Growing a Thick Skin

It’s one trait every PR professional must-have – thick skin. PR professionals are continuously shot down by media, critiqued by colleagues and assessed by clients. It’s just part of the job. What makes it difficult is absorbing any and all negative feedback while still staying positive and motivated. Here are a few ways to handle criticism and rejection to help grow a thicker skin.

Growing a Thicker Skin

  • Keep going. It’s important to roll with the punches. They happen. It’s normal. Don’t get discouraged.
  • Take the feedback seriously. Don’t disregard feedback just because it isn’t what you want to hear. You may miss out on an opportunity to better yourself.
  • Remember it’s business, not personal. You and your colleagues are looking to service your clients to the best of your ability. Don’t take feedback too personally. Look at it as a learning tool.
  • Grow from your experiences. Learn from your mistakes and become a better PR professional because of it.
  • Use it to fuel you. Fix your mistakes, take better action and prove your abilities. Push yourself.

How did you grow a thicker skin?

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NYC Weekend How To: A Picnic in the Park

It is supposed to be a gorgeous weekend, and after the week I’ve had I need it.  A little sunshine is exactly the cure to a hard week of work stuck in the office without so much as a coffee break.  For those of you in the city this weekend, like I am, and finding yourself landlocked, this may be the weekend to celebrate summer and try to make a fun picnic in the park!

I’m always so jealous of those people who come to Central Park completely prepared, with a chilled bottle of wine, watermelon in dishes and a checkered tablecloth to top it off.  I’m not sure I’m THAT Martha-Stewart-talented, but I’m sure we’ve all got the skills to put together an impressive spread as well.  Here’s what you’re going to need to secure fun times in the sun at the park:

  • A blanket that you can lay on comfortably, invite other to sit on, and can machine wash (preferably cotton so you’re not sweating like a nut on it)
  • Plenty of H20
  • Tupperware with fruit, chips and salsa, simple turkey sandwiches (use avocado instead of cheese).  Key is to choose food that won’t melt or gross people out after being in the sun for an hour
  • Dixie cups
  • Frisbee or football
  • Apples to Apples, Uno, or any other fun card game
  • Sunscreen
  • While setting up the picnic items, throw the already-chilled wine or bubbly into the freezer to make it EXTRA cold. Pull out after 20 minutes. Wrap in wet paper towels and a dishcloth to keep cool on the way to the park
  • Sunglasses
  • Kindle/magazines
  • Your gorgeous sunny self, and a few friends

 

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Writing the Q&A

One major part of launching any PR campaign is drafting the Q&A. The Q&A is meant to address any questions the media might ask you once you’ve launched a new product or service. Writing a Q&A takes practice. You have to have a firm understanding of your clients voice, tone and influence towards media. Below are a few tips when writing one.

Writing the Q&A

  • Over prepare. The whole premise behind the Q&A is to be prepared to answer any “unexpected” question the media will ask you. Don’t worry if your list of questions seems long and over analytic.
  • Do your research. Look at what’s being talked about in the media related to your client. This may spark any questions you hadn’t thought of.
  • Put yourself in the media’s shoes. Sure you know the answers to the obvious, but most of the time the media doesn’t. Even basic questions about the brand. Have those in your Q&A.
  • Think outside the box. What are the outrageous questions you would never want to answer? Come up with an answer for those. Literally figure out how to answer every question the media may ask you. Note that half of these questions might never be asked, but be armed with responses just in case.
  • Unsure of something? Look on your clients website. Here you can usually find language and tonality you’ll want to mimic in your Q&A.

What are some tips you encountered when drafting a Q&A?

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From the Inbox: Tech to PR Girl

Hi Guys! 

I accidentally stumbled on your blog and what a great “accident” it was. Your blog has been my savior to all the insider questions and tips for PR girls. I am however struggling to pursue a PR Career. I am currently working at a global technology company. Here I am learning to do analytic work / marketing strategies. If I stick with it, I would probably be able to establish a good career. But I hate this job. Working with excel spreadsheets and statistics is not so much fun when you have to it for 8 hours a day. It is so hard for me to get up in the morning to go to work because I feel like I am wasting time doing something that I don’t enjoy. 

After reading your “Switching Career” section of the Guide, I knew I WANTED to do to PR. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to take an internship or a job that pays below 40K. I am seeing a lot of great opportunities online for publicity coordinators, but since I don’t exactly have 1+ years of experience in entertainment industry, I doubt that I will get any job. 

What should I do? Is dreaming of a PR career too much for me?

Sincerely,

Tech Dreamer

Tech to PR Girl

One of my absolute favorite quotes is, “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. This is always how I felt about PR and it’s a reality most people have to face. If you’re not loving your job and are seriously thinking about making a switch, don’t waste time. Do it ASAP. Note that it’s never too late. Life is too short to not take chances. Cheesy, I know, but true.

Sure, you don’t have the experience most people have. Still apply for entry-level positions and be very open and honest about your career move in your cover letter (note to HR). Call out that you don’t have the experience, but have experience doing X, Y, Z that could help in this new position. Consider looking for internships that pay well and work any connections to the industry you might have. Reach out to people and tell them about the move you want to make because you never know where your friend from colleges cousins aunt works.

Honestly, if you’re dreading work everyday and your life couldn’t be more miserable, consider that you may have to take a pay cut and start at the bottom to be happier. It will be worth it.

Best of luck Xo

A

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