If you’re in the public relations industry, the answer to this question is a resounding “yes.” It wasn’t until recently that I’ve finally categorized myself as a planner even though I’m fairly certain I’ve been one all my life.
I began thinking more about this as my upcoming trip to Zion National Park gets closer (in fact, it’s this weekend). Per usual, I took the lead in booking our accommodations, packing the necessary toiletries that I can share with my friends and researching park permits and trails that we’ll want to take. And I don’t begrudge any of it—in fact, I enjoy it!
My reticence towards accepting my role as a planner probably stems from me not wanting to be rigid, but fun and easy-going. The older I get, the more I realize I can do both. For example, when I go back home to vacation on the lake, I “plan” to relax and lay out all day. See—I think I’ve found a good balance!
I’ve learned that the best client is a happy client. But how do you get there? By making moves months in advance to ensure that their stories get told at the most opportune times. This takes diligence and the ability to not only see the bigger picture, but to execute the smaller tasks along the way to ensure that the end goal is met.
My biggest struggle currently is trying to thing strategically for my clients while also doing the tedious tactical work. I think this comes with being in any entry to mid-level PR position. Recently, I’ve made it a goal of mine to set aside an hour of my day devoted solely to researching and reading up on new trends, upcoming observances, anything I can tie into a story for my clients, really.
If you take the time to deliberately distance yourself from your ever-pinging inbox and try to focus on one thing, this can help you to learn how to see that bigger picture better. Which will in turn make you that much more valuable to your client. It can also be fun. Because for special people like us, planning is actually fun!