The Do’s and Don’ts of Public Relations - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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Many public relations professionals are seen as the gatekeepers of a business or organization, sculpting the image of an executive, celebrity, corporation, or cause. They address the media, inform the public of a company’s plans, and make visions come alive through communications and publicity.


In today’s difficult economic climate, hiring the right representation for your business can be the difference between boosting clientele and sales or losing out on opportunities and revenue to the competition.

“Without adequate public relations counsel and expertise, companies are in jeopardy of allowing the marketplace–or worst yet, their competition–to define who they are and what value they bring to their audience,” says Cheryl I. Procter-Rogers, senior consultant at A Step Ahead Public Relations. Procter-Rogers, former president and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America, says public relations is “much more than publicity.”

Here are some tips from industry experts on what makes a good PR representative, top do’s and don’ts, and why PR professionals are a vital part of business strategy:


KTaylorBassKaren Taylor Bass
Author, You Want Caviar But Have Money For Chitlins: A Smart Do-It-Yourself PR Guide for Those on a Budget

Be authentic, strategic, and creative. Know there is no “box” when creating a PR campaign.

Research the marketplace to create and build a winning brand.

Impressions are key. Make certain your public and personal profile is out there–one press release per month about your brand. Secure media placements in print, TV, and  radio.


DMillerDebra A.  Miller, Ed. D.
Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Aurora Health Care

DO understand that effective public relations has at least four steps: research, planning, action, and evaluation. Compromising any of these steps increases the chances of jeopardizing your success.

DO be sure you understand the power of digital and social media. Mastering how [these tools] can be used positively or negatively can mean the difference between success and failure for your client or employer.

DON’T practice in a vacuum. Ask questions and never be afraid to ask for help. Keep a group of colleagues close so you share ideas, discuss problems and solutions with them frequently.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.