There’s a certain rhythm to working in public relations – agencies tackle new business opportunities, work closely with client teams and do the day-to-day work of media relations and thought leadership. In the ebb and flow of work, we like to incorporate music. The right songs help elevate the mood when the work is stressful, or celebrate great achievements when peaks are attained. Here are seven songs – both old and new – that can help PR people strike the right mood for whatever assignments are keeping them busy this season.
PR professionals are always juggling deadlines for new business proposals, PR plans, and other deliverables. However, our close attention to deadline detail isn’t always important to those on the receiving end. Whether it’s a potential client, media contact, or potential business partner promising the quick answer, it doesn’t always happen. So, the byword and first song of the PR Mixtape for the season is a gorgeous acoustic love song called “Patience” by one of the all-time greatest hard rock bands, Guns N’ Roses. “Said woman take it slow and things will be just fine, you and I’ll just use a little patience / Said sugar take the time ‘cause the lights are shining bright, you and I’ve got what it takes to make it.”
One of the most gratifying experiences for a PR team is the collective win. This can be something obvious like winning a new client, scoring press coverage or getting an industry award. Or it can be a more subtle “win” – convincing a client to move on a bold PR initiative or salvaging an interview that went bad. Being humble will help you earn the respect of your peers. This year, one of the most well-received songs was “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar, arguably the biggest rapper on the planet. The chorus, one of the year’s catchiest, repeats the refrain: “Sit down, be humble.”
The most successful PR is rooted in teamwork. Ideally, account teams have a strong leader guiding strategy and keeping the big picture in mind. As members of the same team, we thrive on rallying around a project and pulling together to accomplish it. So, while the verses to the Beatles classic “Come Together” are mainly nonsense, the chorus’s message of unity is resonant. “Come together, right now, over me.”
Having trouble psyching the team to set 2018 business goals? Blast Eminem’s enduring anthem to hard work. Scientists agree that one of music’s energizing effects comes from its ability to engage the body’s sympathetic nervous system. The activation of this system readies the body for action whenever we face a challenge in our environment. Once motivated, it’s helpful to break a group into smaller teams and focus on specific challenges or opportunities. “Look/ If you had One shot Or one opportunity /To seize everything you ever wanted In one moment/Would you capture Or just let it slip?”
PR ranks as the 8th most stressful job in the new Job Stress report from CareerCast. While our profession, thankfully, isn’t life and death the way many of the top-ranked stressful gigs are, 21st century PR pros can find themselves on the hook for reputation management and damage control. It’s good to know that when the stress reaches a boiling point, we can listen to “Weightless” by Marconi Union. According to a study, listening to the song results in a striking 65 percent reduction in overall anxiety, and a 35 percent reduction in physiological resting rates. What we like best though, is that the song has its own PR twist. It was written in collaboration with sound therapists and covered by pubs like Inc.
“Don’t Look Back in Anger”
From the warm kumbaya feeling of a company win to the frustrations of losing – that is PR agency life. Despite crack research, novel creativity, tight strategy and a perfect blend of team members with dynamite chemistry, when we’re voted off the island, it hurts. That’s okay, don’t dwell on it. Learn from it. In PR – as with many aspects of life – size up the key learnings and harness the negative energy to do something positive. “Don’t Look Back in Anger” by 90s British rock band Oasis features an uplifting chorus that’s guaranteed to boost your spirits: “My soul slides away, but don’t look back in anger, I heard you say”
“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”
The holidays can bring out the best in PR teams, clients and media. Take advantage of holiday parties, celebrations, and events to spend social time with close business associates and media contacts. Of course, end of year is also a great business-seeding and reinforcing time. We put together visually appealing end-of-year reports to go over at holiday lunches and plan creative sessions to get a jump on next year’s first quarter. There are countless holiday songs played everywhere this time of year, but one classic that’s the epitome of the holiday season is Andy Williams’ “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”: “It’s the most wonderful time of the year / There’ll be much mistletoeing and hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near / It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”