Having a break and a quick coffee? Now could be the perfect time to spend a few minutes boosting your career. Here are some simple steps that can be done in a jiffy, yet could have a big impact on your future in PR.
1. Reach out and reconnect
Oliver Bradley, client director at PR agency Words + Pixels: “I’ve always been pretty terrible at keeping in touch digitally – I’m the type to hold you to that throwaway ‘let’s grab a beer soon’ remark. Obviously, this hasn’t been possible over the last year, so I’ve made it my mission to keep relationships going with old colleagues, clients, suppliers and media contacts.
“I try to spend 10 minutes a day going through my LinkedIn looking for old faces. Whether it’s a simple ‘congrats’ on a new job or successful campaign, or restarting a conversation with them on WhatsApp, it’s not only been great to stay in touch, but these conversations have resulted in new business leads, new hires, lots of new contacts and, of course, some decent coverage. Networking has taken a heavy hit over the last year, and this is a simple way to keep it going.”
2. Move it!
Zoe Sobol, founder of agency Snowball PR: “Take some thinking time. Pound the streets, do your burpees in the lounge, lift the 1kg baked bean tins (standard size with the kids home full time!) Whilst there is no doubt, we all have Joe Wicks fatigue, we need him… or some form of him in whatever guise exercise takes shape. Exercise offers clarity, whether its developing an idea, remembering an old journo contact to DM, thinking about the next job move, or simply just to clear our heads, it works every time. 10 minutes is all we need!
“If I hadn’t taken hundreds of 10-minute exercise time outs in the last 12 months I wouldn’t have had a business left, it’s helped me wade through the fog and come out the other side, a lot happier.”
3. Work on your personal brand
Andy Ryan, founder of social media and influencer marketing agency, Komodo: “A personal brand isn’t much different from a business brand; it’s a combination of skills and experiences that shows your audience what you know and how you know it.
“Taking 10 minutes out of your day to work on your personal brand can have endless benefits for your career. It gives you opportunity to demonstrate your skills and knowledge in a particular area, helping you stand out from the crowd against competitors.
“Having a strong personal brand can lead to a multitude of opportunities, including; networking events, job opportunities, partnerships and new business ventures.
“Above all else, it builds authenticity and inspires trust in your audience. People are much more likely to buy into, and listen to, someone they feel connected to, so being an open book is a great way to naturally achieve this authority.”
4. Use social media
Lizzie Elkin, client executive at agency Milk & Honey PR: "Get on social media to look for creative inspiration from the wider world. If you have a spare few minutes, make a list of who to connect with in the industry. This list can consist of prominent journalists, PR leaders, fellow professionals or even relevant hashtags. Twitter and LinkedIn are the best places to go for online networking and I strongly recommend building up your organic engagement. Don’t be idle though; keep on top of liking, commenting and posting to develop an authentic presence on social channels. Honing your network demonstrates a hunger to learn and could even introduce you to your new career mentor."
Andy Ryan: “In a world full of social networking sites, used both personally and professionally, it is more fundamental than ever to market yourself.
“Carefully consider what you are posting and who may see it, making sure content is appropriate, relevant and in line with your core values. As no matter what stage in your career you are at, someone is always going to be Googling your name!
“As well as posting relevant content yourself, it’s important to set aside 10 minutes each day to browse social channels and engage with relevant people and accounts.”
5. Read the news!
Jessica Pardoe, senior account executive at agency The Source PR: “Something I’d recommend doing that can take just 10 minutes a day, is having a good read up on the news every morning. Whether you do that on your phone with your morning brew, or sit down at the beginning of every working day. This helps to keep you updated with what’s going on, to check whether there are any stories breaking that your clients can be involved in, and also gives you a better understanding of the way the media works. It’s not a 10-minute instant fix so much, but 10 minutes invested every day can help to broaden your understanding of the news which in turn will help in your PR activity”
6. Volunteer/give back
Andy Ryan: “Volunteering is a selfless act, but it has a lot of personal benefits. It builds character traits such as compassion, empathy and patience, as well as displaying to other people that you are a driven individual that can work as part of a team.
“It could be as little as helping neighbours with shopping and odd-jobs, or part of a wider community project or initiative.
“Incorporating this into your day-to-day life provides variety, making you a well-rounded person. It is also a great way to network and meet people from diverse background with shared experiences.”
7. Listen to a business guru
Richard Cook, managing director of agency Champion Communications: “Blinkist is an app that offers free trial subscriptions and gives audio digests of business books and includes other podcasts. One of my favourites is by Seth Godin, author of business best sellers such as Blink, All Marketers are Liars and Tribe. On Blinkist, he has a podcast series called Blinkwhere each episode is two minutes. One minute if you play them at double speed.
“So, in 10 minutes anyone could subscribe and listen to 18 of his thought-provoking, inspiring and illuminating podcasts which I found shifted my thinking, lead to new ideas and changed the way I approach challenges.”
Five quick suggestions from Jill Coomber, managing director, integrated marketing, Europe at marketing and communications agency Allison+Partners:
1. Invite someone to be your mentor. Hey go crazy and have two, or more. Senior people who you can talk candidly with.
2. Reach out to a colleague or supplier and catch up. Be open and treat every interaction as a learning opportunity.
3. Brainstorm your dream job. Set goals to get yourself there. Break those goals down into yearly and monthly milestones. Start work on the first month today. Celebrate the successes at every opportunity! Make it fun. Ok, more than 10 minutes, but you can focus by planning in 10-minute sprints.
4. Figure out your professional superpower. Then work out how to supercharge it. Use points one and two to help you.
5. Spend 10 minutes reflecting in a positive state of mind. A quick time out is often what is needed.
Whilst you are on the PRmoment site, why not take 10 minutes to explore a bit more? As well as features, there are podcasts and virtual events, which could inspire you to take a new direction or pick up some useful skills. And of course, if you want to get some recognition for all your hard work, there are always the awards to enter. Your new, improved PR life could start here!
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