For journalists Trevor Young’s
8 Things I’d Do If I Was a Starting Out in PR Today (no longer online) is like the Poms getting hold of the German’s Enigma machine at the start of World War 2¹.
It means knowing what the enemy² is thinking and staying one step ahead – at least some of the time.
Young’s road-map is for junior public relations professionals. It should be cut out and pinned beside every agency or in-house desk. It shouldn’t. That’s old school thinking. It should be downloaded and stored on every PR person’s iPad or phone.
SIX – I would read every newspaper I could get my hands on, hang out at the newsagent and flick through as many magazines as humanly possible (without getting sprung!); read newsletters, swap radio stations, check out the array of cable TV channels on offer.
Traditional media is not going away any time soon; if you can ‘join the dots’ between traditional and social media, you will become a lot more valuable to your employer!
The advice applies to everyone, but journalists and PR people not reading everything in this way are in the wrong job.
- Point nine is learn how to write headlines in newspaper style, grammatically correct and without sticking capital letters on everything.
- If all PR people were as smart as Young, who cleverly brands himself online as the PR Warrior, we could drop the idea of journalists and PR people being at each others’ throats all the time.