PR Buzz: Nine Habits of Highly Effective PR People


PR News, the public relations resource for ideas, strategies and tools, recently released an article titled, “9 Habits of Highly Effective PR People.” The PR News team interviewed thousands of leaders and came up with the nine great PR habits

  1. Listen hard: don’t pretend you’re listening. Focus during key conversations and jot down what you heard, because you think you’ll remember the key takeaways but you won’t.
  2. Speak the local language: understand the lingo of the communities and markets you serve and learn their language. The nuances can make a difference in your communications campaign.
  3. Read until your eyes hurt: Always be reading something – be it a magazine article, a news item online, a fiction or non-fiction book. Reading stirs your imagination, helps you to become a better writer, and, of course, keeps you well-informed.
  4. Embrace measurement: you’ve heard that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. It’s true. Sometimes it’s tough to swallow the results, much less communicate them. Establishing reasonable metrics and evaluating regularly will allow you to pivot, improve, learn and succeed.
  5. Become a subject matter expert: Find a niche, study it, live it and become the go-to expert on that niche.
  6. Practice your math:  Knowing how to read a Profit/Loss statement, how to build and execute on a budget, how to calculate growth and decline will position you for leadership, and improve your PR initiatives.
  7. Hone your writing skills: whether it’s a finely crafted memo, a post-campaign report or an email to a colleague or client, make your writing sing. How you write is often how you’re perceived in the field of communications. You must be able to articulate your message in writing.
  8. Master your Social:  Social media is not a strategy, it’s a platform. Understand it and use it regularly but don’t let Fear of Missing Out make you an obsessive social communicator. The other “social” — communicating and networking with peers and stakeholders (preferably in person or by phone) — holds more long-term value for you as a PR leader.
  9. Be a PR advocate: Public Relations often suffers from an image problem; PR is not just about pitching to the media or bitching about the media; it’s one of the most important disciplines within an organization. Advocate for your profession.

The article goes on to categorize PR professions into three groups: ineffective, good, and great.

As the PR industry evolves and the media landscape changes, it’s vital for PR practitioners to strive for greatness. What category do you fit in? What additional habits would you add to the list?

Photo credit:

Jenn Lake, Vice President