It’s a hard pill to swallow when you realize, well, mom was right all along. With Mother’s Day coming up, I started thinking that all of those mom-isms actually apply to my real-world experience in public relations.
“Put on a jacket before you catch a cold!”
It’s warm 85 degrees and sunny, yet Mom still forced me to bring a jacket when I left the house. “Just in case,” she would say. In PR, we have to prepare for the “just in case” and have a plan for any situation. We’ve seen plenty of mishaps where companies just didn’t seem prepared for a crisis. (I’m looking at you Carnival). Even if you think your client could do no wrong, it pays to have a crisis communication plan in place.
“Pick your battles.”
This is Mom’s favorite and usually uttered while I was fighting with my brother. It’s important for us to “pick” the important pitches with the right contacts and realize one may not work for every journalist. Pick your story angles like you pick your battles. Use convincing details with a journalist to garner their interest in your story.
“Don’t sit too close to the television; it’ll ruin your eyes!”
When we’re too focused, we forget to think outside the box. Stepping back from the task at hand allows us to see the big picture. In the same vein, stepping out of our PR shoes and into the shoes of a broker, traveler or journalist gives us a greater perspective. At Quinn, we’re continuously figuring out how to make the consumers happy. The best way to do that is to “be” the consumer.
“Why don’t you ever call me?”
Don’t you remember this from college? Every Sunday night we had to call Mom. When pitching, it’s always important to follow up. This helps create a relationship with the contact, in addition to keeping the lines of communication open.
“Do you think I’m made of money?”
Unfortunately, not every client will have a million dollar budget. Get creative and find ways to garner publicity without doling out the cash. As PR pros, it’s our job is to get the coverage without paying for the advertising and an interesting pitch which lands you a front page story can is worth more than a full-page ad.
“How can you have nothing to wear? Your closet is full of clothes!”
Yes, there’s always going to be something new to try but it’s worthwhile to go back to basics. That old jean jacket in your closet? I bet you’re glad you saved it now. In PR the big idea doesn’t always have to be the newest, fastest, or largest. It needs to fit the client goal, solve a problem and be creative to garner attention.