By Kristina Keeling
Halloween is over and the Christmas commercials have begun airing, but does anyone remember the holiday between Halloween and Christmas? Students refer to it as a break, and parents think of it as a family reunion, but the correct term is Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving, but hate how it often gets overshadowed and forgotten between Halloween and Christmas. Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what we have and, of course, eating what is hopefully delicious food.
There are many things that we can learn from the holiday season, including the sometimes forgotten holiday Thanksgiving. With that being said let’s shine a light on this important holiday and see what we, as future and current PR professionals, can learn from Thanksgiving.
Plan your meal
It is always a good idea to have a plan in mind with any task you might come across. One task that comes along with Thanksgiving is grocery shopping. It is always a good idea to make sure you have a list so you don’t forget anything important. Communication is key when planning. Find out who is coming and what they are bringing, because you don’t want to end up having three bowls of sweet potatoes.
Similarly, PR professionals need to have a plan for everything. You do not want to be caught off guard when a crisis occurs. Always have a plan, and always plan for the worst case scenario.
Avoid going it alone
Taking on a big family dinner like Thanksgiving is not easy, and it is nearly impossible to do it alone. Whether you have helpers in the kitchen, or you ask people to bring a dish with them, you’re going to need extra help. And, like the first lesson states, make sure everyone knows what they are doing.
In PR, you can’t implement a big project by yourself. Whether you are planning a launch party or dealing with a crisis situation, you are going to need help executing your plan.
Don’t screw up the “bread and butter”
Sometimes we get wrapped up in wanting our dinner to be like those we see on cooking shows. It is okay to be adventurous, but we also expect the staples, such as turkey, mashed potatoes and dinner rolls to be done right every year.
Planning and working on campaigns can be fun, but we need to remember the basic day-to-day tasks. We don’t want to mess up the simple things, such as news releases, social media posts and the other “low-investment” tasks.
It is easy to gorge yourself with delicious food during Thanksgiving, but we need to know our limits. The average person consumes 4,500 calories during a Thanksgiving meal, which is over twice as much as a person should consume in one day.
We need to know our limits and pace ourselves in PR. The easy way to get someone to un-follow you on social media is by bombarding them with posts and tweets. Determine a strategy with the right number of messages, and stick with it. Of course this will change depending on what is happening within your company. The same goes for media coverage. Do not send out multiple story pitches and press releases. You will exhaust your audience and your emails will begin to look like spam.
Don’t be afraid to have fun
The holidays are a time to relax and enjoy time with family. I know my family likes to play board and card games during the holidays while watching holiday movies.
This time of year allows businesses to have a little fun with their initiatives. Get in the holiday spirit and have some fun with your social media posts, news releases and story pitches.
Most importantly, Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks for what we have, but it is also about spending quality time with friends and family.
In the PR world, relationships are everything. It is how you gain business, acquire jobs, spread news and more. We all get a little busy during this time of year and it is easy to forget how important relationships are, so relax and spend some time with family this holiday season.
By Megan Maher
It’s Thanksgiving and many of us will gather around the turkey (or tofurkey) with loved ones and friends to reflect on the things that we are truly thankful for. Many of the answers might be having food to eat, a roof over our heads, and being surrounded by loved ones. However, a question has to be asked… What are we thankful for as PR practitioners? Of course having family and friends who actually understand what PR is and what we do is a huge thing to be thankful for in our field (and no, it’s not hiring and firing people), but what about the things that help keep us sane and make our jobs run smoothly?
What We’re Thankful For!
We dug deep, racked our brains in search of the answers, and came up with is a list of nine things that every PR practitioner should be thankful for this year:
- We’re thankful for social media and all of the analytics-related tools that help us measure it. Social media continues to bring us more and more ways to stay connected to our publics and stay informed.
- Our AP Style Book is huge. Anytime we’re in a stylistic jam we can refer to it for help.
- Our peers provide an extra set of eyes to edit our work and an extra brain when ours, seemingly, ceases to function. It’s always good to have a friend edit our work and keep us on top of things.
- We mustn’t forget smartphones for keeping us connected to everyone and everything. The computerized personal assistants and all of their apps keep us in check.
- But then again, we are secretly thankful for the times we don’t have cellphone service. It’s nice when we’re able to escape from the technological world and enjoy an ever-so-brief moment of solitude.
- We’re thankful for Google Drive, Calendar, Hangouts, Alerts–okay… everything Google! How did we even function before it? Seriously, how was it possible?
- IT and computer savvy people are there to tell us to put the monitor down and that throwing our computer across the room is not the answer for a faulty machine. Without their help, there would be a lot more computer casualties.
- Photographers, graphic designers, and videographers help us bring our creative visions to life.
- And last but not least, we’re thankful for coffee, coffee, and more coffee. It’s always there to wake us up and keep us going. Let’s face it, deadlines can seem close to unbearable without a cup, or 10, of joe.