Since my early PR days of portfolio-building and studying for finals at college in Iowa, there has been blood, sweat and tears. By blood I mean paper cuts from clipping press hits, sweat from working down to the wire on a deadline, and tears, well…it happens even to the best of us.

When I started out in entertainment and hospitality PR, I had a hard time imagining publicity without celebrities or truffle mac and cheese. However, since my days of Kardashian red carpets and celebrity chef restaurant openings, I’ve had the pleasure of working with some less glamorous but still exciting brands. From banks to lab ware products and everything in between, all of my experience – sexy or not – has shaped the publicist I’ve become.

Whether handling media before the reveal of a celebrity’s new wax figure or coming up with influencer campaigns for broadband Internet, there are a number of PR fundamentals that I’ve learned remain the same, no matter the client. Here a just a few.


Regardless of the client or project at hand, telling the right story in the most beneficial way is crucial. What makes your client stand out from its competitors? This might come easy if, let’s say, they are introducing a new product to a small but growing market. Sometimes, however, it’s a matter of finding that one thing that makes your client stand out and telling that part of its story in a compelling way.

Building relationships with media.

There is no doubt that all things social and digital are becoming more and more important. However, media relations still remains one of the more vital components to being a successful publicist. Being able to successfully communicate and work with media helps to tell your story the way you want it to be heard.

Clear strategy.

“Let’s just wing it,” said no publicist ever. Even when PR moves at the speed of light, remaining strategic and thoughtful can make or break any campaign. Strategy can include identifying top-tier media to pitch, creating a social media plan to target your ideal demographic, picking the best time for a red carpet appearance or hand-picking influencers for an Instagram campaign.

Know your audience.

When planning for a new campaign, it’s critical to keep in mind who your audience is and what they want from you or your client. For instance, if you were pitching a tech reporter about the latest cell phone technology, your approach would be very different than if you were pitching a health reporter about a new drug coming to market. Both of these reporters are likely targeting different groups of people, and it’s not just age and location to think about. Are you trying to speak to Millennials? Are you looking to reach investors or consumers? What do consumers want from your client? All of these things are important to consider before launching into a project or campaign.

Newbie and seasoned PR pros, what PR fundamentals would you add to this list?

– Beth Gibbons