As a lawyer and consultant, I have been engaged in some form of what I now know as public relations for more than 20 years; it was just never called public relations. It was alternatively referred to as public affairs, public information or public participation. And although I had real-world experience, I had no formal training in such topics as communication theory, models or history. Nonetheless, in May 2013, when two APRs in our firm held a session to introduce Accreditation, I was intrigued. A week later I was in a Jump Start class.
via: Adam Fagen
When I told people we were heading to Los Angeles for a long weekend and not renting a car, they all thought we were crazy. But L.A. is a car city, they all explained. Everyone drives in L.A. my friends from the Valley said…everyone!
But, we were determined to have an Uber-experiment. Despite having never even used Uber, this was going to be our jumping-in point – we had no other back-up transportation so it was “go Uber or go home.”
via: Tracy Byrnes
No, not your singing voice, but your ability to pitch yourself to the next level.
In business and in life, there are many times that we will have to make a pitch to reach goals ranging from a job promotion to earning the business of a potential client. Often, we may find that we are in situations where we’re pitching ourselves without even knowing it. Platforms like social media, projects we take on at work, and volunteer committees we work on are all ways of pitching our capabilities with those around us. For this reason, it is important to properly do your “pre-pitch prework.”
As a self-proclaimed “old-school” public relations strategist for more than 13 years, I found myself becoming concerned that the integrity, credibility and prestige of the communications field might be waning. Without a way to measure expertise, how could true strategists separate ourselves in the field?
I was thrilled to discover that the Accreditation in Public Relations exists. It legitimizes our profession and builds accountability. At first glance, it seems a daunting task. And make no mistake, from the questionnaire to the Readiness Review to the computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, it takes commitment, dedication and time … lots of time.
But once I began, it was stimulating to delve deeply into the theories and methods we use every day. Frankly, it renewed my passion and excitement for communications strategies. I was excited to realize that I use RPIE — research, planning, implementation and evaluation — habitually in my practice and that the core competencies lead my decision making. Plus, I learned new concepts that have made me a better professional and enabled me to perform my job at a higher level.
My best advice is: There is no time like the present. Sure, studying for the APR is time-consuming. The process can at times be overwhelming. And it is intimidating to think about what you might not remember — or even worse — not know. But in the end, it is absolutely worth pushing past these and other negative thoughts.
The first time we decided to resign our largest client was back in the early 2000s. Obviously not something you take lightly, especially if you’re a small business in a niche market. Not only did we survive that major decision but we eventually thrived because of it. As a result, it was a lot easier to make a similar decision 10 years later. So what would drive us to resign our largest client for the second time in 10 years? It’s the health and happiness of our employees. I run a technology communications firm with offices in Silicon Valley, San Francisco and New York. Our people are our product, so if we want to be able to offer the best product, we need to be able to hire and retain the best staff. It’s why we have a philosophy for putting our staff first. That may sound altruistic and nice, but in reality it is the smartest business decision we could ever make.
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