“I’m a rockstar.” ”I can do anything!” “I’m the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be.”
“You’ve got a gift Roy… but it’s not enough – you’ve got to develop yourself. If you rely too much on your own gift… then… you’ll fail.”
I use that last quote from “The Natural” because it’s such a great one. Whether you are a PR pro or an athlete, we all have gifts. Some are great at writing, while others have terrific analytic minds. If you rely too heavily on those gifts, you settle. It’s not a good move.
Over my career, I’ve talked to a number of people who have just settled. I was one of those people for a few years. I thought, “Will I ever find a job I’m happy with?”
I went through a bit of re-discovery about four years ago. I decided that instead of just being content with being good, I wanted to be better. Why didn’t I just settle? Because by settling, you throw away your drive and your passion. Sure, you may work at the Acme Company as an account manager, but do you really love it? If you do, great.
But, once you let the thoughts of, “I would rather just stay here; I don’t need to leave” enter your head, it’s over. Here are three ways to not settle and soar instead.
1. Find something everyday that challenges you- Whether it is a workout or a webinar, be part of something that can get your mental or physical juices flowing. I like reading at least three blogs from people who I know think fresh and outside the box.
2. Don’t let someone else tell you what your career should be- Ok, I know I’m trying to give advice here. I will never, though, tell a person what career they should go into. There’s a difference between guidance/mentoring and telling someone “You are crazy if you don’t take this job.” Take advice, listen and make up YOUR mind.
3. Listen to your heart- Think it sounds cliché? It’s not. If you are driven to succeed in life and career, your heart will help to tell you how you feel. When my heart stopped being into something, I actively starting seeking new challenges and jobs. Once the heart stops feeling driven, your mind will follow. Don’t waste both.
Remember… it’s never too late to have a life and it’s never too late to change one!
Happy Tuesday, friends. I’ve got another Tuesday Tip that will hopefully put some wind in your sails. Did you fail at something this year? Don’t let failure crush you. Rise up and succeed.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve begun to do some soul-searching. This has nothing to do with being unhappy or frustrated. It has everything to do with challenging myself to be better, to learn more and to understand the business I’ve started.
I was watching “Life After Top Chef” on Bravo the other night. Each of the former contestants have their own challenges in their life as business owners. Richard is balancing home life with his new restaurant opening; Jen is trying to find her way after her own eatery fell through, and Spike is balancing his new restaurant and his family having a part in it.
But, it was Fabio that really struck me. He likes to be in control, as do I. But, he’s attempting to delegate more, so he can have more time to look at his overall business. I thought to myself, “I figured these guys would have it all taken care of.” Not so. And that’s where my education began.
We never stop learning and shaping ourselves. I may feel like I’m doing great, but I still don’t know everything and I never will. I’m not a Jedi, guru, or ninja. I’m a student, always (as my friend Stephanie Florence likes to say).
See, what I’ve learned so far as a consultant, business owner and speaker is that everyday is an education. You make a mistake? Admit it, learn from it and press on. Use that teachable moment, not to sulk, but grow.
We as PR pros, social media managers, and marketers have undergone many changes. We are constantly evolving. In this evolution, we become more learned. But we also need to take stock in how far we have come.
It only takes a few moments to understand our growth. So, step back and realize how far you’ve come. It may be a chance to really help you understand your success.
Football is a game of passion, for fans and for players. It’s the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. It gets many of us more emotional than you could ever imagine. Just ask my wife how I was during the last two New York Giants Super Bowl wins.
In public relations, we have to look out for our clients. It doesn’t matter if you are the public relations manager for an agency or sports team. You keep an eye on how your client (or team) is viewed in public, by fans and the media, and online (social, web, etc.).
Last week, the San Diego Chargers played the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. The Chargers had a big lead in the game, only to see it slip away with the Broncos winning in dramatic fashion, 35-24. San Diego is always one of the teams to be in the “contender” conversation before the season begins. Well, count the Chargers director of PR, Bill Johnston, as one of the guys who believes his team is still a contender.
Three days after the loss, Johnston took to the Chargers’ website and wrote a post titled, “Take a Chill Pill.” Here’s some of what Mr. Johnston said:
“What’s with you people?
Yes, Monday night’s loss was bad. Horrible. Embarrassing.
Ok…enough already. No mas. I get it.
Now get over it. It was a loss. One loss.”
“Time to take a chill pill. No one knows what will happen this season, yet alone the next game. That’s the beauty of the National Football League. I don’t know, you don’t know, no one knows what’s going to happen.”
