The Gold Standard Press Secretary

  • The PR person should have a feel for news — what makes news and what doesn’t. It is not the media’s job to “ask the right” question, but the newsmakers job to deliver the right messages.
  • The PR person should be ahead of the curve when it comes to issues. In other words, he or she should be able to predict to a reasonable degree which messages will resonate with the media (the public).] This doesn’t just mean thinking outside the box. Sometimes it means building a new box.
  • The PR person should have both common sense and political sense. The two are kissing cousins. Generally, this is not something one takes off a book shelf or in a classroom.
  • The PR person should be fearless in giving his superiors advice. This can be done diplomatically — but it has to be done. We often describe PR as being able to tell a CEO what he already knows but doesn’t want to hear.
  • The PR person should be a generalist. He or she should know a little about nearly every topic under the sun. This means getting away from your comfort zones. So, read — a lot.
  • A PR person needs a creative streak. The competition to make news is great. You want someone who has a new idea every hour on the hour like Old Faithful.
My last picture with Sen. Byrd the year before he died with my family in his office.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
J. Michael Willard

J. Michael Willard

I am a novelist but my day job is utilizing my years as a business consultant, journalist, and public service in the field of international development.