A couple months ago, the Obsidian staff came together for a day-long annual retreat where we discussed a number of topics, including advice on handling some of the challenges we face on a daily basis, company updates, “guess that scary movie score,” how to work more efficiently, tools and resources to help us do our jobs better and so much more! After we wrapped up our retreat, I headed to see my friend and her less-than-one-day-old baby boy at the hospital. While visiting my friend and her precious new son, I was feeling so tired, having just spent a whole day actively listening and participating in a wide variety of conversations. I couldn’t help but notice how tired my friend was as well, naturally, since she had just given birth!
I had no doubt she was much more tired than I was, but on my drive home, I thought about how a career in public relations is relatable to being a parent. Now, I’m not a parent to a human child, but as nearly all my friends, family members and many co-workers are parents, I’m drawing from their experience. Working for a PR agency, you are responsible for the success of every single account you manage. That means making sure your client’s goals remain on track, responding to all emails and phone calls in a timely fashion, planning ahead for nearly everything, executing limitless research, managing issues, keeping up with an overwhelming amount of information and detail, trying as hard as you possibly can not to forget something, managing multiple schedules…and the list goes on.
Much like being a parent, PR managers juggle A LOT. It’s our job to do so. Our job is always on our mind; it can keep us up at night and busy on the weekend. Our clients are our children, and keeping them “alive,” full and happy is our responsibility. So, how do PR “parents” keep clients in all different industries, with varying personalities and different priorities, happy? There’s no one answer, but effective communication is the most important. Communication is the beginning and ending. It’s what holds everything together and makes everything move forward. Communication styles vary between PR managers and clients, and figuring out what works best is important from the get-go. Communicating with clients frequently and openly encourages a better relationship, and having a great relationship with your client produces the best results for everyone.
It’s a lot like how a parent raises a child – with a lot of uncertainty and “figuring things out” as a baby, to knowing every little detail inside and out by adulthood. So, I’m giving a big shout out to the parents out there. It’s a tiring job, but seeing your child reach his or her goals, knowing you helped them get there, is the most rewarding feeling.