Alexander Hamilton, his name is Alexander Hamilton. There are a million things he hasn’t done… but being an uncredited founding father of public relations is one. For all the musical-loving PR pros out there, this one’s for you!
The lyrics from the musical, Hamilton, demonstrate some of the most basic and true PR principles that all pros should follow. Here are ten PR lessons from Hamilton lyrics:
1. “Write Day and Night like you’re running out of time”
Words change public opinion, which is the main goal of public relations. We are writing press releases, media alerts, pitches and other copy consistently in the PRESS office to achieve our clients’ goals. The more content we produce, the more chance we have for our clients to get media features.
2. “Overwhelm them with honesty”
Sometimes the world of public relations isn’t so shiny and fun. There are times when clients face adversity or the perfect storm and we have to be on stand-by for crisis management. The best and most ethical way to manage crises is to tell the truth and tell it fast. Honesty is the best policy and allows us to take control of the narrative.
3. “History has its eyes on you”
What we do today, matters tomorrow. One of the perks of working in public relations is having the ability to shape the future through storytelling and connecting with others. There is so much power in shaping how a story is told – it can change history.
4. “Who tells your story?”
We’re in the business of relationship building in the world of PR. Taking the time to connect with peers, colleagues, clients and media is possibly the most important part of the job. There’s an age-old saying in the industry that perception is reality. How we as individuals, a company, and our clients are perceived can dictate who tells the story and how it is told.
5. “The world was wide enough”
Always be friendly in competition as you never know when your paths may cross again with a past colleague or agency. If a client isn’t a good fit for one agency, it might suggest another for the contract. You never want to be disqualified for personal reasons.
In a similar vein, we are often tasked with securing partnerships for our clients and sometimes this happens to mean working with people from our past. Burning bridges in this industry will only set you back.
6. “If you stand for nothing, Burr what will you fall for?”
Public Relations relies on ethics, values and morals as core components to the field. Every business comes to the table with its own set of personal beliefs – sacrificing these can be detrimental. Instead, finding a balance is key. For example, you would never want to have someone promote a campaign they don’t believe in. It will never be successful without some sort of passion behind it.
7. “I am not throwing away my shot”
Every move we make as PR professionals matters. From ideation to execution we must ensure every strategy and tactic is fleshed out for a seamless project. One misstep and we could throw away the entire campaign. Every step from the brainstorm to scheduling a media interview builds up to success.
8. “Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now”
Something good might come from the COVID-19 pandemic after all –– we are so lucky to live in a time that everything is being reevaluated and changed. Now, creativity can truly shine. There is an opportunity to “reinvent the wheel” and challenge what’s been done in the past. At PRESS we are big fans of Friday brainstorms to get ideas flowing. And the best part, we have a rule that no idea is a bad idea.
9. “Raise a glass”
If there is one thing we do well here at PRESS, it’s celebrating our wins! Celebrating the good amplifies our team morale and ultimately leads to more successes. Publicists have a tendency to forget to celebrate what they’ve worked so hard to achieve. It’s important to take a moment to congratulate ourselves every now and then.
10. “I’m willing to wait for it”
Maintaining connections with a network might be the thing that gives a client an advantage to securing media coverage or landing a speaking engagement. By practicing patience and persistently giving client updates, earning a goal media placement becomes more possible.