Tag Archives: PR

What your PR boss will never tell you 

Sitting at a desk, writing releases, drafting  social content for your boring client, or writing that dreaded white paper on a topic you KNOW NOTHING ABOUT, while clocking your time in 15-minute increments fighting to stay awake… is NOT PR.

It’s a function of PR, for sure. But the concept of acquiring just enough information to kinda, sorta, maybe, get the company’s culture a bit (by furiously reading as much original content from the company’s website as possible so to not waste your billable time ‘researching’) – is seriously draining.

I realize that we all have to do something we don’t want to do from time-to-time, and don’t get me wrong, I’ve played the game just as much as the next person… But what IF we all could work for/with people and causes we actually cared about?

I know what you’re thinking: Sure Amanda, that sounds like a dream – one I have no time, or ability to achieve because:

1. I have bills to pay.

2. I have a family/spouse/myself to support.

3. Could never leave my safe, constant, office job because that’s just the reality of this profession.

Sure, those reasons are excuses to make money – but they aren’t excuses to stay in a job you hate. Those pressures you put on yourself are exactly that: pressure YOU put on YOURSELF.

In case you missed it, I recently quit my job to follow my passions. At the time, I wasn’t even sure what the hell that meant or what I was going to do, but knew the internal struggle I felt everyday living someone else’s dream wasn’t the life I wanted for myself. I respect myself too much to let my life pass by without being present in the direction it takes.Screenshot 2015-12-14 22.08.41Recently I’ve found myself in a place where I work 10 times harder than before, and every day is equal parts terrifying amazing and inspiring. Once I slow down and tell myself to breathe, I have to pinch myself to check and see if I’m living a dream or real life.

For the past few months I’ve traveled as much, if not more, than I have in my previous 26 years. Every day is unknown to me. One day I’m on the ferry heading to Victoria, then the next I’m in Prince George planning a trip to China! I’ve flung myself whole heartedly into working with a team of people who care so much about what they do, and enjoy it so intensely, that the days run into the night and you stay up until 3am simply because you know how important the work you’re doing is. Not just for the client and your company, but because you enjoy what you’re doing for yourself.

So what will your boss never tell you?

They hired you because they thought (or at least really, really hoped) that you would care about their company as much as they do. They hope you’ll work your ass off to make sure you cannot fail. They all only want one thing in an employee: one who gives a shit. Cares about the clients, the company, what they do and doesn’t let an obstacle get in their way. They want to hire inspired and hardworking employees who find answers not excuses.

The world of PR has absolutely nothing to do with putting your head down and ‘getting the job done’ – it has everything to do with how passionate you are about what you do, the clients you work for or work you do, and how hard you’ll work to figure it out.

Don’t settle for the comfy desk job that you loathe. Take chances and do only the work that lights up up, and you believe in with every ounce of your heart, body and soul. It’ll show and it will prove to be far more successful in the long run than suffering through that internal struggle of feeling obligated to do something you hate.

What IS PR, might you ask? 

That’s coming in part 2. Stay tuned.

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What amazing feats did you accomplish last week?

Friend: “How was your week?”

Me: “Well (pauses to think), ummm… amazing, actually now that I think about it, pretty amazing.”

Hold that thought…

Before I get to why this past week has been so great, I have to voice my apologies to those who follow this blog (the handful or two haha). In recent months I’ve found myself not exactly uninterested in writing, but have simply chosen to spend my time soaking up reality versus glued to technology. Spending time with friends, teaching and working out at the gym, reading and just being disconnected… in order to be more connected to my life.

It’s one of those problems us Gen Y’s face on a daily basis. Be connected, create content and share your life socially… but be careful not to be too connected.. or create too much…or share too much.. where are we supposed to draw the line?! It’s a fine line and for those of you who have mastered it, kudos to you. For those of us still searching.. don’t give up!

Switching back to this past week…

If you’re new to The PR Life, you should probably know the my day job consists of working in a high-stress, work-with-a-constant-sence-of-urgency, media relations/crisis focused, PR agency. It’s great and I love it, don’t get me wrong – but I often care too much about my job… I know, hugeeee problem to have right? Some days when you have five upcoming deadlines (three of which are past-due), three clients emailing you with requests that need attention immediately (all of whom are made to believe and feel like they are our only client of course) and a call that a crisis is just about to break for another client… you may experience your pulse start to race, your head spin and your chest tighten because you have no idea where to start.

