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Seven steps to make your 2019 great

You may not have stuck to your new year resolutions, but 2019 could still be one of your best years yet. Here PR chiefs describe seven steps they plan to take throughout the year to make them happier, healthier and wiser, whilst Premier’s Lawrence Francis lists his 12 (12!) self-improvement plans.

From Rikki Weir, board director at PR agency Cirkle:

Focus on health and wellbeing
“Having become a majority Employee-Owned business in 2018, we will continue to put our teams at the centre of our business model with 2019 giving us an even more heightened focus on wellbeing, health and fitness and team building. Working with an accredited Ironman, our team of 40 will receive fitness training (on and off premises) in the run up to our gruelling Tough Mudder team event in May (think jumping into ice-filled skips, underwater tasks and being electrocuted over a 12K course). Participation will vary from competing to cheerleading to offer an all-inclusive experience to our entire team and we’re also looking forward to extending the invitation to our clients and stakeholders to compete with us. It also provides the opportunity to raise vital amounts for great causes too.”

From Louise Chandler, PR and communications manager at healthcare company Hartford Care:

Experience as much culture as possible
“Personally, I plan on immersing myself in many different experiences in order to be inspired in my professional life. I often find that visits to exhibitions at museums, theatre performances, holidays, reading different types of books and attending events are great opportunity to learn something new and apply the lessons (in most cases) to my day job in PR and communications. It’s the observations and often random conversations from people you meet at events, that lead to creating some great creative campaigns and content…. All you need is a spark of an idea for it to flourish in to something great.

Look forward to the summer
“I’m also spending the coming weeks planning for the big summer events in 2019 to ensure the rest of the team are trained and able to utilise their ideas to full effect. This will include one-to-one meetings and Skype-style training sessions to ensure everyone is on board and ready to share their stories of success and positive work with the masses.”

From Lee Bassin, executive producer at communications agency TVC Group:  

Stop striving for perfection
I’ve been making video content for over 15 years now. and the best piece of advice I ever received was from an old series producer of mine, who, when I was agonising over which quotes to use in a video I was working on, just said to me: “No one knows what you haven’t put in.”

“He was right, because when it comes to video content, as long as what you present is strong, it doesn’t matter what you decided not to include. You can strive for perfection, but at some point that can become a negative thing.

“As 2019 gets going I think we can all apply it to life as well. In work and at home, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be the perfect partner, the perfect parent, run our homes perfectly and do our jobs perfectly too!

“When a little thing gets missed or you don't reach the high standards you are setting for yourselves, you beat yourself up and stress yourself out. So in 2019, let’s try and be the best we can be, but know that if we leave a few bits on the cutting room floor, that’s okay!”

From Jessica Gillingham, director at agency Abode PR:

Be a thought leader
“During 2018, I've had wonderful opportunities to build my own thought leadership profile within the sector that I specialise in which is the short-term rental industry. I've had speaking opportunities at industry events where I have talked about how PR can support businesses reach their businesses goals and I've also written a number of industry-focused articles for trade publications.

“One of our key service features is helping clients develop the thought leadership profiles of their C-suite team, so I think it’s important that I am also a contributing thought leader. So that being said, in order to make 2019 our best year yet, I will be putting even more focus on developing my thought leadership through contributed articles, opinion blogs, speaking gigs and industry awards. Basically, what I do for clients, I'll be doing for us!”

From Laura Sutherland, founder of agency Aura PR:

Book some holidays
“I’m doing what I’ve not done before – plan my holidays. I’m the worst for taking time off, so if I can plan my holidays before taking on additional work, it’ll mean I know my capacity for the first six months at least. As a PR consultant, it’s important to plan your time to maximise work and life balance.”

Add to professional skills
“I’m planning my career development for 2019. This means looking at new areas of knowledge or skills which I’d like to learn, to be able to offer the best advice to clients. In particular, I’m keen to review the work of the CIPR’s #AIinPR panel, plus of course, I have #PRFest to plan and develop for June. I’d like to keep my learning quite fluid this year, as there are nuggets of inspiration coming out from blogs and webinars, which I’m delving into.”

12 ways you could improve

Lawrence Francis, executive director at PR agency Premier, has 12 ways he wants to improve, which is rather ambitious. Which of these resolutions should you make too?

  • Drink more water (and less coffee)
  • Listen to more new music
  • Give praise where it is due
  • Stop buying Percy Pig sweets for the train ride home
  • See my friends
  • Stop reading newspaper articles about Brexit
  • Bake my own bread
  • Don’t get the bus when walking is just as fast
  • Pick up the phone – a call is always better than an email
  • Use less paper
  • Phone my Mum
  • Get more sleep

Taking all the steps above to make 2019 a brilliant year may seem a lot to take on, but there’s no need to expect to do everything all at once. My new year resolution is to try to make just one positive change each month. Mind you, I planned to do that last year, and like most good intentions, they didn’t get far beyond the planning stage.

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