I’ve been in this business for approximately 15 years in one form or another. Well, lets just say I started at the very bottom aka the receptionist. Far be it for me to disparage humble beginnings… But I digress.
In public relations you are often given the opportunity to pitch a new client as part of what is our industry’s version of the Broadway cattle call. It’s you against them and only one is going to make it onto the stage. I’ve always loved the idea of collaborating, it’s more fun, a bit more like a party – plus, the ideas tend to be better. I’m a fan of partnering.
Obviously, it’s a problem when the fee isn’t big enough to share or egos get out of whack, but when there is a good mix I find there is nothing better than a great partnership. If money wasn’t an issue, I’d do everything for free, and give everything away too. I’d share like crazy. So, in the meantime, we continue to look for creative ways to partner with other agencies. Share the love. It works!
I’ve always been a big believer in over communication. In the world of public relations that is our job, after all. To be good at what we do we need to create strategic pathways to communicate our client’s messages – whether to the consumer or to other businesses.
In a vacuum I’ve learned that people always assume the worst, so finding a clear way to keep interested parties “in the loop” is critical to any successful pr plan, program or campaign. I’ve recently gotten married and I know my lovely husband wishes I wouldn’t communicate as much as I do. Just this morning, walking along the promenade in Brooklyn Heights, I asked if he wouldn’t please be present in this beautiful moment for me. Over communication, or just plain redundancy… He thought my communication was going a bit too far.
As a publicist I will always believe that over communication is your best ticket for keeping all the right people in the know, including your clients. So go for it, open up and let ‘em have it!
I've always had a problem when it comes to being on time. Best laid plans and all that, I still always seem to run at least 10 minutes late - for just about everything, and that includes personal things that actually matter to me.
For some reason, I feel like everyone (at least in my immediate circles) cares about being on time, as if it is a badge of honor. I think they're right, but I've still had a problem changing this bad habit. And here's what I'm thinking, I'm usually late because I'm trying to get "it all done." I'm usually not late because I'm sitting around twiddling my thumbs. I'm late because I had 46 more emails to respond to, a client that needed to talk to me NOW, packing that had to be done for an overseas trip, food that needed to be prepped for a dinner party that night and shoes that needed to be picked up at the repair shop. Honestly, I could be on time all the time if I cut down on something else. So being late in my case is a true time management issue, but that's what we're all trying to do these days, manage our time, aren't we? So, why is everyone better at it than me? And does it REALLY matter?
I wish I was better at it - being on time. I don't want to be late. I really don't. I'm going to work on it, just like everything else in my life. Wish there was more time!
In the digital age the reality of working from "virtually" anywhere is a virtual possibility. When I was coming up in the world an office was a hub, a place where you had to be to get things done.
Today, as just about everyone knows, that is not the case anymore. But is that a good thing? I think you can make a case either way. Work virtually, multi-task your life. Doing a proposal in your pajamas. No problem! Send that press release out in the middle of the night. Of course!
But what do you lose when you lose face time? Well, you lose face time. You lose reading those subtle nuances only captured in a person; you lose one-on-one human connection (if your boss is a screamer that may be a good thing). I like a hybrid of both. I like being able to move freely and do work as I go. But I also love the personal interaction and the great ideas that happen when people meet.
I'm glad technology has freed us of the tyranny of the office (though not of work because now the expectation is that if it can get done do it). But I also think we need a good dose of real people in real time. So go ahead create a virtual environment, just make sure you get some people "in there" when you can.
One of the most challenging things about running a business has got to be HR. I'm sure there are a pile of great books out there that can help a manager or an owner navigate the tricky twists and turns that populate the world of business (I know there are, I just saw one in the airport bookstore) but all the best laid plans can't always help you deal with what is best described as the "human element."
Humans are not robots and they, thankfully, have their own minds. A human with its own mind tends to have its own way of doing things. Sometimes they are seriously motivated to do what YOU want them to do. But most often THEY want to do what THEY want to do and it creates an HR experience, one that you, as the leader, have to negotiate.
As a rule, I don't like to manipulate people into doing my will. Generally, I prefer to motivate via cold hard cash. But these days money isn't always the best motivating force. It's become clear to me that if I have an HR issue I'm usually at the heart of it. This is my company, after all. So, my new way of thinking is this... If someone is failing at their job almost all the blame probably rests on me. Either my employee wasn't properly trained, the client relationship is flawed, the program expectations are unrealistic or the cultural fit is wrong. It's up to me to evaluate and fix the problem. What does that require? Time and motivation. Well, I may not have the time but I'm motivated. HR, it's definitely a challenge, but when done right the results can be gold.