Wednesday, May 13, 2015

What Business Advice Do You Most Want to Pass On?

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At a recent PR News awards ceremony, the head of the association asked every award recipient to share the business advice they most wanted to pass on to others in their career. I chose a few of my favorites (and added a little advice of my own) to share with you below.

“Go the extra mile” and “Be first in and last out”

I believe that these points go hand in hand and are exceptionally important to young PR professionals. The first few years of a career in PR can often be the most competitive, so it’s essential to differentiate yourself in a positive way. Proving yourself to be reliable and hard working are a surefire way to ensure you’ll be noticed and increases the likelihood that you’ll be given more challenging and interesting projects that will define your career.

“Embrace change because it creates opportunity” and “People not afraid of failing usually never do”

By contrast, this piece of advice is aimed more directly at seasoned professionals. The marketing and communications industries are constantly changing- now more than ever due to the explosive growth of digital and social media. According to AdAge’s State of the Agency Market, digital work captured nearly 40% of agency revenue in 2014. If you’re looking for proof that being nimble, taking risks and embracing change pays off, this is it.

“Be sincere”

As previously mentioned, we are witnessing explosive growth of digital and social media as communications platforms. The elephant in the room is the loss of human connections. Now more than ever, showing sincerity and authenticity is crucial in relationship building. Taking the time to go analog- writing hand-written notes and meeting face to face- can go a long way in forging a strong connections with clients, journalists and colleagues. But take caution- where other pieces of advice may be left without consequence, the cost of insincerity is high. Which brings me to another bit of advice- “the PR and Media industries are small, so don’t burn bridges.”

“Ask a lot of questions”

At first glance, this might sound like another nugget of advice for beginning PR professionals. However, I have found that the most successful professionals remain passionately curious and inquisitive throughout their entire careers. It may seem impressive to know all of the answers, but you will earn far more respect from your clients, managers and peers by having the confidence to say, “I don’t know” and asking for further direction.

“Go with Passion”

We’ve all heard the saying, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” This is a perfect strategy for shaping a career in PR. We’re lucky enough to work in an industry where we have numerous options as to what we want to specialize in. From the global shops to the boutiques, there is truly a place for everyone to find his or her niche in the industry. And once you find that niche with a product or client you’ve been dreaming of working with, your passion will be contagious.