Gerard Corbett

Benchmarks of Successful PR Professionals

By: Gerard Corbett | December 29, 2015 | 
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Benchmarks of Successful PR Professionals

By Gerard Corbett

Much continues to be penned on the role of public relations and how the field has changed throughout the years. It is the subject of lively discussion as popular as “what came first the chicken or the egg.”

Everyone has an opinion on who is the lead dog in the race for hearts and minds in the reputation game in the 21st century. Is it PR, marketing, advertising or some other function? And what does 2016 hold for the field and for public relations pros?

Public relations, for the foreseeable future, is essential to building trust with people who have a vital stake in an organization’s operations and success.

It is critical to fulfilling an organization’s missions and responsibilities. Public relations is the conscious in the board room. And if you don’t believe that, fasten your seatbelt, the ride will be rocky.

The fact is PR is all about building and sustaining relationships.

Always has. Always will.

The demand for public relations professionals has never been better and 2016 will likely accelerate the need for folks who are, “Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”

Benchmarks of Successful PR Professionals

Here are some of the most powerful characteristics successful PR professionals will need to be going forward:

  • PR professionals are activists, seeking to engage, enlighten, and energize an organization’s constituents. They are not gatekeepers between their companies and the media.
  • PR professionals advocate not just for their organizations, but for their organization’s constituents and stakeholders. This adds the important role of presenting the stakeholder’s interests and views to management. It is all about representing all those with a stake and making them understand their inherent obligations.
  • PR professionals are strategic content developers and storytellers, helping their organizations formulate key messages that resonate with stakeholders and are coherent with the corporate culture and nature of the organization.
  • PR professionals help an organization build mutual trust by encouraging and fostering transparency and integrity throughout the organization.
  • PR professionals are counselors who actively advise and guide organizations in honestly communicating and behaving in the best interests of society and its constituents such as customers, employees, shareholders, and the communities in which they operate.
  • PR professionals are enablers and connectors, helping organizations stay grounded, stay human, and stay sensitive to the needs and desires of their communities.

In essence, the role of today’s public relations professional is akin to being the conscience of the organization, being ever vigilant to ensuring that the organization is “doing the right thing” and not just saying the right things.

What do you think are the benchmarks of successful PR professionals?

About Gerard Corbett


Gerard (Gerry) F. Corbett is Founder, Chair and CEO of Redphlag LLC , a strategic branding and communications services and counseling firm. Gerry also is an Instructor on Personal Branding at UC Berkeley, Extension. Gerry has more than four decades of technology, PR and marketing experience in several Fortune 200 firms, is past chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America and an avid photographer, career coach and blogger.

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5 Comments on "Benchmarks of Successful PR Professionals"

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biggreenpen
6 months 28 days ago

I think you covered a whole bunch of them! I think a PR professional needs to be a step ahead of their clients in being an early adapter to new technologies. A client may not understand why Periscope (or whatever the new medium of the day is) is important, but the professional has to know it well enough to be able to use it AND explain the value to someone who doesn’t see the logic in ONE MORE THING.

SpinSucks
SpinSucks
6 months 28 days ago

Marketwired Thanks for sharing gerardcorbett’s post.

Corina Manea
6 months 28 days ago

biggreenpen Good point, Paula.

Corina Manea
6 months 28 days ago

I’ll stay with “PR professionals are enablers and connectors, helping organizations stay grounded, stay human, and stay sensitive to the needs and desires of their communities.”
I would add not spinning, because Spin Sucks, and using common sense.

Alex Yong 1
Alex Yong 1
6 months 28 days ago
Addressing GC’s second paragraph, I feel the public perception of PR is a marginally good one, or at least a neutral one. On most days, most people will say they hate advertising. And marketing professionals hate being marketed to, unless they’re in a mood to steal ideas and modify them (Google the word “frienemies”). In a way, the ad industry is digging its own grave.  If you poll people about which discipline doesn’t hard sell, letting them choose between advertising, marketing, journalism, and PR, most regular folks will say PR doesn’t hard sell anything. And that’s a good perception to… Read more »
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