It’s that time of the year where everyone is wrapping things up and preparing for the New Year. I’ve been reading, and helping my clients create, year-end wrap up articles covering the biggest trends in telecom in 2019 as well as predictions for trends in 2020. Needless to say, I’m all “predictioned” out. So, when I was asked to write a blog and pick a topic, I thought about what could carry people (and myself) into the New Year, set us up for success in 2020, and provide some goals to work towards because, at the end of the day, we’re all in this together. Am I right or am I right?
I’m all about a New Year’s resolution. Actually, I’m all about setting goals in general. At the beginning of each year, in my Notes app of my phone, I write down a list of things I’d like to achieve that year. They are usually pretty lofty goals and only encompass things that I can control (i.e. no win the lottery or find the man of my dreams!). I also do this at the beginning of each month where I set small goals that I can achieve in that month that set me up to meet my long-term goals for the year. Sometimes I kill it, other times I bomb and that goal rolls over into the next month or year. It’s called balance, people. We can’t win them all, but we’re trying here.
So, back to when I was asked to write this blog and think of a topic. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to get a head start on some New Year’s resolutions that will help push me to be a better public relations professional in 2020. I’ve come up with my top three goals for this year and I hope by sharing them, not only will it hold me accountable, but it may encourage you to either work towards these goals for yourself or create your own.
Goal number one: network, network, network
I think that we can all agree regardless of what industry you’re in, it’s not what you know but who you know. That’s not to discredit the element of hard work, but sometimes getting that first foot in any door is as simple as knowing the right person. PR, specifically, is rooted in relationships. I mean…it’s called public RELATIONS. Obviously, it is important to establish and nurture relationships with key industry press, analysts, and my clients in order to effectively do my job, but it’s also important to network with other PR and industry professionals as well. You never know how those relationships you build will enable you to be better at your job or create new opportunities for you to leverage your professional talents. I’m a talker (if you can’t already tell by this blog), and relationship building is one of my strong suits. But in 2020, I’m challenging myself to take advantage of more networking opportunities. Whether it be over coffee with a journalist or analyst, participating in a public relations panel or anything in between, networking will be my middle name by the end of 2020.
Goal number two: think strategically
In 2019, I learned being tactical is good, but being strategic is great. In 2020, I really want to lean into that. It’s very easy, especially in PR, to get caught up in the day to day tactical work of it all. Answer all the emails, write the press release, send the pitches, etc. And all of those these are integral to being successful in your profession as well as for your client, but it’s important to be able to step back and see the bigger picture. Yes, this is how we’ve done things regularly or in the past, but is this the best way for this situation? Could we switch it up? How does this all fit together to address the overarching goal? This does not come easy, at least not for me. However, I’m lucky to work with a team that pushes everyone to take a step back and “let’s think about this strategically.” 2020 will be a year focused on taking those steps back to take in the full picture, evaluate, and strategically take action.
Goal number three: get familiar with the unfamiliar
The unknown can be intimidating. So much so that it’s easy to ignore it all together and charge forward with mastering what you do know. But in the true fashion of hitting you with some cheesy Pinterest-inspired quotes, growth doesn’t come from staying in the familiar. Honestly, I don’t know if that’s even the correct wording, but you get the point. In PR, and in the telecom industry in general, it’s easy to find something that you do well, or a technology/market that you know well and hone in on that. However, taking the time to learn about other technologies, markets, and skills that may be outside of your particular job or market scope, can be invaluable. In addition to making you a more well-rounded professional and person in general, it has the ability to potentially create new opportunities that you may not have considered before. Moral of the story is, in 2020 let’s get a little “uncomfy” and become familiar with the unfamiliar.
So, there you have it. You heard it here first, and I hope you’ll hold me accountable for these three 2020 New Year’s resolutions that I’ve made for myself (early might I add!). Like I said, I’ve found a lot of benefit in creating long-term and short-term goals for myself, both professionally and personally, and I hope that this blog will inspire you to try it out too, if you don’t already. Until next time, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year…eat the dessert and drink the eggnog. You won’t regret it.