The Secret to Being the Best PR Professional: Know Your Story

What’s your story?

This past Saturday, professionals from all over the country were invited to share their experiences in the field of public relations at PRSSA’s annual National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Professionals from Coca-Cola, GM, Ignition, The American Red Cross, and many more gave advice and answered the questions of more than 1,200 students aspiring to be PR professionals. As one of those 1,200 attendees, I can say I was able to take away a lot of information I know will ultimately aid in my success after graduation. I learned six lessons about the essentials of PR, advice about constructing the best communication plans, what to do in a crisis, and a blueprint for navigating corporate PR.  However, the key message I took away from each session was one simple lesson… know your story.

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My day on Saturday began with keynote speaker Scott Williamson, the Vice President of Public Affairs and Communications at Coca-Cola. Scott is a down-to-earth, friendly guy who shared six lessons to remember when entering into the field of public relations. But the main message that stayed with me was when he asked: What is your Coke story? A smile came across everyone’s face as we listened to Scott tell us his story.

The next session I attended followed the same format as Scott; powerful advice backed by a story. Ignition, a leading company in experiential marketing, shared tips on planning successful events of different products and campaigns. One of the campaigns was the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour. Speakers, Daniel Dao and Carly Nash, didn’t tell us how they pulled off this national event, they told us their story about being with Coke and surprising people with the FIFA World Cup all over the world. The final two sessions, one about crisis communication and one about corporate communications in GM, involved speakers who shared their stories. They told us who they were and their story with their business.

The biggest take away for me from PRSSA’s National Conference was to know my story. I learned lessons are all around you, presented at any given moment. I learned to incorporate those lessons into my story and make them apart of I am. Your story is what separates you from the rest, your story is what makes you unique. Think about your story and how you associate yourself with a business or company. When you communicate your story clearly to those around you, including your employers, you stand out against the rest. So what’s your story?

This guest blog post was written by Temple PRSSA President Alissa Steele. You can follow her on Twitter at @Alissa_Ann94 or connect with her on LinkedIn

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