It’s nearly Mother’s Day, and many are celebrating the women that have helped shape their lives.
Upon reflecting on how much your mother figures have done for you, communicators of all stripes might notice a few parallels between motherhood and building effective and successful communications efforts.
Whether or not you’re celebrating Mother’s Day, here’s how PR pros can relate to motherhood struggles and successes:
1. You have to clean up messes.
Sure, the messes are different, but both PR pros and mothers are versed in handling crises and taking care of sticky situations.
You won’t change a diaper as part of a PR nightmare, but you might have to slog through some unsavory social media comments or coach your executive prior to making a statement to stop backlash and repair trust.
2. You succeed despite background noise.
Mothers are outstanding at multi-tasking and drowning out background noise, including the latest episode of “Snow Patrol” blaring in the background or a toddler wailing after being put in a time out.
For PR pros, that background noise isn’t chatter from your co-workers as you’re on a client call. Rather, it often comes in the form of the plethora of marketing messages and branding content that proliferate digital media channels. Savvy communicators can cut through the noise by producing outstanding content to gain consumers’ attention.
3. Technology can be a saving grace.
Mothers might use tools to provide their children with educational opportunities, better monitor their children and household, and more efficiently complete tasks. Communicators often use tools to gather and report analytics, plan meetings and editorial calendars, and connect with other industry leaders to boost knowledge and increase their skill set.
4. You get stuff done.
Motherhood can be a thankless job at times, especially if there is little recognition of the effort put into raising children and taking care of household responsibilities. However, without mothers working to organize and carry the load, many things wouldn’t get done.
Whether or not you also carry the mantle of a mother, PR pros are often in the shadows as their organizations and clients shine thanks to their hard work and successful campaigns. However, most communicators love their careers in PR and wouldn’t switch jobs for anything. For many, the satisfaction of a job well done (and perhaps kudos or an award for an outstanding campaign) is enough.
5. Expectations are high.
Mothers can feel a lot of pressure to raise children, run an efficient household and balance motherhood with a thriving career. Social media can intensify the scrutiny by adding the opinions of others into the mix.
PR pros also are trying to achieve high expectations set by their executives, clients or even themselves. It’s easy to compare yourself to competitors and professional counterparts and feel outpaced, as well. Forbes reported that PR executives were the eighth most stressful job in 2017, so don’t forget to take time for yourself in between deadlines and work demands.
6. You do a lot of hand-holding
Mothers are there to both nurture and guide those in their charge—and sometimes, that job can involve tears or even tantrums.
PR pros often guide those under their professional charge in all matters that can affect an organization’s reputation. After hammering out the details of a marketing campaign with an influencer, coaching a headstrong executive for his or her next interview or trying to redirect a client’s requests to grab front-page news in a major publication, you might be able to relate.
7. Sometimes, you have to say “no.”
Though it might result in tears or even a standoff, mothers are responsible for their children’s well-being—which will result in saying “no” when the request or behavior is inappropriate or dangerous.
PR pros don’t often have to push back because a client wants to put his or her hand on a hot stove, but a campaign with a seemingly tone-deaf marketing message can have a similar disastrous effect on the organization’s reputation. You might be able to more easily say “no” if you can offer another solution and data to prove why the alternative is more likely to be successful.
8. After a long day, you need a drink.
Both mothers and PR pros can find themselves needing a drink after a long day of putting out fires—whether that’s via social media and in news outlets’ headlines, or through time-out sessions and finding lost beloved items before a meltdown occurs.
You most likely already have a preferred drink after a stressful day. Here are drink ideas to use throughout your day, depending on the situation.
9. You know best.
The phrase “mother knows best” isn’t only used by those with the official title: Often, an adult will utter those words after realizing that his or her mother was wise years ago when a warning or advice was given.
PR pros also know best when it comes to communications best practices, understanding key stakeholders and achieving organizational goals while protecting and boosting the organization’s reputation.
Don’t shy away from your knowledge and authority, especially if you’re being pushed into a campaign or decisions that can negatively affect your branding efforts. Arm yourself with trends and case studies, and strike back with other ideas to make your executive or client happy—while avoiding a PR fail.