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The Strategy Room

Tips for Traveling PR Pros

By: Sonia Abdulbaki

I recently traveled to scorching deserts and dazzling cities in the UAE and Qatar to capture compelling videos for an international client campaign.

The trip took place over the course of ten days (not counting the days needed for air travel) and included location scouting, six interviews and broll for the production of these testimonial videos.

There were a lot of moving parts that were executed swiftly, whether it was hotel booking, getting permits to shoot in public locations, arranging briefing calls with the participants, preparing questionnaires and making sure all documentation for travel was taken care of, among other things. It sounds and was hectic, but also a productive, fun and interactive experience.

In the end, it could not have been executed without the presence of three things PR pros should always practice: being present, resourceful and strategic to make sure your clients are receiving expert service.

Three things #PRpros should always practice: being #present, #resourceful and #strategic Click To Tweet

Being Present

Whether it was facilitating interviews, organizing travel arrangements or recommending site locations, presence is core to building relationships and executing projects.

Being on-site also provided some real-time interaction and a greater capacity for building relationships. In fact, the contact from the local video production company, the video crew and an interviewee are still in touch.

Resourceful

A lot goes into the production of videos, especially with six participants, a video crew, a local video production company and travel items, such as plane tickets, hotel and transportation.

Having lived in Dubai for a few years, I also provided the crew with cultural guidance, making sure we abided by the law of the land (and bargained properly in Old Dubai). I also provided location recommendations in line with the goals of the video.

It’s important to search and vet your sources, be sensitive to timelines, follow up with all parties, make clear all the information you require and communicate, and brief your client on important details.

Remember to be transparent with all that you do, and hold yourself accountable to your clients.

Remember to be #transparent with all that you do, and hold yourself #accountable to your clients Click To Tweet

Strategic

In the midst of all the details that go into project planning, you have to remember what the project is meant to accomplish. You must always refer to your goals and make sure everything you’re doing is supporting them.

When we were producing the videos in Dubai and Doha, we would make sure the participants knew the purpose of the videos and the results we’re trying to accomplish. PR pros can communicate what their goals are, but also must intervene if events stray from those goals.

#PRpros can #communicate what their goals are, but also must intervene if events stray from those #goals Click To Tweet

Ask yourself these questions to keep your goals on track:

-Is the brand message being communicated clearly?

-How will your client perceive the content?

-Is the content geared toward the right audience?

Asking these questions to remain on strategy, proving resourcefulness and being present to carry out a client project are essential elements every PR pro needs. And if you have a supportive agency and outstanding clients backing you up, then you’re all set for success.

Cover photo by Mike Benton at Courage Media




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