Believe it or not, the holiday season is squarely upon us. So as I started to think about blog topics, I realized that inspiration can be found just about anywhere. Take the Grinch, for example. We all know the famed and fabled story by Dr. Seuss of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.” Well, aside from the moral lessons we can learn from the story, I suggest there are five lessons in public relations we can learn from the Grinch himself.
Lesson 1: Get the “10,000 foot view”
I have always referred to this as the “situational analysis.” No matter the name, it is important to do your due diligence to gain a solid understanding of the situation at hand and the role public relations will play in helping your organization realize its goal. Whether that goal is to raise awareness, educate and inform, change a mindset, help diffuse a crisis,or steal Christmas, public relations is one element of an overall business strategy. Understanding that role, the goal and the various outside influences as part of the big picture will allow you to develop a public relations strategy that delivers results.
Lesson 2: Expect the unexpected
Do you have a “Plan B”? If not, you should; otherwise, you had better be quick on your feet like the Grinch. Taking the situational analysis a step further, it is always important to consider what else could happen when determining communications strategy and tactical elements.
You can never be too prepared. So whether you’re coordinating and facilitating a media interview, distributing a press release or hosting an event, it is important to consider all possible scenarios and prepare yourself (or your client) accordingly. All good PR practitioners have learned this lesson the hard way at one point or another in their careers.
Lesson 3: Try new things
I’ve written about social media and its influence on business, news and the practice of public relations. Incorporating social media into your overall PR and strategic communications strategy is just one example of why it’s important to try new things. Public relations practitioners must be creative thinkers as well as communicators. Don’t be afraid to take a new approach to help achieve your goals. As long as this thinking is sound, well thought out and strategic, there’s nothing to be afraid of. Consider the Grinch’s dilemma: Don’t have a reindeer to pull your sleigh? Your dog could do in a pinch!
Lesson 4: Take time to evaluate
Assessments allow you to reflect on what worked and what didn’t and to consider why. It’s all a learning experience and one that we should welcome. When the Grinch thought he had succeeded in stealing Christmas, he soon realized that victory was not his. Despite his best efforts, he did not achieve his desired outcome.
Reflecting on your performance should be a regular and an ongoing exercise in order to continue to sharpen your skills and learn from your experiences.
Lesson 5: Keep good company
Surround yourself with colleagues who challenge, inspire and enlighten you and who bring energy and enthusiasm to the workplace – wherever that may be. Early on in my career I was fortunate enough to have a series of mentors who influenced and facilitated my professional development. In addition, I found myself in the company of many very talented PR practitioners. Identify those who can facilitate your professional growth and help you achieve your goals.
So with the holiday season now well underway, remember that there are always lessons to be learned and that we can find inspiration for our work almost anywhere – even from the Grinch. Happy Holidays!
Amy Whilldin is an Account Director at Domus, Inc., a marketing communications agency based in Philadelphia. For more information, visit http://www.domusinc.com. For new business inquiries, please contact CEO and founder of Domus, Inc. Betty Tuppeny at firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-772-2805.