Having just started training for my first marathon I have had a lot of time to ponder all the parallels between PR and marathons – a few musings are pasted below for those just entering our profession.
- Persistence, perseverance and dedication
Like training for any endurance event, success doesn’t happen overnight, and you certainly won’t see results if you are not persistent with working towards whatever you are aiming for. As anyone will know in any line of work, you will often encounter roadblocks. Be it knock-backs received when selling in a media story or getting an injury midway through training for a running race, persistence, perseverance and dedication is what it takes to become a better PR consultant, and to help you cross that finish line on race day.
- Accepting it’s not always going to be rainbows and butterflies
In a 42.2km run, there’s going to be a point where you don’t want to run anymore; where your knee hurts, where you’re tired, where you’re getting a blister, where you would do anything under the sun to stop running… Not too dissimilar, being a PR consultant is not always a walk in the park. Late nights, stress, wet weather warnings or breaking issues will always be a big part of our job, and are not always easy to deal with. At the end of the day, being able to look past the short term pain of a blister 5kms into a 30km run can help you keep your cool when an event doesn’t go to plan, or your week consists of looming deadlines. Whether over a long run, or over a busy time at work, being able keep perspective is important to enjoying the highs, and not falling to pieces during the lows.
- Always be prepared
The number one rule in event management is to always be prepared. Much like preparing your body for a long run, preparation is key to a successful event, media activity, workshop or product launch. With running long distances, it’s important that your body has enough energy before during and after the run, to ensure it doesn’t collapse in an exhausted heap. This means planning to go to Italian for dinner the night before a run, loading up on snacks, energy gels, protein bars and sports drinks to have with you during your run, and most importantly, ensuring you have enough water before, during and after your run. Not only will preparation help you get across the finish line, but more importantly, preparation will help you be a better PR practitioner.
- Finding balance
PR and agency life can be full-on and intense. While you travel at a million miles an hour, constantly multi-tasking and juggling different projects, it’s important to take a step back and find time for your passions outside of work, and bring back balance to your life. If it’s studying a new language that gets you excited, playing amateur soccer with mates from high school, Thursday night band practice, workouts over lunch, or trivia at the pub, making the time for activities and commitments you enjoy is important to keeping motivated and inspired when at work, and can help you keep on your a-game. Much like in the workplace, balance in a training schedule is as important as anything. Making sure you allow your body and mind to relax and unwind helps you stay sane during the crazy times, and keeps you happy in the long run.
I’m currently training for a marathon with the Can Too Foundation, one of Ogilvy PR Health’s pro bono clients. Can Too provides professional coaching to help everyday people through to elite athletes train for fitness events, and in turn, participants raise money for innovative cancer research. To date, Can Too has raised more than $15 million dollars, and helped more than 100,000 participants achieve fitness and fundraising goals. You can find out more information about the Can Too Foundation here: www.cantoo.com.au
Written by Rachel Beck, Account Executive – Ogilvy PR Health