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The PR behaviours of successful people

What separates people who are great at their own PR from those that aren’t? is it how they recognise that PR is about more than making time for journalist meetings and signing off press releases? More about cultivating a strong personal brand that touches all communications points, from social media through to events.

Through our GROW@Green Park Talks series, I’ve been lucky enough to spend time with some truly inspirational, talented leaders and entrepreneurs, from Sage People’s Adam Hale, Tech City UK’s Jacqueline de Rojas, Ella’s Kitchen’s Paul Lindley and ConnectTVT’s Louize Clarke. Here’s a snapshot of the PR behaviours each of them share.

They believe in the value of PR

First off, successful people take time to invest in PR.  This is so much more than approving an annual PR budget. It’s prioritising the role PR plays in managing both their business’ and personal reputation.  PR- smart leaders engage with their PR team – be it in-house, an agency or boutique consultancy, paying attention to detail in comms, making time to personally adjust content, and commit to the full PR process.

They show up and connect

Leaders who are great at their own PR understand the power of personal connection; PR is ultimately about relationships. They say yes to speaker opportunities, expert panels, hosting roundtables and take time to connect with attendees. The first thing a super-influencer did when attending a recent event was to make a bee-line for the barista, chatting to him, asking about the place of her organisation’s product in his business, remembering his name and referring back to the conversation in the event. They connect at every level.

They encourage bigger thinking

As influencers, leaders recognise how to leverage their own PR-ability. They support bigger ideas and champion this to drive change.  Again, the CEO of one of the UK’s fastest growing business started a spontaneous campaign to give Reading city status, launching a call to action via his personal Twitter feed, raising it at events, so that it got picked up by local media and initiated a wider movement.

They have an authentic trademark

People who are great at their own PR know it’s more than media coverage – it’s about their personal brand, how audiences recognise and connect with this.  It’s a crowded marketplace and you need to stand out, authentically.  So they bring a piece of themselves to the party. Thinking about some amazing entrepreneurs I’ve worked with recently – they’ve openly ditched high heels for sparkly trainers, worn shorts to awards events, arrived on their bike or sported a B-corp t-shirt to reinforce brand and personal purpose.  It’s a subtle, distinctive way to strengthen association and engagement.  

They tell great stories

Great PR is great storytelling.  It’s not telling someone how great you are – that’s advertising.  The most successful people bring their mission and business vision to life through a resonant narrative, using emotions and colour. They use structures from quests through to rebirth, and a sprinkle of personal anecdotes, dramatic questions, placing a hero with a beating heart at its centre. This engages, inspires and creates stand-out, making communication more powerful.

You don’t have to be a FTSE 100 business leader to embrace great PR behaviours. Be mindful of these habits and see how your relationships shift, how you connect with your team and customers, and the change this brings to your business.



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