I attended my very first UWEPR society event at Burges and Salmon.
Burges Salmon is an independent UK law firm in Bristol. It represents a range of clients from large organizations, entrepreneurial business, public sector bodies and private individuals and family. Burges Salmon PR team sat down with us and told old war stories and important PR life lessons.
- The first thing I learnt from the PR team at Burges Salmon is RELATIONSHIPS are important. It’s vital that you have a relationship with other people in the media industry. Journalist help shine a light on your business and can spread the information to the public. The way you build that relationship is by picking up the phone and talking to them. Relationships aren’t just important with journalists but the people you work with as well. Burges Salmon presented a great employee relationship, with teamwork being a major factor to their success.
- Know your facts. Before you start pitching your story to a journalist you must know all the details. When you know the story it can help sell the story better. Lies and exaggeration will not get you very far, public relation practitioners are all about integrity and telling the truth.
- Know the mind of a journalist. The role of a journalist is to report the news, therefore when pitching your story you have to find the news angle. A news angle can convince a journalist to write the story. It’s not enough to think like a journalist, but knowing their schedules as well. When are their deadlines and what time are they looking for stories for tomorrow news headlines?
- Resilience. The media industry is a hard one to get into, and the PR world is full of rejections. It can come from the journalist you rang up, or a potential employer rejecting your application. A thick skin and the little engine that could mentality is something you need to develop if want to be in PR.
- Not all PR work is about getting publicity. The work of public relations practitioner can vary and sometimes it’s about keeping information out of the news. Elspeth Wales head of PR and Communication at Burges Salmon explained that in a law firm some cases are protected my confidentiality agreements, and those cases you have to be hidden from the press.
- A crisis is a great day at work. According to the PR team at Burges Salmon, a crisis at work translates to a great day in the office. Crisis management challenges you and is an opportunity to use all your PR knowledge to solve the problem. Never be afraid of a crisis, instead celebrate it.
Thanks to UWEPR society for arranging the event