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The challenges PR professionals face

The daily struggle to get the right story out there

PR is no easy job to handle. It never has been, but due to the rise of the Internet and social media, it seems to have become increasingly challenging to get the right story to the right people.

Of course, Public Relations is an amazing field to work in, but there are some tough challenges PR professionals face almost daily. We gathered our biggest challenges, what are yours?

Credibility & reputation management

Nowadays, anything and everything can be researched online, so make sure you are upfront and honest when putting out a statement.

Also, anyone can publish a piece of content online targeting your organization. This may be a negative product review, a dissatisfied employee, or a stakeholder that inadvertently leaks the news.

Credibility is critical for organizations, and for PR professionals even more so. Without credibility, the message you want to send will not be read and shared, and once damaged, it is difficult to restore your reputation. Always think about the risk of reputation loss when getting your message out.

Kevin Johnston
“As a [...] business owner, you have to find ways to establish your credibility when putting out a message. This can include your own credentials and background, getting third parties to endorse your message and offering facts and figures to support your PR claims.” Challenges of Public Relations in the 21st century
Kevin Johnston

Choosing the right channels

Blogs, vlogs, Instagram, Snapchat, and LinkedIn. There are so many channels online to use, as well as all the traditional channels to choose from.

How do you pick the right channels? What message should go on what channel and why?

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to these questions. Every target group has different preferences and every message may be in need of a certain format or platform. Before you create content or a press release, think about the goal you are trying to achieve with your message.

Which target group fits with this goal, where can you find this target audience, and what are their preferences concerning content consumption? Is there a certain channel that performs well with this type of content?

By asking these critical questions before choosing a format, you are able to tailor the message and medium to a certain channel which may boost the results of your efforts.

Our "Ultimate Guide to PR Distribution" shows you how to get coverage for your stories and reach the right audiences.

Measuring impact

With online data on the rise, the cry for measurable results has become louder. Additionally, PR professionals face the question to provide ROI on their efforts more often. This requires a new mindset when reaching out to journalists and creating content for different channels.

Before you start, you need to identify the goal you are trying to reach and the metrics you are going to use to measure your results.

A clear, concrete, measurable goal should be the start. In most cases, your goal will inspire the metrics. If you are trying to reach a certain amount of people in a target group you can use this as inspiration for your metrics.

Next, you should be able to pinpoint the target audience, format, structure, and distribution channels. When you send out your message, start to gather data immediately. Perhaps you can adjust some details to push your message and improve the results.

Learn more about PR measurement in our blog post "The essentials of PR measurement".

Crisis management

A crisis is inevitable. Your organization can get hit by a natural disaster, some negative news may spiral out of control or the company has some financial challenges that spark media coverage.

Moments of crisis can be incredibly stressful and a lot is usually asked of the PR and communications teams during times like that.

To make sure you can get through a crisis as best as you can, it is vital to prepare for it.

Communication is key during a crisis – knowing where and how to communicate is essential to your strategy. Make sure you have a protocol in place that will guide you through the crisis and reflect afterward to improve your current protocol (we have a comprehensive PR guide to crisis management to help you out in the process).

Time management

Time management is a critical component of every job, the PR professional is no exception.

With tight deadlines, many interests at stake, and news getting out 24/7, PR professionals have a lot to deal with.

Julie Middleton
“I have to be honest, there are some times (especially at the beginning of your career) when your workday will seem pretty chaotic. To mitigate this, it’s imperative that people in the industry develop strong time management skills early on.” 3 challenges every entry-level PR pro faces
Julie Middleton

To stay on top of all the tasks you need to take care of, make sure you manage your time by creating overviews and priorities. Schedule your tasks in a calendar, estimate how long tasks will take, and plan them accordingly.

Create a daily to-do list and make sure you know what to prioritize. Train yourself to get as organized as possible to make sure you don’t lose your head when the stress hits.

Get on top!

The daily struggles to get everything done in the right way is a normal part of the job.

Get on top of it by using handy tools, overviews, and channels to structure and communicate your efforts. By cooperating with colleagues and learning from best practices, you should be able to tackle any challenge.

Take some time to review your workflows to see where you are able to improve, prepare or delegate to make sure you spend your time wisely.

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