We constantly relate new encounters to past experiences in order to get an understanding of what to expect and how to act. When I started at Matter, I had to use what I learned in the past to help me grow as a PR professional. A comparison that struck me as mildly hilarious was the relationship between PR and high school. While this may sound like completely different topics to some, I found some interesting correlations:
Classes. What we learn in class constitutes what we talk about in our daily lives and impacts how we relate to the world. At Matter, we often participate in professional development seminars, brainstorming sessions, team internals and client calls. We learn different ways to utilize programs, creatively present ideas and speak to the media, which helps us help our clients.
Studying. In PR, we have to be well-versed in all top publications of our clients’ industries. At Matter, we study publications so that we can understand what reporters and publications are looking for. This in turn sharpens our approach to these media outlets and increases the chance that our pitch will be chosen.
Lunch time gossip. For PR professionals, social media is synonymous with lunch time chatter. We are constantly sharing interesting articles or bits of news, creating excitement about something new and keeping in touch with people we don’t see during the daily grind. Social media provides that platform for people to connect, as you once did during high school lunch time.
Extracurricular activities. In high school, some chose to play sports, while others were involved in the drama club or school band. Some even chose to do it all! At Matter, we choose to do it all. In this agency, we learn to work with a diverse group of clients and take the time to learn everything we can about the different industries. This enables us to become a valuable resource to both our internal teams and clients.
The popularity contest. In high school, it seems like everyone wants to be part of the “in-crowd” and befriend the popular kids. The same concept applies to our clients. We work to ensure that they are highlighted in the top publications and are positioned as an important and relevant company within their industry. Who wouldn’t want their client to be seen as the equivalent of the “prom queen?”
I hope this not only lets you walk down memory lane, but also sheds some light on how you have taken your learned knowledge and applied it to your PR career. The tools we learn throughout our lives shape how we perform at our jobs. This lifetime attitude of learning is what makes us the best we can be.