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TGIF: The Best PR Advice I Ever Got from Grandma

This weekend marks that most Hallmark-esque of holidays, Grandparent’s Day. While the day may have been created to sell more cards, the sentiment is a good one. It’s true, your grandparents may not use a smartphone or follow you on Instagram, but the odds are that advice you’ve received from them is applicable to the unpredictable world of PR.

Here are some of my personal favorite wise words:

Be a good listener. Grandparents tend to preach this out of common courtesy from a bygone era, but it is one of the best pieces of advice for a PR practitioner. You will offer much smarter counsel to your clients if you spend more time listening than talking.

Always address a kindness. Don’t let goodwill go south. Show appreciation immediately, and the same goes in the reverse. If something unpleasant must be addressed, do so before anything else negative happens. Grandparents recognize time is precious – procrastinating is not!

Never throw away something you can use again. Those who grew up in the 40s or 50s are the original recyclers. Living in an era before plastic bags and during or after a world war know how to save, re-use and re-purpose and we can all learn something about working smarter and more efficiently.

Patience is a virtue. From having lived in a quieter, non-tech world comes this grandparent advice – slow down, take your time and get things right. This generation is known for a healthy work ethic but also for not rushing through work – or play! If you can incorporate just a few extra minutes when writing materials or reading something important from a client, it will pay off in your understanding and probably your execution.

Don’t worry so much. Today’s generation never unplugs, so the worries from the workday never leave. Simple grandparent advice: worrying won’t fix anything – but your next smart decision will!

So take it easy this weekend and visit a grandparent or just remember something wonderful you learned from one.

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