PR Fish Bowl

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A Father’s ROI

How my dad’s “investment” in me improved my PR skills

My dad spent years investing his time and wisdom in shaping my values, skills and “way in the world”. Now that we have celebrated his big day, I wanted to reflect on the great tips he’s given me by word and example, that have helped in my career at a New York PR firm.

“Get back in the ring.” Seems simple enough, but in PR, truer words were never spoken. We are constantly subjected to potential rejection – clients who don’t hire you; media that reject your pitch and you have to have the wherewithal to shake it off, re-group and start again. It helps to try to get feedback on what didn’t work to enable you to learn from it.

“Respect must be earned.” My dad always said, anyone can do something well once, but to earn respect and further yourself in a career like PR, you must consistently apply the same high standards to each aspect of the job and make people respect you. Keep notes of what works and doesn’t to help guide you.

“If you don’t know the answer, know where to find it.” No one is a walking encyclopedia, and there is no shame in saying “I’ll get back to you.” But there is shame if you don’t know all the myriad resources available to find an answer.  In the PR trade, this type of knowledge is like gold!

“Have a passion for what you do.” Find the elements of the job you truly love and let it be known! Your enthusiasm for what you do will be infectious and in a job such as public relations where “selling” is essential, your enthusiasm and passion will help spur the same in co-workers, clients and contacts. 

“Set the bar high.” In our office, we have weekly work goals, but I learned from my dad to set my own business and personal goals as well.  Once you commit them to paper (or screen) they become “real” and I find myself more inspired to achieve them.

What wisdom can you share from your father?

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