How to Succeed in Public Relations When You’re Sick

December 13, 2010

By James
Most people spent Thanksgiving creating memories to add to family photo albums, taking advantage of Black Friday deals (though IBM believes Cyber Monday was a bigger hit this year), and catching up with friends. Unfortunately, my time off was marred by a cold that deprived me of my voice for close to three days.
In between naps and bowls of soup, I thought of the irony of a public relations professional losing his voice. After all, PR firms are charged with creating and maintaining a voice for their clients. Though many aspects of public relations require speaking, there are still ways we can shape a client's voice without actually using our own:

  1. Talk via social media- Finding discussions to join on LinkedIn is a great way to get your client's thoughts in front of professionals, while an active week of tweeting and retweeting interesting articles can garner a follow Friday (#ff) mention. And don't forget about Facebook; every video posted to a client's Facebook page represents a chance to be shared.
  2. Content creation- If your vocal cords are shot, exercise your fingers by creating content. With a decline in editorial opportunities over the years, contributed articles are a substitute method of getting clients into target publications. Also, adding posts to the company blog is a great way to improve the site from a search engine optimization (SEO) standpoint.
  3. Read the news- This isn't to say you should ignore industry news when healthy. Rather, take the time you normally would have spent pitching reporters via telephone to enhance your understanding of who follows your industry and what they cover. Find new reporters with whom to forge relationships, identify trends that are gaining momentum, and determine if there are new avenues for inclusion in specific publications. And if you haven't already, set up a Google Reader account as a way to aggregate search results from across the Web for all your key terms.

There are lots of ways to effectively articulate a client's message. What other methods do you use that might become even more valuable when your ability to speak is non-existent?

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