Music is a leader of the high art of communication, so no doubt we in the PR world can learn from that industry’s best practices. And when it comes to learning from the best, who better to study than the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Elvis Presley! Here are four key points Elvis would probably share with PR pros today:
• Be versatile. Elvis was more than the greatest rock vocalist ever. He was a solid guitar player, could belt tunes on the piano, wrote some of his biggest hits, was a movie star… even had a black belt in karate! Similarly, the best PR pros aren’t just skilled in one skill set. They know how to write, speak, pitch, strategize, network, and do it with a smile.
• The best campaigns take time. Elvis was summoned to serve in the military just when his star was reaching supernova status. Many speculated the compulsory service would suddenly end his career. Instead, he returned and drew from the amazing musical foundation he built, with the biggest blast being the famous 1968 “Comeback Special” seared in many music lovers’ minds. In PR, the biggest positive impact we can make for clients often requires months, sometimes years, of legwork before the publicity payoff is realized.
• Mix it up. Elvis didn’t just stick with rock music. He dominated many genres, including gospel, country, blues, even a few bizarre side numbers. PR pros should always think about getting clients outside their comfort zones, such as in other industries where business and publicity opportunities may provide excellent bang for the buck publicity.
• Only the strong survive. Not only the title of a great song Elvis covered, but also a motto all PR pros should live by! PR is a rough industry, it requires significant time, creativity, and plenty of persistence (hello, pitching…) to get results. If you don’t have the drive to keep going despite setbacks, you may want to consider another line of work.