It’s been a little quiet here at Decisivepr.com with the arrival of our darling son in June. While I am not the first and not the last PR practitioner to have a baby (after all it’s more women now than men working in the industry), here is my personal list of parallels between motherhood and the art of public relations and what I have gleaned from both:
It’s no secret that mums are the best multi taskers in the world. I thought I was good at it, juggling the daily deluge of emails, conference calls, media deadlines and social media management, but nothing prepares you for the 24/7 task of caring for a newborn.
Trust your instincts
We have to make important decisions all the time. Especially when your client baby starts fussing around. Often we rely on Dr Google and the half a dozen secret Facebook groups we joined the moment we found out we were pregnant. In the end we just feel that one way is the best and it might just work a treat – just like in PR when often you have to rely on a fair bit of gut feeling to get the results over the line.
How to be all chipper at 6am
Mums and PR pros share an upbeat attitude. Okay, we fake it when we sing Pat a Cake for the eighth time at 6:15am but it is all for the greater good of teaching our child important life lessons, such as the difference between day and night. And mums do it without the copious amounts of caffeinated drinks.
Mums schlep around a crazy amount of stuff to be prepared for ANYTHING. Baby wipes, diapers, spare set of clothes, sling, blanket, bottle, toys, travel cot, sun hat, you name it. Not too dissimilar from when you’re carrying briefing books, name tags, 30 press kits, your laptop, projector, and other things for that big PR event (did I take that mobile phone charger??).
Keep a flexible mindset
Every day is different with a baby and mums constantly need to change the tune. Little Miss Sunshine can be a grumpy bub the next day, and after a terrible night they beam at you with the brightest smile, ready to take on the world. In the PR world, the rules of the game are also constantly changing. While planning is good and necessary, unforeseen things happen at the eleventh hour so it always pays to have a plan B (and C).
The moment your precious baby arrives, people will constantly ask you questions and judge how you measure up (I lost count how many times someone asked me if he is sleeping through the night yet – in the second week). Managing expectations, unrealistic as they might be, requires a lot of tact and diplomacy, skills every PR professional should possess.
Present results in the best possible light
Let’s face it, motherhood is not always pretty. Beautiful as our little darlings might be, the reality is not exactly glamour shot quality when we are still in our PJs at 3pm. But in the age of Instagram and Facebook, everyone wants to present their achievements in the best possible light. And why shouldn’t we “PR” our story just a little bit, after all a T-shirt goes in the wash but these carefully styled photos last forever.