Mind Your Manners

By Andrew Fatcheric, Chapter Member

As PR students, we are taught many things; how to write an eye-catching press release, how to gain followers for your client’s social media pages, how to effectively pitch to the media, and so on.  Yes, as PR students we are taught many things.  While these skills are very important, we cannot forget the skills we learned when we were young. Manners. Yes, the same skills that we learned as kids can be just as important to your career.  So, for all you PR pros in training, here are some important manners to keep in mind:

  1. The cell phone: To PR pros, their cell phone is the essence of their life. Important phone calls must be taken in any situation. But when you’re at a dinnerxs meeting, or anything else for that matter, be sure to remove yourself to take the call. It may be important to you, but you can be sure that no one else cares that your client is in desperate need of some crisis PR.
  2. Table manners: As a PR professional, you will most likely conduct some business affairs over lunch or dinner.  Although you may be outside of the office, it is very important to remember that the purpose of this meeting is business.  Keeping that in mind, do not speak when your mouth is full.  Not only can you not be understood, but your dinner partner also has no desire to be showered in salad. Also, be careful when ordering drinks.  You want to make sure you keep a level head when conducting business.
  3. Please and Thank you: It seems so simple to say ‘please’ and thank you,’ but sometimes, it gets overlooked. It may just be two words, but by showing gratitude, it shows that you care.  For PR professionals, this can be applicable in many situations: thanking your co-workers, being polite and appreciative to a reporter and  keeping your client at ease.  Although simple, these gestures will not go unnoticed.
  4. The Golden Rule: Treat others as you would want to be treated.  This is key.  As PR professionals, we must interact with many different people.  The best PR professionals put themselves in their client’s shoes and act in their best interest.  The more you can relate to your client, the more you will understand their particular needs and expectations.  The more you understand their needs, the better you can fulfill them.

These manners are fundamental in any PR professional’s career.  So, while you are learning how to compile a media list or memorizing your AP Stylebook, don’t forget the skills you learned before your college years.  Mind your manners.

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