Having recently kickstarted my career in recruitment at 33Talent, and also being new to the world of PR, I was on the lookout for community-based events which could help me gain further insight into this exciting and ever-evolving industry, from the very people that drive it.
Seeing that this type of event was largely missing from the PR industry, we decided to get the ball rolling and start a series of networking events, giving PR professionals the opportunity to connect and learn with others in a casual setting. Each event will also feature a panel discussion covering different industry topics each time.
Our very first edition on the theme of Success saw an immensely successful turnout - no pun intended! Apart from the chance to network with fellow professionals, we enjoyed a lively panel discussion, with speakers hailing from an interesting mix of backgrounds within the PR space from agency, in-house, digital to business coaching.
(l-r Cat Muspratt, Charlotte Lee, Lina Marican, Eddie Chew, Kathryn Woof. Photo from Mutant Communications Facebook page)
For those who’d like a recap or missed the event, here are some of the key quotes from the night’s panel. (After all, reinforcement is a key to success!)
“Some people think of training as something that is given to you, but they underestimate how far they can get by themselves”
The key takeaway on training was that we should be a sponge wherever we go. There’s always some new knowledge you can reap from every interaction with your stakeholders and team members. Keep an open mind, ask questions and embrace the process of cross-sharing knowledge.
Or simply as the saying goes - ask and you will be given. If you have identified a growth area for which you think formal training can help to boost, by all means ask for it! And before you start thinking “my company might not have the budget for it”, the next question would be: Should the lack of budget stop you from improving?
With the Internet and myriad of online courses at our disposal, there’s hardly any excuse not to explore new ways of learning. If you’re looking to learn with a personal touch, again harness the power of the Internet to seek out communities & people whom you can connect with. Attending our next PR Presence networking night would be a start!
Lina pointed out that often we are so focused on helping our clients or organizations to communicate their brand and offerings, that we forget that ourselves as individuals could also use PR for our own success. Positioning yourself as an expert makes it easy for others to talk of you positively - be it by writing articles on your own area expertise, sharing your successes on Linkedin (there’s a way to do this without bragging) or by showcasing your knowledge at an industry event.
At Mutant Communications, they also have a scheme called “pitch for a promotion” where at any time their team members can put together a short pitch on why they think they deserve a promotion.
“I know my s**t, and I’m happy to share it”
Cat made a great point that another means of doing PR for yourself is simply sharing your knowledge to people around you in a genuine manner. A big part of success depends on our stakeholders (our boss, clients and team members) seeing our value and appreciating it. One way to demonstrate your success, is to make everyone else around you more successful. If you take the time regularly to share your knowledge and skills with your team, and help them become more successful, then that will reflect well on you.
“Fall in love and believe in what you do”
The people whom you need buy-in from will feel it straight away. Even with the Internet age and Industry 4.0, at the end of the day people buy people. If they see that you love what you’re doing, trust and credibility comes naturally.
“Promotions can only happen when your company/agency has space… or if your boss gets hit by a bus”
f you feel like there’s no space to grow, you have to create the opportunity (and no, Eddie was not recommending taking a hit out on your boss!) It could be by growing the function to the point that there’s space for you to get promoted. Sometimes, unfortunately the reality is there’s never going to be space for you to get promoted in the short term - so instead of waiting for the vacancy, you may have to look elsewhere for that progression you need.
(We promise we didn’t ask him to say that...but if you are looking for a new job we’re happy to help!)
“Digital’s not emerging, it’s emerged”
It may feel like a “buzzword” but there’s a reason why everyone is still talking about digital! Digital is always evolving, and so are the ways in which you can use it. Beyond acquiring actual digital skills, strive towards adopting a digital mindset. Without the continual effort to infuse digital into your everyday work, your success in this area could be short-lived. Charlotte also highlighted that unlike most forms of traditional PR, digital is highly measurable and can be traced directly to business impact - talk about showing off your success!
“Expect failures and roadblocks, if not you’re not doing it right”
In the process of achieving any form of success from solidifying your own expertise, getting a promotion, to becoming truly digitally-savvy etc, there are bound to be difficulties and challenges along the way. As simple as it sounds, you are only in this situation because you are doing something out of your comfort zone - and that’s great! The key here is to be resilient, tackle the root issues and identify specific actions you need to take to continue moving forward.
If you still feel stuck where you are and need more support, seeking coaching is something you can consider. Cat explained that unlike training which she defined as a “transfer of knowledge which you then attempt to apply to your own role”, coaching is all about transformation: Identifying obstacles which could be hindering you from reaching full potential, as well as strategies to get past these obstacles. Read more about coaching and its benefits here.
Thanks again to the panel for sharing such great insights, and wishing you all success in implementing their tips and tricks!
We hope to see you all again at our next PR Presence event, coming your way on 25th April. More details will be released soon.
Want to chat about your PR career, or this event?
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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