Well, the reaction to the post wasn’t exactly positive. When a colleague shared the post, I tried to think what would drive the Chargers director of PR to write this? I mean, this isn’t really good practice. If I came out and defended a client after they totally botched something, I’d be seen as crass and probably have the PR world not thinking I was sane.
I understand fully that sports PR is a tad different that me representing a client as a PR consultant. But, I also understand that you don’t necessarily want your PR director to be popping off on the team’s website and telling the fan base to “chill.” The fans of the Chargers weren’t too happy with it… and I don’t blame them.
It’s very easy to Monday Morning QB (no pun intended) something like this. Would I write a column like that after a tough loss? No way. Calling out your fans, many of whom are season ticket holders and have been through the ups and downs, isn’t a good idea. It’s also something that makes for an even bigger PR nightmare… something Mr. Johnston had to deal with. He became the story, which you NEVER want to be as a PR pro.
Now, since the original post, Mr. Johnston wrote a follow-up, apologizing for his words. A very good idea, but, as we all know in today’s social and immediate news world, the damage is already done. Of course, if the Chargers go on to win the Super Bowl, this will (probably) be a small bump.
But, either way, take a lesson. Think before you upload that next blog or hit send on that tweet or Facebook post. It could be the big difference between you being embarrassed.
This time last year, I put my daughter on the bus for her first day of kindergarten. Little did I know that the bus doors opening to her new beginning were a metaphor of what was to come for her father.
One year ago, I was let go from my job. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. My own “bus doors” were opening to the start of my consultancy, JRM Comm. The ride so far has been exciting, exhilarating, draining and stressful. Read those four words again. This was not something I ever expected.
I’m going to be brutally honest. There are days that I’m still learning about running my own business. Does this affect my work with clients? Absolutely not. But, I’ve struggled with the behind the scenes things. I want to be the best. But there are days that I’m not the best. As a matter of fact, there are days where my batting average is zero.
That is the biggest test for me; trying to understand the balance of success and failure. My highs are very high. When it comes to my lows, I let the little things get to me. Why hasn’t this mail come through? How can someone actually post that on Facebook? When is this potential client going to respond?
My wife said something great to me the other night. She told me, “You need to be real. Don’t be someone online and a different one off of it.” This is something I mention and talk to people about all the time, yet I’m not listening to my own (and my wife’s) advice. Well, that changes now.
I’ve decided to build the bridge. This phrase is something that New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin told the team prior to the start of the 2012-13 season. He said:
“‘Build the Bridge’ means to carry over all the good things that happened at the end of the season last year over into the new season. The qualities that allowed us to go forward and win the World Championship.”
While this may not sound like the most inspiring thing in the world, that phrase is key for me. By building a bridge from the good things that happened and eliminating the negatives, I can be a better business owner, PR pro and speaker.
I’m lucky to be in this position… and I’m thankful for the support I’ve had from family and colleagues. My advice to you? Build your bridge, but don’t try to do it in one day. You’ll find success over time, not overnight.
That’s reality and something I absolutely embrace.
How many of you watched both the Presidential and Vice Presidential Debates? You’ve probably noticed the candidates trying to get their messages, or messaging, across to you. Did it work? We can learn something from this as PR/Social Media pros.
Let me know your thoughts? How can we better stay on message?
“What’s the long face, what’s all the crying for… Didn’t you expect it when you opened your door.” – Bruce Hornsby
I’ve been a solo PR/social media marketing pro for nearly a year now. I chronicled my feelings as a new solo pro in May for Kellye Crane at SoloPRPro.com. It’s been such great ride to help clients shape their vision and put it into action. But I need to admit something and I think it can help you, too.
I doubt myself every single day.
So, how can a solo- or any PR/SM/Marketing pro, for that matter -actually effectively work for a client to help them solve problems, create plans, and implement a campaign, if they doubt? This answer is simple. It’s the doubt that helps my creative and analytical mind.
If you, or I, thought everything was the best damn idea or plan out there, one of two things would happen: We’d be short of clients or unemployed.
I never want to be the person that just nods his head to every idea. That’s being a “yes man” and you can forget about that ever happening. I would rather jump in with, “I think we need to re-think this because I have a little doubt about it working.” Having some doubt about a specific plan or campaign is welcomed by clients and colleagues. They want your opinions. If you doubt that some figures aren’t right or that a social campaign doesn’t have enough engagement, this is great.
