40 things that could boost your PR career

Affirmation Cards 4

Happy Wednesday to you. 

How were those pancakes last night?
 
Soft and fluffy with lemon and sugar?
 
Think and heavy, coated with chocolate spread?
 
Ham and cheese with ketchup? 

However you had yours, I hope they were good, but that’s not what I am actually here to talk about today. 

What I want to look at in this post are 40 things you could do to boost your PR career today, tomorrow, and forever. 

As a coach for PR professionals, as well as an ex-PR, I hope my insights will be food for thought, and maybe get you into your best frame of mind ever.

Are you ready…..

  1. Stop working for free. 
  2. Don’t skip breaks, they will help you to be more focused and more relaxed. 
  3. If a journalist is asking for comments about working from home, do not offer them anything else, they won’t thank you and might spill the beans on Twitter. 
  4. Staying quiet in meetings, don’t do that darling, you are too bright a star to stay small. 
  5. Do your research into the titles your clients want to get into, know them inside out and back to front, and then pitch. 
  6. Get names right. I receive emails to Nat, Nathalie, hun, lovely….my name is Natalie and those emails get deleted as soon as I seem – harsh, but true. 
  7. Go for that promotion even if it scares you, especially if it scares you. 
  8. People asking to ‘pick your brain’ – let’s stop that! 
  9. Find a network, it will keep you motivated, focussed and it feels pretty good to be someone else’s supporter. 
  10. Create a career vision board, might sound a bit woo woo, but give it a go! 
  11. Press releases – keep those to one page. 
  12. Have a manageable to-do list, don’t overwhelm yourself. 
  13. If you have a creative block, get up from your desk, go for a walk around the block and come back to the problem with fresh eyes and a glass of water. 
  14. Keep in touch with your clients – big and small – so they are in the loop and know you are part of the team. 
  15. There is no such thing as ‘off the record’, if it’s not meant to be in the public arena, don’t say it. 
  16. Remember journalists are busy and also feeling the stress of COVD, homeschooling, and lockdown, so just give them space, and check out point 18.
  17. Remember to drink enough water each day. Keep a glass on your desk, I like it ice cold, and drink often, doing this will help keep you hydrated and alert, and means you will have to get up and go to the loo, so ensures enforced breaks are taken. See point 2. 
  18. Don’t call a contact the moment you send a press release to tell them you have sent them a press release. Just don’t. 
  19. Listen to your intuition, she’s speaking for a reason. 
  20. Keep your accounts up to date, I know we are about words and stories, but it helps to know where the pennies and pounds are going. 
  21. Say thank you when coverage is secured. You will be amazed how many people don’t, and the difference it can make. 
  22. Ask for help. Whether you are in an agency, in-house or work for yourself, asking for help is brave and often needed, not a weakness. 
  23. Get dressed! I know most of us are working from home, but having a shower, putting on proper clothes – PJs don’t count – doing your hair, and even popping on a bit of makeup can totally change not only change the way you feel but the way you work. This also saves blushes when a client calls for last-minute Zoom catch-up.
  24. Three good things – find three good things in every day and keep a list. These can be big or small, and they soon build up and show you what a good job you are doing. 
  25. Believe you belong in the PR world, because you do.
  26. Make time for you! Yes, you want to get results and keep everyone happy, but nothing will happen if you aren’t in good physical and mental health.
  27. Keep your CV up to date and make updates each month to keep it fresh and at the ready.
  28. Don’t make comparisons. Everyone has their own strengths, so work on being the best version of you, not a yardstick against someone else.
  29. Read! Whether it’s blog posts like this, PR Week, the papers, magazines, or books, I’ve written one about PR, read and soak up the information and inspiration. 
  30. Give up smoking. 
  31. Watch where you slide. Some journalists are happy with DMs, others won’t like it, so how they want to be contacted and the language they use.
  32. Take a course. I’m always learning and a sucker for courses, but only sign up for the ones I know I’ll do. What do you fancy learning in the next 40 days?
  33. Don’t CC your entire email list that press release, it won’t go down well. Don’t BCC either. Keep it tailored, personalised, and remember GDPR. 
  34. Not ready for that promotion, go for it anyway and see how it goes. You are probably flying so much higher than you think and this will be noted by your team. 
  35. Take a step back. If you get a comment that’s a bit sharp, coverage with a typo, or a client complains, don’t go back in the heat of the moment. Walk away, have a cuppa, go back to it when you have a clear head and perspective.
  36. Got an idea? Share it. Be it with your boss, HR manager, mentor, or team, if you come up with great ideas, they will love you for it.
  37. Put boundaries in place and stick to them. 
  38. Clear your emails once a week. Do, file, delete. Simple.
  39. Don’t believe the hype!!!! Scroll knowing that most people share their highlights, not their lows, so cheer them on but don’t think they got it all sorted. No one has it ALL sorted.
  40. Ask for feedback. If you are second-guessing your performance or results, ask for feedback. Not only will this give you some clarity and confidence, but it can also give you areas to work on so you are even better.

Got something I missed, let me know, and if you think you need some support from a certified, qualified coach, who spent 23 years working on the PR frontline, get in touch and let’s chat. 

Natalie 

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