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Top Tips from PR Insider Gini Dietrich

March 23, 2012

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I spend a lot of time across the United States and in Europe with business leaders. Some have me in to discuss social media, but most want to know how to generate leads through inbound PR and marketing.

It’s a topic near and dear to my heart because I, too, am a business owner who wants to see how all of our online efforts contribute to the growth of both the integrated marketing communication firm and our professional development for PR and marketing pros platform.

Armed with lots of examples, both from our own business growth and doing it for clients, I spend most three-hour workshops showing business leaders how to develop strategy, how to know which tools (online and off) to use, and how to measure results.

During a recent workshop, a gentleman raised his hand and said, “How do you do all of this? When do you find the time and run two businesses?”

I jokingly responded that I have a whole team of people who do the work and I’m just the shallow figurehead. But he wasn’t going to have that. He could tell, through my examples, I’m intimately involved in running these campaigns, both from strategy and measurement perspectives.

It got me thinking.

I was “raised” in a global PR firm where, if you didn’t work past 9 p.m. and on weekends, you didn’t get promoted. So I learned very early that was the kind of work ethic that was needed to get ahead.

But long hours doesn’t necessarily mean better (or more) work. A hard lesson to learn.

It’s important to work on your business, not just in it. And that’s part of what I do (I reserve Fridays for this). But I also have stopped working weekends. Sure, I might check email here and there or play a little bit on the social networks or read some blog posts. But I don’t do any business-related work on the weekends. It’s made me more focused and effective during the week than I could have imagined.

While unplugging and focusing on other priorities is a good start, it’s not going to enable you to do everything you need to do.

Following are four things you also should be doing.

  1. Delegate, delegate, delegate. I don’t know if this is more      difficult for women than men, but all of my female friends who lead      organizations have this issue. We think we have to do it all…and we try to      do it all. Say no to administrative tasks. Stop taking meetings that don’t      drive business value. Delegate everything you can without breaking your      talent. Open your days for thinking and for strategy.
  2. Create thinking time. My best ideas come in the shower      and on my bike. It’s because those are the two times in my day I can’t      multi-task. On my bike, if I multi-task, I’m dead. So I think. I write      blog posts in my head, I solve a client’s recent issue, or I think about a      new business prospect that needs some attention. Find uninterrupted time that      doesn’t have distractions where you can spend time thinking. Every day.
  3. Develop your vision and repeat it. Over and over and over again. If      the vision isn’t moving throughout your organization, revise it so people      are on board with it. If someone else can’t articulate what it is, it      either needs to be revised or you’re not discussing it often enough.      Everything we do is tied to our vision. If we are asked to participate in      a new business pitch or write content or do a media interview that doesn’t      move our vision forward, we don’t do it. A clear vision makes it much      easier to say no.
  4. Reflect and adjust. Failure is the big F word no one      wants to discuss in business. But it’s only failure if you allow it to      paralyze you. Learn from the mistakes you make. Reflect on what’s working      and what’s not working. At least once a week. And adjust your vision, your      strategy, or your communication to improve your efforts.

And, of course, always remember what’s really important in life. Unfortunately you won’t be remembered, after you’re gone, for how many hours you worked or the fact that you could do it all.

Written by Gini Dietrich

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