If you have yet to download Draw Something to your iPhone or Android, you are truly missing out. I suggest you download it just to see what all the fuss is about. If you are already a fan of Draw Something, this post will be a bit more relevant to you. Between my obsession with Draw Something and a conversation with a colleague, I’ve somehow managed to draw a parallel between the Draw Something app and public relations.
If you have played Draw Something before, you likely recognize the power of a personal connection with the person you are playing with and how a close connection can enable better guesses, sometimes even before the drawing is complete. In my Public Relations experience, knowing what a reporter might write makes it much easier to pitch them a story idea involving your client. The only way to know what the reporter might write next is by following what they currently cover now. If you want to get better at pitching exactly what reporters need for their next story and ultimately get your clients into top tier publications, invest in your relationships with reporters. Any good relationship takes time and dedication.
The Draw Something app is constantly bringing the phrase ‘communication breakdown’ to the top of my mind. Just yesterday, I was trying to guess what a friend of mine was drawing. The word was sideburn, but he just made a yellow outline of a sideburn on his stick figure’s face. To me, a sideburn should be colored in to represent that it is hair on the face. This serves as a reminder, in public relations, it is important to make sure your entire team is on board with an idea before moving forward. People learn and think in different ways, and often times in the fast-moving world of public relations, we forget to move slow enough to work well with our colleagues. Working to get on the same page can keep disasters from happening, as your team is more powerful when acting as a united front. Projects might be on a larger scale than guessing ‘sideburn’ in Draw Something, but small adjustments can have a positive impact on internal communication. Here are three tips for avoiding communication breakdown in the PR workplace.
- Really listen. How often are you too busy to actually hear what your colleague is saying? A listening ear enables a helpful response instead of a muttered ‘ok,’ and can save time in the long run. Really listening means you can stay on the same page with projects.
- Reiterate deadlines. If you are working on a project with other members of your team, make sure you are properly emphasizing when you need their portion of the project to be completed. If you leave it at ‘as soon as possible,’ a thousand more immediate to do’s can pop up, leaving you without their part of the project and scrambling to finish their work.
- Learn to be efficient. There are some things in public relations that may come more easily to you than your colleagues. Volunteer to tackle the elements of the project you are confident doing, using your strengths to ensure efficiency. This will help avoid communication breakdowns as work is performed without glitches and less time is wasted explaining what needs to be done.
If you’ve gained nothing from this post, at least download the Draw Something app and prepare to become addicted!