yourself considerably less replaceable:
Dress for Success
Yes, I’m doing a little self-promotion here for the last blog I wrote, but it’s pertinent. For example, as a news anchor, it was imperative that I dress similarly each day (even down to the details, like wearing my hair down instead of pulled back) because it created trust and reliability with my audience. No joke – there are actually studies to prove it.
However, at 919 Marketing, it’s a little different. We, like many anchors, are versatile and creative people…BUT at 919, we have a less structured environment where we can let our creativity – and personalities – flow. We also work with a wide variety of clients, so our daily appearance can fluctuate from jeans and flip flops to blazer and tie. It’s all about dressing for the occasion in order to build rapport with your target audience, whether that is with colleagues, viewers, or clients.
It’s pretty obvious how this applies to the media world. Your audience depends on you to deliver the news to them accurately, on-time, each and every day. It’s a big responsibility that requires you to be driven, swift, and accurate. Becoming a quality PR executive requires the same skill set (if you want more details, here are the 14 basic skills all PR pros need to have). Not only that, it requires a great deal of patience because you’re forced to find a balance point between the crazy schedules of high-powered executives and highly reputable media members. But, either way, it comes down to following through, on time, with the right information – accountability can’t be undervalued.
Stand Out From the Crowd
There are base qualifications everyone must possess to land a job as a news anchor or PR executive. However, have you ever noticed that the ones who have true staying power are those who do it just a little bit differently than the rest? I certainly have. Among the news anchors out there, Robin Meade is famous for her “Good Mornin’ Sunshine!” (a tag line she’s turned into a highly acclaimed book). And, in the PR world – one of my bosses here at 919 Marketing. She doesn’t have a structured system in place for getting media hits…and she (nor I – who are we kidding) isn’t exactly what you’d call “tech-savvy” (one of her favorite sayings is “put it in the Google”…and apparently she’s not alone), but she lands major national coverage because she’ll do ANYTHING it takes to get her clients in the news. Whether it is leaving 300 voicemails, taking a reporter’s call at 10 PM on a Friday, or personally delivering a box of donuts to a news station, she’ll stop at close to nothing when it comes to driving press. It’s that type of dedication, and quirkiness, that can make the difference between hired and fired.
Like him or not, as Simon Cowell, of American Idol, has said over and over again…you can’t be forgettable (but if you are, hopefully your boss isn’t as demeaning as Simon). If he could remember your name among the hundreds of other singers he heard that same day – in his eyes – you were on your way to success. Apply his theory to the PR world – if you can get the media to remember your client, your pitch, or your name – you must be doing something right!