I was once (in 2002) voted as the best PR person in the hospitality industry by the Hospitality editor of Indian Express Newspaper in India. A highly satisfying and motivating recognition that, today, gives me the confidence to share some of MY tricks of the trade -
1. I try to be a good strategist and look at new avenues (even unprecedented) to get my company's story or message out.
2. I have tried to develop a reputation of reliability and responsiveness in good turnaround time, even if sometimes the response is in the negative. I always try to respond and close the communication loop.
3. Employ lateral thinking and use varied, multi-level opportunities, some of which are freshly created, either in isolation or in sync with a co-worker.
4. Understand the media's perspective instead of being a push-over and forcing someone to give you column cm space.
5. Be a good ideating, fact-crunching support that the Boss can fall back on at interviews. Be his mouth piece without taking the credit and the shine away from him.
6. Be an excellent writer and an eclectic one, so that one could be good at doing the press releases, articles, speeches, manuals, business letters, web text and so on.
7. Be a good public speaker.
8. Build long-term relationships with the media and the other significant publics. Respect even the cub reporter (regardless of one's own seniority) and watch the relationship blossom once the cub grows into a lion of an editor.
9. Be abreast with current, business and industry news. Not only does that make you intelligent but also a lot of ideas come from there.
10. Be adaptable and flexible and thin yourself out in terms of gaining experience and meeting new job requests. At my last job, I got to train even the telephone operators on communication skills, write manuals, prepare lot of archival documentation, write most of the business letters regardless of the department, write the web text myself without outsourcing it and enjoy the privilege of designing, writing and creating a lot of marketing communications collateral.
11. Be eager to learn and raise my personal benchmark at every instance.
12. Be a good mentor and trainer to my subordinates.
13. Be able to integrate the PR function into the larger business plan of the company and cease to see it as a soft, fluffy side-function.
14. Play an integral role in Company's profit protection by honing a lot of in-house skills.