Guest Post: Unexpected PR Tools Every Pro Needs

Public relations concept in tag cloud
This week’s guest post is by Jack Wilson. Jack manages multiple corporate design projects by day, while fitting in some part-time freelance writing by night.

You meet your new client before a big talk and you realize that he hasn’t even purchased a suit — he expects to round up investors in a polo and jeans. Promoting a new client, or problem clients, can be a challenge. Many clients expect you to do everything for them, and that includes the simple act of thinking. Being a professional PR agent means that you can identify, and neutralize, your client’s faults in a way that keeps them shining and smiling.

The Business Card

There are a few things that can go wrong with a business card. Your client can show up with outdated business cards that they’ve scribbled on or modified, or they could show up without business cards at all. Overnight prints can be very useful for this frustrating occasion. Business cards aren’t expensive, but they are absolutely essential. If you want your clients to be taken seriously, you should coach them on when and how to give out business cards.

The Mobile Device

Before your client jumps on stage or releases new information, you should always check local press release websites and news sites for any timely and associated information. The last thing you want is for your client to launch a speech about how he was swept away by new merchandise shortly after a flood damaged a local school. Websites like PR News Wire will also let you know if there have been similar releases since you last checked.

The Tether

Though mobile devices are versatile, don’t forget your laptop. There are times when you may need to revamp your entire strategy or produce a new slideshow, and there are times when you may find yourself inexplicably without WiFi. A tether, such as those promoted at Tether.com, enables you connect to your cell phone’s data plan with your laptop or even with a desktop computer. This lets you work on your business plan wherever you are, even if you’ve found yourself at a trade seminar in the middle of nowhere.

The Grooming Tools

It may seem like basic human decency, but many clients don’t realize that their appearance during their presentations is everything. If your client is doing a demo in front of an audience, you may want to keep some basic products with you. A comb, hair gel and even a razor can come in handy. It’s not babysitting to take care of your client if they’re paying you to do so, though it may feel like it sometimes.

The Contact List

Being a PR agent will take you into a myriad of small towns and unknown locations. Keep a contact list of people and place that you know in specific areas to connect with the community and learn more about your client and their audience. A PR event isn’t just a great time for your client — it’s also a great time for you to network and to renew bonds with other professionals you may not have seen in a while. When you’ve taken care of your client, you may want to take a few hours to catch up with some of these vital clients. Even a simple LinkedIn search might reveal some valuable contacts.

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