Why readers make the best PR people

By Natalie Petroni, Account Executive at LCI
Natalie Petroni  HeadshotWhen was the last time you finished a great novel? Or read the newspaper (the actual print newspaper) from cover to cover? In our fast-paced world, we often don’t take time to read; in fact, many people consider reading a luxury. I recently joined the Landis Communications (LCI) team and am happy to say that my answers to the above two questions are last week and today.
Every morning, LCI staffers read a major U.S. newspaper and provide a snapshot of the day’s news that’s either relevant to our clients and/or would be of interest to those following us on Twitter (@LandisComm). This activity has proven to be a valuable exercise that keeps me both informed on news and trends impacting our clients and up to date on current events.
Recently, I’ve come across a slew of articles touting the benefits of daily reading. These pieces, written by readers, contained a number of tips that explore how reading relates to success in the PR field. One belief I have is to read anything and everything – from fiction and news to poetry and biographies – to help you increase your PR skills. Here are just a few reasons why:

Empathy: When you read, you see the world through different lenses, taking on the emotions, tribulations and triumphs of the characters in a story or news piece. As you’re reading, these emotions become your own and you empathize. Taking on another person’s point of view helps with client interactions and media relations.

Vocabulary: Reading helps build vocabulary, improve grammar and it exposes you to different contexts in which words are used. This comes in handy when you need to write an informative press release, concise PSA or time-sensitive media advisory.

Critical Thinking: Picking up a good book, short story or biography and immersing yourself in an alternate world exercises your brain and does wonders for your analytical and critical thinking skills. After I’ve read a good book I think about it for some time, ruminating on the characters’ lives and analyzing the different ways the book could have ended. Similarly, when I read a powerful article, it gets me thinking. Possessing the ability to analyze situations concerning your clients and think critically to produce positive results are two very important practices in PR.

Creativity:  Entering a literary world through reading is a creative process. I’m sure very few people, when they read the same story, visualize the exact same thing. Practicing creativity can help foster that inspired new business pitch or ingenious client campaign.

So pick up a good book, read that print newspaper or your favorite magazine. The benefits are endless.
What good book(s) have you read lately and how did it impact your efforts at work? I‘d love to hear from you at [email protected].

4 thoughts on “Why readers make the best PR people

  1. Natalie – As a proponent of the English language, I couldn’t agree more. Reading newspapers also helps #PR pros understand the nuances and focus of individual reporters in a way that you can’t access through databases like Cision. And reading always makes you a better writer. Bravo!

  2. I’m currently reading a book about how words and language shape our perspective and thought patterns. As a professional communicator, thoughtfully framing messages is at the heart of what I do. When I read novels, newspapers, and magazines, not only am I getting personal enjoyment, but I find myself critically thinking about the different writing styles of each medium and how I can improve my own writing skills. As PR professionals, we often talk about writing skills, but I think you’ve brought up a great thought: how are our reading skills?

  3. I strongly agree with the vocabulary tidbit. It is fun discovering new ways to phrase thoughts by reading someone else’s text. Saying more with fewer words is great for PR writing!

  4. Thank you David, Zach and Kristin, I’m glad you liked the post!
    Kristin – You’ll have to tell me the name of the book, sounds like an interesting read!

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