Skill to Conquer: Let Go of the Need to Control

Guys, this one is a big one for me. Almost all of my problems in life, work, and relationships can be traced back to a need to control or predict an outcome. I feel like if I don’t know for sure what is about to happen, I will be blindsided. I’ll end up hurt, alone or lost. Especially in our career of public relations, it is hard to “go with the flow.” We work tirelessly to be prepared for all situations and offer our clients counsel or “predictions” of what results will look like from certain actions.

I’m here to call BS on the whole shebang and try a new outlook.

I was recently told I need to “watch the waves” rather than “try to catch every single breaker.” Trying to predict and plan for any kind of outcome or scenario is not only completely exhausting, it’s maddening and ridiculous. Life does not go according to “your plan.” If it ever does, it’s really a coincidence. That is not to say that your hopes and dreams mean nothing, but if you open up, often times the result is a much more pleasant and exciting experience than you ever thought was possible.

Here are a few things to catch yourself on next time you feel yourself spinning out in control freak mode:

What am I really afraid will  happen? Am I texting the boy 100 times because I’m afraid he won’t call? Would my world collapse if I don’t get home right at 5:30pm tonight? If I get caught in traffic, will my brain really explode?

Is this really any of my business? Am I trying to make something happen for someone else? Is the interview I just had really all about me, or is it also about whether or not the company and I are a fit together? What other players are there? Can I or should I really influence this at all?

Would letting go feel like freedom right now? Often times, the answer is yes. Think of it this way – would you rather be paddling against the current, trying so hard to go the way YOU want that you don’t even notice the beautiful view around you? Or how would it feel to put the paddle down, drift down stream and look at the scenery? Yeah. One is better than the other. Duh.

So say buh-bye to your inner control freak. Watch the waves this time.

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How Do You Know a Company is Legitimate?

Time and time again we get emails from PR hopefuls asking if we know of a certain PR company and if they are a good, legitimate company to work for. Beyond the typical big agencies, there are a ton of boutique firms across the country that are just as great to work for. Before you accept any job offer, especially if you’re coming from abroad, make sure you look into the company as much as you can. If you have any doubt about the legitimacy of the company, here are a few ways to dig deeper…

Is this a legitimate company

  • Look on LinkedIn. Look at former employees who have worked for the company. See what their past/current experience is.
  • Dig on the company website. Look at their list of clients and past work. Check the contact information.
  • Google. We’ve said this a million times but Google is your best friend. PR girls are meant to be detectives. See what information you can find on the company. Google some of the agencies client work.
  • Check GlassDoor.com. A great website that gives honest reviews from former employees of the company.
  • Base it on your correspondence. If your conversations with the company haven’t been professional or positive, it’s a red flag.
  • Ask around. This can be hard for people in different cities/countries, but ask some friends in the industry. Maybe they know someone that has worked with the company.
  • Go with your gut. If something feels off, then move onto the next opportunity.

What are some other ways to look into a company?

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Practice the Act of Gratitude

It’s been quite the week – after several events it feels like a full month has gone by. Since I can’t make time stop, I’m trying to practice gratitude more and more. Specifically, saying three things each morning or night to myself that I’m thankful for in my life. The key is to be not too general, and try to say three new things every time. For example, today my three things were:

  • I am thankful that I can finally sit down in a comfy chair after four days of events
  • I am grateful for the positive attitude my teams brought to our work this week
  • I’m thankful for my mom’s helpful advice and loving attention during times of stress (sometimes she’s my voice of reason in the crazy world that is PR)

I encourage you to try it this week. What are you grateful for?

 

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The 5 Mistakes PR Girls Make Every Day

We could write about dozens of mistakes PR girls make every single day. Our lives are so crazed with client emails, meetings and events that we often don’t take the time to step back and reevaluate what’s going on. Here are the top five biggest mistakes we’re all guilty of.

Top 5 PR Girl Mistakes

  • Jumping the gun. Daily we have instant reactions to a client or media emails and respond without thinking strategically. Take time to read everything through and think about the next best step.
  • Hitting send without proofreading. Double check every single email, deck, press release you send. Also double check exactly who you have in the “To…” line.
  • Not doing your research. We can’t stress this enough. Research every single reporter you reach out to. See what they covered in the past and what they’re currently writing about. Look at what’s going on in the news every single day. It’s vital to your PR success .
  • Forgetting to take a break or eat. Take a 10 minute walk. Stop doing work for 5 minutes while you’re eating your lunch. We’re so busy that sometimes we forget to eat. Being hungry only makes you more exhausted and moody, plus and we all know it isn’t good for our metabolism.
  • Stressing the small stuff. When a reporter sends you a mean email back or your client sets off a fire drill, we tend to over-stress. Keep calm and keep moving along. This too shall pass.

What are some other big mistakes?

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