Every good PR agency knows how to turn a holiday into an opportunity for good work. For the New Year, we’d like to seize the occasion to make a fresh start and set new goals. Goals are a way to challenge oneself and stay on course (or redirect when needed), and they help take stock of what really counts.
Here’s what we promise to do more of in 2016.
Get ahead of the newest media developments. The media world today moves at lightning pace. That could mean new publications, job changes, or changes in ownership. New sites like Little Things, which launched in September 2014, grew at an exponential rate in 2015 while other sites, like Gigaom, closed their “doors,” only to be acquired and started up again in a new form. It can be challenging to keep up, but staying on top of developments like these can mean a competitive advantage.
Increase face time. Whether syncing our own teams internally through quality time together, getting face time with partners and clients, or meeting ‘F2F’ with key journalists, we realize the importance of human interaction to foster strong relationships. In the strictest professional sense, ours is still a human business, and decisions are no doubt influenced by how we feel about the people we work with. In-person time takes more effort and is easy to overlook, but it can often make the difference between someone taking your call or not, or saying yes to a pitch or request.
Sharpen writing skills. Solid writing skills never go out of fashion when it comes to media and public relations. Even the best writers need a good editor, an infusion of inspiration, and a refresher on usage and style. When you care about good writing this is always on the radar, but a resolution can help make it more of a reality.
Give substantive counsel, and receive criticism well. In the heat of the moment it’s possible to forget that PR professionals are in the business of providing counsel. That sometimes means giving — and hearing — advice and feedback that’s uncomfortable or unexpected. Telling business partners or colleagues something they don’t like is challenging, but if you believe it’s wise and will improve outcomes, it’s an obligation. Ultimately this makes you a more valuable adviser or partner. On the flip side, it takes strength of mind to hear difficult feedback, too, and to consider it with discernment.
Be a mentor. Chances are, if you’ve experienced a degree of success in any field, you learned from people along the way. Some are blessed with a formal mentor while others glean what they can from peers and bosses they respect. Either way, taking the opportunity to nurture a promising young professional is not only good karma, it’s a way to invest in the future of a profession you care deeply about.