I’ve doubted my own plans and asked for advice from trusted colleagues. Remember, despite this social world of ninjas, Jedis, and gurus, we don’t know everything. Even in running my relatively new business, I’ve had doubts. Will it work? Will people work with me?
Self-doubt is something you can use to fuel your success and help you become the best you can be. Take a moment and focus on what has worked for you in the past. I’m sure you’ll see that you had some doubt surrounding it.
And that isn’t a bad thing.
I am not Edelman; I’m not BlissPR; I’m not even Ruder Finn. I say that with no ounce of disrespect, either. Many of the people who work at those places have, in one way or another, provided inspiration to me. You see, those big players in our field helped shape how I wanted to run my consultancy.
Sure, I looked at many other consultancies and businesses, those not in PR or social media marketing, to get ideas. It, ultimately, came back to the “big boys.” They didn’t start with name brands or PR consultants to Fortune 500 CEOs; they started small and got bigger and bigger.
Do I think my name will eventually be like Edelman? No. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to think big. Just because you aren’t a big firm doesn’t mean you can’t think like one.
JRM Comm started as a pipe dream. I wanted to be on my own. I grew tired of doing things that I felt weren’t moving forward. So, when I broke off on my own last September, I put everything I learned into launching my consultancy. I may be small in business size, but my mind thinks big. And that is what clients want… and what you should aspire to.
The minute you begin to think small, instead of big, you have failed. You deserve better and so do your clients. Think about this for a second: Would you listen to a consultant or pro if they said you should just do a news release? Probably not. That’s thinking small. You would probably listen to a pro that said let’s create a plan that involves traditional PR tactics and PR 2.0. Let’s do a Twitter contest, etc.
You may be just one person now, but two years from now you may have five employees. You don’t get there by just thinking small… you get bigger by thinking bigger. Dream it and believe it!
Over the last few months, I’ve done a number of presentations and I’m asked the same question: “Will you have a PowerPoint to present?” My answer (so far) is always, “yes.” But, it was a discussion with my wife about a PowerPoint presentation that really got me thinking.
She asked after my most recent talk, “What if you DID NOT have one?” I shuddered and thought, “I can’t just NOT have one. What would I refer to?” But, she made a great point: Do we really need to use PowerPoint during a talk and is it always effective? So, I was officially conflicted.
I decided to reach out to trusted colleague Deirdre Breakenridge; she’s done a few presentations (understatement). I wanted to get her opinion on which way to go. Deirdre stressed the importance of knowing the audience and to have the resources prepared that will get their attention.
I have no problem admitting that I’m passionate about public relations, social media marketing, and teamwork. But, I’m also a huge super hero geek. Seeing how Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America have been placed on the big screen has been awesome. On Friday, May 4, The Avengers opens in theaters around North America.
I’ve done posts before on how Tony Stark taught me a thing or two. Now, I’d like to offer you five ways the Avengers can help your PR efforts. Some assembly is required, though.
1. Understanding each person’s strengths- No one member of your team is the same. Take the time to learn who is part of your team and how they can help. The person you feel is the weak link, may just need a different task to work on.
2. Leadership comes from every member- In the Avengers, Steve Rogers is a captain; Thor is a demigod; Iron Man (Tony Stark) is (basically) a genius. Who would be the leader? While one person may be considered top dog, every person can lead in their own way. If you trust your team, you know you can give them a task and be a strong leader for a plan or campaign.
3. Dealing with egos- From time to time, we have all dealt with “that person.” He/she has a healthy opinion of themselves. Heck, Tony Stark is a pretty confident and has a big ego. But, when working with a client like this, you can’t knock heads. You need to manage a client and let them know they are important, but part of the team. Show your client his ideas are good (“I really like how you framed this idea.”), then add your insight (“and I really think with the additions of XX and XX, this can be a winning campaign.”).
4. Adversity builds character- It’s not a secret that every PR/marketing/social media campaign will not be easy. It’s the challenges that will help shape you and your team. Nick Fury’s line, “We are hopelessly outgunned” is a perfect example of the adversity the Avengers face. But, within this seemingly impossible task, the team learns how to succeed. You may fail occasionally; but this is where you lick your wounds and gain strength.
5. Believe in your team- Sniping behind people’s backs and undermining what you are doing as a group is a sure sign that your campaign will fail. You may see a member slip up a bit, but you chose them. Believe that they can complete the task for the client. And show them your appreciation for a job well done. Maybe it’s lunch or a simple coffee break for your team. Good karma within goes a long way to outbound success.
Assemble your team and believe that their efforts will win the day. Your team could be “PR’s Mightiest Heroes.”