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Okay, this may have been a tad of an over-exaggeration. The five-deadlines are usually only two… but everything else is legit!

As tough as this can be, it’s all worth it when your client’s story (that you conceptualized, wrote and pitched to the assignment editor) makes the front page of the local newspaper you secured the day before. It’s worth it when your colleagues are just as excited about a two-minute radio interview, as you are (even if the client really doesn’t understand how hard you worked as a team to make that happen). And, it’s worth it when you send over a coverage report to a client and their minds = blown. That’s amazing.

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Now let’s jump to spending quality times with friends, social commitments and second jobs.

*Raise your hand if this describes you.*

Greattttt – we’re all over-achievers. Glad we settled that. So imagine this: you see a tweet a few weeks past from a local woman’s entrepreneurial-philanthropic networking group saying: “only ONE spot left for our next all-male-staffed, hottest-bar-in-the-city, event!”

My reaction: Well, I haven’t been to a networking event in a while… and I’d have to go alone (#getuncomfortable)… sign me up!

Two weeks later I find myself chatting with a lovely young lady who I had the pleasure of meeting once over coffee nearly a year ago. We were catching up and she was telling me all about her new exciting job (which she loves) and when someone joins the conversation and asks how we know each other she jumps in “Amanda was the reason I quit my job, changed my career goals and found something I truly love. She basically changed my life.”

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Me: Ughhhh… what?

So that’s not awkward or anything to the person we just met. I’m sure they were thinking “Who the hell is this girl?”

Not only that, but the friend who insisted this girl chat with me – also met up with me this past week for a catch up. Funny enough, her and I had a similar conversation this past fall. She too decided at that time to quit her job, take time to re-align herself with her passions, travel the world and come back to land an incredible new opportunity of a job (seriously mind-blowing, congrats again lady – well deserved)! She told me that a large part of her decision was because of our conversation about being passionate about everything you do in your life. Through that conversation, she found courage to take the leap.

I am simply humbled.

Okay, let’s really talk about second “jobs”

I used quotations because my second job is really not something that I consider a job. I consider what I do with my personal time actually a gift.

How I got so lucky to find such a supportive, driven, motivating fitness community still baffles me. Over the past eight months I’ve been training at a functional fitness gym called Element Athletic. I fortunately was thrown into it while taking my kettlebell certification back in March of last year and immediately realized this place was exactly what I had been looking for, for years. Who doesn’t want to be surrounded by motivated, friendly, go-getters who enjoy kicking their own butt just as much as the next person?

*Crickets*

That’s what I thought.

As of recently, I’ve been given the opportunity to put my ass-kicking motivational teaching style to the test. Again, I’ve been blown away by the support, excitement and acceptance from my peers (many of who can out-burpee and out-pullup me like pros, I might add) – who are thrilled to get some female instruction into the already wicked culture.

Although they are appreciative of my whip-cracking motivation, I am more appreciative of the opportunity to lead such awesome, hard-working, fitness nuts (I say that in the most like-minded, endearing way of course.. as I’m one of them)! I feel selfish in some regard because the motivation, contentment and positive energy that I get out of the entire experience is something unequivocally amazing.

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So this is all great, right?

Right… so why, when my friend asked how my week was, was I about to start complaining about things I still haven’t achieved or that I still can’t do a pullup (I’m working on this and I have a plan that I will be posting about soon – check back if you want to do it with me!) or start talking about where I envision my career in three years? WHY? Because I get too wrapped up in constant pressure to do more, be everywhere at once and be further in life than where I am now. All this stress, for no reason.

I am grateful for my friend’s question because he reminded me the importance of reflection. Reflecting back to those experiences and aspects of life that make you happy is something so important that often gets overlooked, but is immensely valuable for your mental state.

So, when you’re feeling stressed or as if you have bitten off more than you can chew – think about how many tasks you accomplished in the past week. How many hurtles did you clear? How many people did you help inspire?

I bet know it’s more than you think.

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Filed under Personal Records, Positive Reinforcement, Public Relations