What PR Assistants Do & How to Train Them

by | Nov 13, 2020

If you’ve been focusing more on your PR strategy, you know how time-consuming it can get. And while you don’t want to hire a full team, you also aren’t interested in spending hours finding journalists to pitch. 

Both of those options either require tons of money, effort, time, or all three. And when you’re trying to grow your business, those aren’t resources you want to waste. 

But what about a PR assistant? 

A PR assistant is a cost-efficient addition to your team that can help you achieve your PR goals. In this post, we’ll discuss what they do, why you need one, training resources, and how to measure PR results.  

 

Need help training your PR assistant? Sign up for the waitlist for Pitch & Profit, a unique digital PR and backlink building program.

 

What do PR assistants do?

Essentially, PR assistants help create, distribute, and manage promotional material to grow and maintain a company’s image. So, let’s dive into some of their duties and how they shape a brand’s reputation. 

Organize PR materials

The PR material used to shape a brand’s image depends on a business’s goals. For example, a press release is an official statement about a business, person, product, etc., that alerts the public about anything related to a company. Their purpose is to increase brand awareness while also providing a positive news story to their audience. 

Other PR material examples are feature and bylined articles, promos, sponsorships, product placements, press kits, newsletters, and brochures. 

Establish and maintain communications

Your interactions with the public is also a responsibility handled by a PR assistant. They focus on: 

  • Assisting your marketing team on campaigns
  • Overseeing your social media content
  • Ensuring all brand messaging is consistent
  • Respond to social media reviews
  • Develop strategies for crisis management
  • Improve internal communication

They also focus on the relationships you have with your media contacts by creating new ones and maintaining existing ones. 

Depending on how big your team is, a PR assistant might also be responsible for administrative tasks such as filing and preparing client files and answering emails and phone calls from clients and the media. 

Why should you hire a PR assistant?

Public relations can help you increase your visibility and ultimately draw in more leads. But that’s not all. A good PR strategy, handled by a dedicated PR assistant, can help you make monumental changes in your business. Let’s look at some of them below. 

Build your brand’s credibility

With more companies trying to appeal to their audiences’ desires, fewer consumers trust advertisements or media produced directly from a company. A study conducted by Cision states that 92% of consumers trust earned media over paid ads

That’s a large number of people who don’t trust any promotional content provided by a company. Paid ads are useful, and countless businesses have seen success from them; you generate a higher ROI from earned media.  

And with a PR assistant, they’ll create meaningful articles, press releases, informative videos that can help your business create a positive brand image and build credibility and trust. When consumers trust you and view you in a positive light, they’re more likely to interact with your business and eventually become paying customers. 

Increase your domain’s authority

Your domain authority can help you drive more traffic to your site. With a high domain authority, not only can you potentially rank higher than your competitors, but you can attract high-quality leads to your site.

While you can do this yourself, it requires a lot of pitches, outreach, and relationship building. And the time you’ll spend just on getting backlinks will drastically take away from the time you can spend growing your business. 

A PR assistant will focus on getting your product or service in front of reputable sites and influencers for you. The backlinks you’ll get from being featured on those sites or mentioned by influencers can help you get the domain authority you want.

Helps you manage crises

No business wants to face a crisis. But the reality is that situations like these are usually out of your control and can happen to anyone. In fact, 69% of leaders stated that between 2014 – 2019, they’ve had at least one corporate crisis

And your response to these situations can impact your brand’s reputation. If there’s no strategy in place, you can unintentionally ruin your brand’s current image, repel leads, and lose existing customers. 

A PR assistant can help you mitigate damage from a negative post that went viral, product review or malfunction, etc. They can help you develop a play-by-play strategy of how you should respond to backlash and start repairing your image.  

 

Need help training your PR assistant? Sign up for the waitlist for Pitch & Profit, a unique digital PR and backlink building program.

 

Top resources for training a PR assistant

Even if your PR assistant has years of experience, there are always new PR tactics and strategies that they can benefit from. So, here are some of the top resources for them. 

Best courses for PR assistants

These courses on in-depth PR strategies can drastically help improve your PR assistant’s skills:

PRSA Trainings

The Public Relations Society of America offers various events, courses, workshops, and webinars throughout the year to help professionals grow their PR skills. And depending on what your PR assistant needs to focus on, they can choose from one of their on-demand online courses, virtual events, and more. 

The Ultimate Public Relations Masterclass

This course is dedicated to ensuring that PR professionals have everything they need to succeed in their careers. It covers content from finding targeted journalists to improving their writing skills to increasing website traffic.  

Best blogs for learning PR

Help your assistant quickly find, scan through, and save blog posts from one of these reputable, industry-exclusive sites:

Spin Sucks

Spin Sucks believes in changing the negative narrative that the public has about the PR industry while providing expert information and advice. They do this by providing professional development and training blog posts that PR assistants can use to keep up on trends, learn new skills, and hone their current skills. 

They also create content that current PR professionals can use to change any bad, unethical PR strategies that they might be using. 

PR News

The PR News blog provides useful information on: 

  • Industry-related news
  • Tips on how to be a better PR regardless of experience
  • Opinion posts that shed light on specific issues with a PR-spin  

 

Those topics don’t even scratch the service of what PR News covers on their blog. Want to learn more about managing a crisis? There are hundreds of blog posts on it with examples from real-world events. 

Or if your PR assistant needs help with SEO, they have that too. Pretty much whatever PR is responsible for, they cover it in great detail.  

Best podcasts for learning PR

These podcasts give your assistant access to free, on-the-go PR content: 

Inside PR

Inside PR is a weekly podcast hosted by Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman, and Joseph Thornley, where these industry leaders discuss current trends and listeners’ comments and interview relevant guests.

The Talking Points

Every month, Arik Hanson and Kevin Hunt chat about relevant news in the PR, communications, and marketing industry. And as industry experts, they also provide their listeners with insightful tips. 

Best YouTube channels for learning PR

If your PR assistant prefers visual content, then have them check out one of these YouTube channels:

Jo Jones

Jo Jones uses her platform to discuss PR tips related to creating press releases, getting free media coverage, how to win new customers, etc. 

Institute for PR

Institute for PR is a nonprofit foundation that focuses on the science behind public relations. While this is a little more advanced than most of the resources on this list, it’ll give your PR assistant a strong foundation to work with.  

How to measure the success of your PR assistant’s work

You know why you need a PR assistant and their responsibilities, and you have resources to help them maximize their potential efficiently. But how can you tell if the strategies they’ve been working on is actually helping your business? What do you look for? Let’s look at some ways you can measure how successful your PR strategies are. 

Press clippings

Just like social media mentions help brands increase their social media presence, press clippings can help you do the same. As more publications mention your company, you’ll get in front of more of your target audience, potential investors, and business partners.

Backlinks

The backlinks you can get when reliable industry leaders and publications mention your brand can drastically help you increase your site traffic. And an increase in traffic can also lead to more leads finding you through those reliable sources or organically. 

Domain authority

When you start ranking closer to (or at) #1, it’s always a good indication that your PR strategy works. Domain authority doesn’t automatically mean you’ll always rank at the top of the search result. But it does significantly increase your chances to rank higher, so with more backlinks comes with it a higher domain authority, which leads to more organic traffic.    

With a public relations strategy created, managed, and updated by a well-trained PR assistant, you can save so much time and effort and just focus on your business. And eventually, you won’t have to always go to your audience; they’ll start coming to you. 

 

Need help training your PR assistant? Sign up for the waitlist for Pitch & Profit, a unique digital PR and backlink building program.

Bry'Ana Arvie is a content marketer who works with SaaS and tech companies.

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