Thanksgiving is right around the corner and hopefully you will be spending quality time with friends and family, as well as preparing and enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving meal. When thinking about the upcoming preparations that will go into executing this holiday event, it reminded me how personal lessons can translate into business. Here are five public relations lessons you can learn from holiday events.
First and foremost, the holidays are about getting together and spending face-to-face time with family and friends. Extended families may be too busy throughout the year to see one another, yet they seem to always come together during the months of November and December. It’s easy to forget how much relationships matter. Take time to enjoy the people in your life. Not only is it good for your mental health, but it’s good for business.
In the PR world, networking and cultivating relationships are everything. It is how you gain clients, ensure your clients shine in the limelight and call in favors during a crisis. While we all get a little busy during this time of year, be sure to remember to foster both your personal and professional relationships.
Take a Risk on Something Big
Everyone loves the traditions that surround the Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, libations and football. Take a risk and shake things up a bit. Try a new recipe for the traditional stuffing, take a creative spin to the apple pie or suggest a new beverage option like a pumpkin pie martini or a hard cider cocktail. Some of the most memorable feasts happen when someone takes a risk.
In PR, it’s important to make your client stand out from the crowd and to do this, you’ll need to take risks. Go above and beyond the normal realm of work. Whether this is once a month, once a quarter or even the one campaign a year, you need to be imaginative and innovative. That doesn’t mean blow an entire budget blindly. Some of the most memorable campaigns have derived from a tight budget. Think flash mobs, street art and viral videos. When your client looks back on the year, they’ll remember this big win as the reason for investing in PR.
Preparing for a large Thanksgiving feast is not an easy task and you’ll stress yourself out, along with your significant other, if you try to go at it alone. Whether you have helpers in the kitchen or recruit family members to prepare part of the meal, you’re going to need extra help.
Just as in PR, you surely can’t implement a large project by yourself. Recruit volunteers to help you, or better yet, outsource parts of the project to the experts. Know someone who’s a graphic design guru or media buying professional who can secure you the best promotional deals? Use their wisdom so you can focus on what you do best. No matter the project, you’re going to need help to ensure it’s implemented the best way possible to reach your targeted goal.
Don’t over indulge
Did you know the average person consumes 4,500 calories during a Thanksgiving meal? I’m aware you’re surrounded by bottomless food options during Thanksgiving, but don’t over indulge. 4,500 calories is twice as much as a person should consume in one day and we need to know our limit.
We also need to know our limits in PR. Don’t send out multiple pitches and press releases on every little topic. You’ll exhaust your audience and you’re emails will start to look like spam. Be sure to tailor your angle and topic to the correct medium, as well as reporter.
Having a plan in the kitchen for Thanksgiving is just as important as having a plan in the PR world. When thinking of Thanksgiving, you’ll need a plan of attack for attendance, grocery shopping and meal planning. No one wants to end up with 4 different potatoes and no dessert because someone didn’t plan ahead. Having a plan in place will make sure you don’t forget anything, or anyone, important.
Similarly, PR professionals need to have a plan for everything. You surely don’t want to be caught off guard when vendors, media, or the public don’t show up to your event. Always have a plan, a backup plan and always plan for the worst case scenario.
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-Brittani Wilson │ Public Relations Specialist