A PR pro’s job can be hectic and fast paced. Working in this industry, we have to learn and master many tools of the trade to do our job effectively.
In this case, my definition of a tool is anything and everything I use to get the job done, from my notepad and pen to my car and cell phone.
You might be surprised to learn that some of a PR pro’s most important tools can be found in the junk drawer at home. For example, I might use a pair of scissors to cut the hardcopy of a story about Arbor Hospice (client) out of the pages of the Detroit News and I’ll probably reach for a glue stick next to adhere the story and masthead to a piece of white paper, completing the clip. A little old-fashioned with the internet but it’s important because stories aren’t always posted on the web and not all papers have a digital edition.
Some of the more unique tools PR pros use includes media monitoring services such as News Power Online and Critical Mention. Subscribing to these services allows us Franconians to monitor TV, radio, print and digital media from across the globe for mentions of our clients. Not only do these services keep an eye on media near and far they also allow us to pinpoint, clip and download audio and video copies to save in our files or share with clients. This tool comes in handy when a client is mentioned by an out of market media outlet or a client requests a copy of a specific segment.
When I asked a few of my Franco colleagues what tools they can’t live without and this is what they had to say:
For Vice President Tina Sullivan, it’s her tasks list in Microsoft Outlook. “My schedule is constantly changing and having a dynamic task list allows me to move dates and tasks around as often as necessary. Being able to update on the fly keeps me on top of my everyday to-do’s.”
Account Executive Andrea Kenski relies on her iPhone and the Evernote app to help stay organized. “This free app has saved my life when it comes to remembering things, but what I like most is that it saves documents, ideas and images across my electronic devices, including my iPhone, iPad and computer.”
There are still more tools vital to the completion of our day-to-day tasks, such as a rolodex (I know, it’s old fashioned), dictionary and thesaurus, email and even Facebook and Twitter for monitoring current trends and connecting with audiences. But a PR pro’s most important tool comes from within. Creativity is what drives progress and innovation in our line of work. By opening our minds to new ideas and opportunities, we are able to develop and implement strategies that break the mold.
On a side note, I thought this discussion warranted an honorable mention for the office coffee maker. Many of us would be lost without our morning cup of Joe.
What are some tools that you couldn’t live without?