Published on October 10, 2019, at 12:00 p.m.
by Ashby Brown.
Although Michael Scott may be able to ramble on, public relations professionals cannot. Working in public relations requires professionals to act, write and speak with intention. Whether it is based on research, data points or evidence from past case studies, all communication must have a strategy behind it. Bottom line? Time is important – don’t write pointless sentences hoping to “find it along the way.”
Make a plan.
Just like the “World’s Best Boss” himself, we don’t always know what to do, and that’s OK. Nobody does! If you ever find yourself in a tough situation, grab a co-worker or trusted friend in the company and ask to pick their brain about the topic, depending on what it is, of course. Always ensure your client’s work can be discussed with other co-workers before taking action. Sometimes a different perspective can lead to a new idea. If talking to others doesn’t work for you, consider taking a break on this project and switch to another task. Giving your brain the time to stop and think about a different topic can bring new ideas forward and help you organize.
Respect others’ time.
Kevin doesn’t have patience for stupidity, and neither do journalists. Just like when Kevin gets frustrated with office antics, journalists feel this way when they get a lousy pitch. With an email inbox full of story ideas, yours must stick out. To get journalists to write about your client, it is imperative to give them exactly what they want to hear: a newsworthy pitch with no grammatical errors. AP Style is of utmost importance as well, as it shows that we acknowledge the way journalists write. Not only will you seem more credible with these tools, but also your reader will appreciate it more than you know.
Put yourself out there.
While Michael may be stealing someone else’s quote – not one of his brightest ideas – there is definitely some truth to it. I like to think that public relations professionals are equally as creative as they are tactical. During a client brainstorm or a tactical communication meeting, be sure to speak up. Even if your idea isn’t chosen, it could spark another amongst the group. If you are feeling self-conscious, remember this: You were chosen to be in this role for a purpose. Shoot your shot!
Keep your eyes on the prize.
Does Michael’s brain ever go faster than five miles per hour? We may never know. For us outside “The Office,” Monday at 8 a.m. may not be the most productive hour of the day. The post-lunch slump may get the best of us from time to time as well. Sometimes we may have writer’s block, or we may have a rough day. That’s OK; we all get like this.
My favorite tip to get through these plummeting hours is to find something that gets your blood flowing. For some, this may be a quick pace to the water cooler and back. Others may need to stretch out their arms and legs at their desks. Whatever can get your blood pumping, from exercise to music, try to identify a way to shake off the funk (even if it’s grabbing a third cup of coffee).
Be grateful for the experience.
Even through all of Andy’s schemes and jokes about “Here Comes Treble,” he never noticed what he had until it was gone. Choosing a career in public relations can be the best decision you ever make. Every day looks different, and you have the ability to collaborate with others on some amazing campaigns.
From gaining press coverage to planning elegant events, the PR field is sure to keep you on your toes. Know this — even on the hard days, you’re still in the good old days. Enjoy being in the present, and never take this career for granted.