With 15 years in PR under her belt, EML Account Director, Anu Ramani, knows a thing or two about presenting PR as a professional industry. At EML’s staff training day in May, Anu shared her thoughts on what it means to be a “PR Professional” and why it is so important. I’ve asked Anu to give us a brief recap on a subject that she’s very passionate about:
“When you say ‘PR’ to most people they think about media relations and writing press releases, no one ever thinks ‘professional advisers’ and it can be easy to forget that that’s what we are. The media relations and the writing, those are given, they’re written into contract and we always deliver, but there is no contract to say what our attitude and approach should be.
I think one of the reasons EML holds on to its clients for so much longer than the industry average is the way the teams interact with the clients. We win the accounts based on our creativity, but we retain them because of the standard of service we give and the attitude we have to the ‘moments of truth’. Every time we make contact with someone outside the agency we are helping to form their opinion of us as individuals and as representatives of EML. I think everyone at EML really gets that and tries to make those ‘moments’ positive.”
I agree with Anu. PR has had a bad reputation for a long time – when I first told my Dad I was getting into PR he told me I’d be “another bloody spin doctor”. It’s a very intangible service we offer which makes professional service all the more important. The CIPR covers professionalism in its code of conduct, picking out a number of key traits displayed by professionals, such as honesty, reliability, accuracy; all of which and more, I’m glad to say, were identified by the EMLers in Anu’s training session as examples of the agency’s personality. There are no cowboys in this camp.
Next week we’ll be talking to EML’s Katie Roberston about writing creatively for the tech trade press.
In the mean time if you have any thoughts on what it means to be a PR professional or if you have any examples of shocking service you’d like to share, your comments are always welcome!