A Recruiters Guide: how to survive a strategy presentation in PR

03 Jul 2012 by Sarah Leembruggen.

Nailing the presentation stage of the interview process at a senior level is all about demonstrating how you intend to deliver a good return on investment, particularly if you’re tied by a non-compete agreement. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Think about the management team. To further your relationship with senior decision makers, you need to put yourself in their position and consider what their expectations of you will be. Strategic PR Consultant and Author, Deirdre Breakenridge, says it’s vital to share information that is relevant to their world. Think leads, sales, productivity, crisis mitigation and brand reputation.
  2. Strategic planning: As an objective newcomer to a business it’s the perfect opportunity to step back from the day to day and consider how best to maximise the return on existing revenue streams, whilst developing new ones. How can you tighten thing up and drive projects forward?
  3. Make your leadership style work for you: Lead with purpose and play to your core strengths; if you’re a conceptual thinker, consider your client base, what they want from you and why they would use you over a competitor. If finance is your forte, then examine the income generators and sales forecasts.
  4. Use your team assets: Think like an intrapreneur and harness the talent within your existing team. Work together to generate creative ideas for growth. Reinforce the company vision and values and ensure that everyone is motivated to both bring in new clients and to develop existing ones.
  5. Credibility is crucial: Capitalise on your personal credibility and that of your company – work with conviction and you should win through. Your reputation will precede you and your previous successes will pay dividends in the future. But now’s the time to reinforce your reputation by networking internally and building strong foundations to work from. Good departmental communication, sharing insight and creating trust within your organisation. Externally use social media to enhance your profile, by offering guidance, professional advice and information.
  6. Prioritise key clients: Identify your best clients and nurture them. That’s the advice of Mike Michalowicz in The Pumpkin Plan, a business model based on methods used by giant pumpkin farmers who operate a kill/nurture system. Look for extra growth opportunities from your biggest pumpkins and water the little ones occasionally. Michalowicz says: “When you keep rotten clients, you can't do the work needed to grow those good relationships….. It's time to remove the diseased pumpkins so your existing top clients, and other new clients, can blossom. “
  7. Use social media: It’s expanding the Public Relations function and changing the role of the PR professional. As the sphere of influence of social media grows, it’s important to continue to embrace it and use it to communicate with external stakeholders on a range of different levels. Effortlessly create profile, network and create leads by having a strong social media presence. Identify yourself as a pro-active PR professional, offering advice and insight on best practice, discussing current issues in the profession and exchanging information. If you don’t have time for it, find someone who will.
  8. Don’t regurgitate your CV. This stage is all about looking forward and demonstrating your ability to adapt to a new environment, particularly during the hands-off period. Draw on examples of your successful campaigns you headed or where you have gone ‘over and above’, but keep the retrospectives to a minimum.

For more practical advice for PR professionals see The Works blog.

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