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Steven R. Van Hook
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Mailbag: What Am I Missing?
Dear Steven ...

Dear Steven: I've been working for the past few years as an independent contractor doing PR work for a couple of different agencies and companies. I've always had a feeling that I'm kind of doing "backwoods" PR, meaning that I don't know all of the ins and outs of successful Public Relations. I've been extremely successful at getting coverage for my clients, but is that "all" there is to PR? I feel as if I should be doing more, but am not sure what it is. Where can I find help? -- Julia E.
Steven R. Van Hook

Dear Julia:
I admire your courage, both in striking out on your own, and in admitting you could use a little help. Good for you on both counts.

Let me recommend some resources:

Your Future in Public Relations
Who has a future in PR, what gets you started, where to find career support when the going gets rough, and why you should even bother. Lots of details and links in this four-part article.

Career Guides - Public Relations
Find a seasoned career guide or mentor, get resume tips, and research job-finding resources.

The Public Relations Career X Factor
SmallShopPRAgency is a list for owners and operators of small and independent PR/marcom agencies -- including solo practices and freelancers.

And of course you'll find some good PR technical and professional advice in the About PR article archive. Here's a few features you might find particularly interesting, given the issues you've raised:

Successful Company Communications
Forget all the airy definitions and rationales. The bottom-line for effective public relations is advancing the company bottom-line. Andy Marken says it's all about delivering value.

Objectives: The 'Weakest Link' in PR
Fuzzy objectives can be the weakest link in a public relations campaign. Mitchell Friedman says g'bye to shoddy goals and welcome to sharper strategies through a bullet list of definitive planning tools.

Ten Steps to Better Media Relations
Connecting with the media may always be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be complicated. Kyle Potvin offers a simple plan for better media placement results


Hope this all helps some.

-- Steven R. Van Hook

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