From Classroom to Campaign: 10 Valuable Lessons for the World of PR
At this time of year when the end of the academic year looms large, attending my son’s end of year prize giving this weekend gave me some food for thought that I feel compelled to share.
Listening to the Headmaster’s and Chairman’s speeches, there were many values the children were praised for that I feel we learn but all too easily forget as we enter working life. Particularly, in how we work with our peers, suppliers and – in the case of PR – our clients.
Here are ten of the most significant.
10. Accountability matters
Student discipline is a major component in any classroom or school. There is a certain set of rules or expectations by which everyone is expected to follow. The same applies to the working environment. A deadline is a deadline. A commitment to a journalist matters as much as a commitment to a client. And similarly, commitment from a client can make the difference between a great PR campaign or one that fizzles out.
9. Hard work pays off
Those who work the hardest typically achieve the most. Some individuals may be more naturally gifted than others, but even the most gifted student, gifted employee or client with the most amazing product or service will not achieve much if they don’t invest. It is nearly impossible to be successful at anything if you are not willing to work hard.
8. Make the most of each opportunity
Opportunities present themselves on a regular basis throughout our learning and working lives. How we choose to respond to those opportunities can make all the difference in the world. Accept opportunity. Push boundaries. Express the same message in a new way or through a new medium. Each day presents a new opportunity to learn something new.
7. Organisation matters
A lack of organisation can lead to chaos. Students (and PR campaigns) who are organised have a much greater chance of being successful. This is why, here at Neo PR, we have PR campaign calendars that we align to our clients’ marketing campaigns. In this way, irrespective of the touchpoint our clients have with their customers or prospects, there is a consistency of message and a consistency of coverage.
PR message = Marketing message = Sales message = OVERALL SUCCESS
6. Remain true to your values
Making a decision based on what someone else wants almost always turns out to be the wrong decision. Of course, on occasion, it is good for the status quo to be questioned. However, the best campaigns are those where there is a belief in the agency you work with; where there is a relationship of trust; where the whole team works together collaboratively towards agreed goals.
Read more: Marketing & PR: Integration, not segregation
5. You can make a difference
We are all potential change agents, meaning we have the potential to make differences in the lives of those around us. Teachers demonstrate this directly on a daily basis. They are there to make a difference in the lives of the children they are charged to teach. Similarly, so can we in our working lives. A good working environment can be a positive influence on physical and mental health and can strive us to succeed beyond the boundaries of today.
4. Remain trustworthy and transparent
Being trustworthy and transparent means that those you work with believe that you will tell the truth, and will carry out tasks that you have promised to do. Teachers drive home the concepts of honesty and loyalty on a daily basis. So should your PR agency. No hidden costs; no extra invoices at the end of the month when you “ran out of budget or time” unknowingly. And always being able to know exactly how your campaign is performing against the agreed deliverables.
3. Structure is critical
A structured classroom is a safe classroom where teaching and learning are maximised. A structured PR campaign is one where every piece of content generated has a purpose and a value, and where the learnings you want to share with your customers and prospects resonate throughout.
2. Respect is important
Giving respect is one of the key life lessons school teaches. Where respect is given it should be expected to be received back. This applies to every aspect of working life as well. Respect your colleagues, respect your suppliers, respect the journalists you work with and respect your clients. Respect forms the foundation for successful working relationships.
1. Working together cooperatively benefits everyone
Teamwork is a valuable skill taught in schools. Working cooperatively is imperative to both team and individual success. Similarly, in PR, each individual part working together makes the team successful. However, if one part quits or does not perform adequately, everyone runs the risk of failing.
What lessons did you learn at school that you can bring into your business?