20 Best Pieces of Public Relations Advice & Career Tips from Our Community

Jan 29, 2024

I love mentoring other PR pros and I am so proud of the community we’ve created together. Every single day, community members post in our Facebook Group to ask for public relations advice on the challenges they’re facing in their agencies — and we all pitch in to help!

We’ve had some incredible and valuable discussions over the years. That’s why we reached out to our community members to share the best pieces of PR advice they’ve gotten in their careers.

Public Relations Advice from Our Community

These PR pros come from all walks of life and all types of niches. They’re also members of our programs, so you know they’re committed to supporting our community! Here’s what 16 of our members have to say.

Katie Sinclair said… 

Authenticity always resonates the most. It might repel some people along the way, but, more importantly, it attracts the RIGHT clients and team members to your business.

Ashley Martinez said… 

Take the time to build relationships — the work is more fun and you’re more likely to secure wins for clients when you have a meaningful relationship with the media and other stakeholders.

Jen Flanagan said… 

PR skills are transferable to so many different industries and career opportunities! Also, PR varies from industry to industry, so keep going if your first niche isn't the best fit for you.

Morgan Canclini-Mitchell said… 

The best public relations advice I've received in my career is that it's okay to get a no and, especially nowadays, there are SO many media options and opportunities for clients. I used to dread hearing “no,” but that's 100% part of the job! It's just about how you can pivot and adapt to get your client the most coverage in spaces that make sense. Outlets that your clients want to be featured in may not be the right fit for them in terms of sales. Being clear about that is key!

Hannah Bjorndal said… 

Building relationships is the best marketing strategy, and it takes time, effort, and genuine care for others to achieve this.

Natasha Dressler said… 

You NEED to have an amazing contract that outlines everything imaginable, including the payment schedule, late fees, behavioral clauses, termination clauses, and national & local laws. Jen’s contract inside The Agency Accelerator is the BEST!!!!

Andrea Holland said… 

Being an honest, transparent human goes a long way. In a world of external reputation management, client management, and media management, it's sometimes easy to get carried away with over-promising and people-pleasing. I've learned that always being authentic, even when the news is not favorable or the stakes are high, has helped clients and media gain trust in me and work with me again.

Sarah Mason said…

Teaching clients about the media is critical to managing expectations. Two reality checks that come up often are that journalists don't need to "correct" something that is not factually incorrect and that links are not always included in stories. 

Related: How To Manage PR Client Expectations and Set Yourself Up For Success

Nikki Taylor said…

The biggest lesson I have learned is to never burn bridges with previous clients. Just because in that season they did not want to renew their contract with you does not mean they were dissatisfied with your work! Sometimes businesses just aren't ready yet for the exposure that PR will get them. Be patient, respect their decision, and don’t burn that bridge. I did this and now I’ve had a previous PR client return to me for my services! 

Kailee Shearint said… 

Rejection is not fatal! It sucks, but it’s part of the game. There’s plenty I can do to minimize my chances of being rejected, but sometimes even the most amazing product and the most thoughtful and well-planned pitch just isn’t what they’re looking for. And that’s ok.

(I, Jen, want to expand on this a bit — you’re not going to get a “yes” unless you ask. The worst you can get is a “no.” And sure, that rejection sucks, but reaching out and going for that “yes” is the most important part! You can hone your pitching skills and give yourself the best chance of landing a press placement with The Pitch Lab.)

Brandi Sims said… 

One of the best pieces of public relations advice I can give is that relationships must be at the core of everything you do to have a successful career in PR. It's not just about image or expertise — it's about connections. Coming from the corporate space, it can be a challenge to build relationships beyond the accepted transactional style. By allowing myself to truly represent who I am in building connections, I’ve opened the door for more thoughtful connections and valuable relationships.

Lindsey Walker said… 

Longevity requires transparency and the ability to pivot. You can't get caught up in what was working or what used to get clients, placements, etc. You must stay ahead of the curve, pay attention to trends, and be honest about where you are and where you want to be. 

Chrissy Bernal said… 

The biggest lesson I've learned is to remember you're interacting with a human. Whether, it's a celebrity, a producer, or a journalist, they're people just like we are.

Demia Doggette said… 

By far the most important lesson I've learned in my public relations journey is to pivot! PR is an ever-changing industry and if you’re not on top of trends, new service offerings, and industry standards, you will get lost. Pivoting has helped my business stay afloat over the past 6 years of being an entrepreneur.

Related: 5 Important PR Challenges You Need to Overcome as the Media Landscape Shifts

Monica Romano said… 

Following up is critical. Media hits rarely land over one email! Follow up and "Storm the Castle," meaning email, phone, text, or whatever way you have of reaching the editor, writer, or producer. I landed a live major TV spot for a client after 3 months of follow-up. Banish the false belief that you're "bugging them" — keep following up and be tenacious. It does pay off!

Lisa Humphrey said… 

I've learned that the nature of some people in this industry is extremely selfish and they only care about how my pitch benefits them. I’ve learned to adjust, but not change — I've never conformed and have stayed true to my authentic self by killing them with kindness and giving more grace than allowed. You’ve got to pivot and never give up. I've learned to stay focused on the prize of landing media and events for my clients, not get caught up in the smoke and mirrors, and coach them to be their very best selves! 

Public Relations Advice from Me!

I started my career in PR nearly 19 years ago, and I’ve learned a lot since then. These are the four TOP pieces of public relations advice I wish I had known when I launched my agency!

#1: Align Expectations

My #1 piece of public relations advice when dealing with clients is to align everyone’s expectations right off the bat. Make sure that their expectations are aligned with not only what you expect could happen or what you are aiming for, but also with what’s realistically possible. Getting on the same page is the key to having satisfied clients. They shouldn’t be hoping that you’ll pull off a miracle!

#2: Niche Down

I’m a HUGE proponent of niching down your agency — you need to find your niche to find success

As soon as I started leaning into being an expert in my agency’s niches, our profitability tripled and much higher quality and caliber clients started to come our way.

Related: How to Find a Niche That is Better Suited For You (and More Profitable)

#3: Embrace Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome never really goes away, and it tends to resurface every time you’re leveling up. Honestly, I’ve come to almost appreciate those feelings because they show my growth. You’ve got to accept that imposter syndrome is something you’ll always struggle with — you’ll never feel 100% confident in everything!

It’ll always be in the background, but it’s important to acknowledge when you feel that way as a moment of growth and expansion. Switch up your mindset and reframe it to be empowering, not discouraging.

#4: Emphasize Your Value

When you know your value and know that the results you bring in drive immense value for clients, you can properly price your services and move completely away from an hours-for-dollars calculation.

Clients are going to pay you based on what you show them is the value you provide. Your mindset has to shift away from how long each task takes you. Instead, focus on being compensated for the results you’re getting and the value you bring, which has nothing to do with the amount of time you spend working on your client’s accounts.

The best public relations advice comes from those who’ve been there, done that. These are the lessons that have helped the members of our community (and me!) overcome industry challenges and grow their careers to new heights!