All Hallows’ Eve.
As PR professionals, we’re immersed in the headlines and latest trends, giving us a competitive advantage when it comes to inventing a costume that is not only timely, but creative enough to stand out among the rest.
[RELATED: Ragan's new distance-learning site houses the most comprehensive video training library for corporate communicators.]
Dressing up on everyone’s mind this time of year, but unfortunately in this profession, practitioners often make the mistake of wearing a “costume” to the office year-round.
Here are a few you might have unintentionally tried on for size:
• The jack-o’-lantern—We all have bright ideas inside of us, but sometimes insecurity gets in the way and prevents them from shining through. Sitting in a meeting and keeping all your thoughts on unconventional approaches to launching a new product or energizing your clients’ social base to yourself is not good for your agency or your career. Embrace your creativity and never be afraid to express it; that little flicker of an idea could be enough to spark the next big thing.
• The ghost—Being a wispy presence during the planning and tactical stages of a campaign is not an option in PR. Don’t be the person who hides from criticism or, worse yet, appears out of the mist when it’s time for accolades. Make your presence known early and often, lending an eager hand and attitude every step of the way.
• Frankenstein’s monster—Taking a lesson from Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” we know that a combination of knowledge and alienation can have grotesque results. Likewise, piecing together old ideas and strategies and applying them to new campaigns can keep even the most weathered PR veterans stiff and stuck in their ways. Even with the best intentions, if we don’t make ourselves agile, flexible, and open to new approaches, we’re not doing ourselves, our peers, or our clients the justice we all deserve.
• The mummy—Last but certainly not least, with the 24/7 news cycle and on-demand society in which we operate, it’s easy to get too wrapped up in work. Maintaining a work/life balance is essential to success both inside and outside of the office. At the end of each day, take some time to unwind, relax, and reflect upon all you’ve accomplished.
Are there any similar “costumes” you or your colleagues have worn to work?
Christine Carlson is a senior account executive at Wireside Communications. A version of this story originally appeared on the company's Fireside blog.