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Winter in AZAs I happily experience my first fall in Arizona, I can’t help but notice that getting into the holiday spirit happens a little bit differently with an always warm and sunny climate. With the leaves just now beginning to fall and cool brisk air only gusting in the early morning and late nights, I have to keep telling myself winter is right around the corner. There are things that help though, like lighted palm trees, which I’m a big fan of seeing.

As I reflect on these changes I notice that there are many things to take away from my time enduring the harsh winter in Illinois.

Here’s how winter in the Midwest is a lot like working in public relations:

  • Flurries ahead – Always be prepared for unexpected situations. Just as you would want to make sure your car’s fuel tank is full and you are always carrying an ice scraper, you also want to make sure you’re anticipating any situations that may arise with a client.
  • Snowflakes – Just as a snowflake, no day is the same in public relations. Each day presents itself with new challenges, requests and plenty more things to add to your to-do list.
  • Alternative routes – Sometimes roads close due to ice and heavy snowfall, so you have to take an alternative route. In public relations, it’s no different. You may have a method of doing things one way, but someone has a preference of you getting it done another way. You have to be flexible in this industry and learn quickly.
  • Snow days – Snow days are the most glorious things to happen to students. As an adult that’s not always the case. It sometimes means you have to work twice as hard the next day to catch up. In public relations, things can happen that take you away from knocking out your to-do list, which is one of the reasons why this industry works around the clock. But once you do cross off that last item, it’s almost as sweet as a snow day.
  • Shoveling your driveway – Let’s face it, aside from getting a good workout, shoveling driveways was always something I dreaded, but it had to be done. Not everything in public relations is glamorous, but it does have its perks.
  • Checking the forecast – Unlike Arizona where you can count on great weather, in the Midwest checking the radar for snowfall to plan your day is a must. Having a to-do list that you review every morning will help you stay organized throughout your busy day.

Winters in the Midwest can be harsh, but sometimes they’re the most magical time of the year, which is exactly like public relations. By now, I understand working in this industry can sometimes be stressful, but the benefits and satisfaction that come with the job outweigh any negative factors. I may have fled from the cold winter, but I’ll always appreciate the takeaways it taught me.

Shelby Ray
Shelby Ray
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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