We’re used to tours around here. Several times a week, a few people are walked through Risdall, stop in the PR department, and continue on their way through the building. But it isn’t every week that the guests stay for very long.
Minnesota PRSA’s Pro-Am Day changes that every year. A PRSSA student is paired with a PR professional, and spends the better part of their day job shadowing, asking questions and learning about the field. This year, our student learned about what makes a PR company work, as well as job finding strategies, how to market his resume, what belongs on a cover letter and strategies for contacting potential employers.
But it’s a day that teaches us in PR as well.
After spending a few years in the field, what we do is second nature. Working with a new client? Take the time to build trust and get to know what they do and how they do it. Building an integrated communications plan? Better talk objectives, strategy and tactics. Have a new product or service? Pitch reporters and publications.
Pro-Am Day forces us to think about what we do from a new perspective. It makes us think back to our green days, before a PR internship or full-time employment, and boil down our years of knowledge into the nuts and bolts. How do you talk to a new client? Ask as many questions as you need to understand them, what they do, and what makes them different, and know that trust is earned over time. Building strategy and tactics? Talk about what makes your client different, goals and objectives, results that matter and the best way to share their story – be that a news release, new website, media outreach and promotion, etc. Are you pitching media? You need to know what they cover, when and how to approach them, and the best way to follow up.
While Pro-Am Day is about the students, it’s also a chance for agencies to look inside and see what makes them tick. It doesn’t happen every day or every tour, but we’re glad it happens every year.