We saw this story on “happiness lessons” being offered to schoolchildren in the U.K. and thought it was a pretty good idea. We all need lessons in happiness from time to time.
Even PR people. So here are eight lessons in how to be happy as a PR person, courtesy of Media Orchard:
1. Always tell the truth — especially to yourself. That doesn’t mean you can’t represent a client that holds an opinion different from yours; it just means that you must present it as the client’s viewpoint, not your own. Too many PR practitioners cross this line without thinking about it.
2. Don’t work for companies or clients whose products or lobbying stances you detest. For example, we won’t work for a tobacco company, or a company that makes firearms, or any oil company that commissions pseudo-scientific studies to muddle the global warming issue. It’s not worth the ulcer to us.
3. Don’t overpromise. It’s worth investing the time with prospective clients to make sure they have reasonable expectations, rather than promising them the moon to get them to sign a contract. You’ll only disappoint them, and yourself, later.
4. Believe in what you do. We love helping clients define themselves for their customers, investors, the media and others. So many companies have great ideas and great people; they just don’t know how to get the word out effectively in a market full of noise. When we help a client do that, we feel like Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady. If you don’t get a similar feeling, you may be at the wrong agency — or in the wrong profession.
5. Don’t take yourself too seriously. If you wanted to take your job that seriously, you should have become a journalist.
6. Stand up for what you know. When people of like abilities compete for the same goal, it is usually the confident one — not the “lucky” one — who succeeds.
7. Learn what you don’t know. Opening your mind to the ideas of others isn’t an indication of weakness; it is a sign of intellectual growth. Listening is learning.
8. Don’t talk badly about other people. It’s a quick-fix way to feel better about yourself; the more lasting way is through your own hard work. When you find yourself going ad hominem, think of your mind as being equipped with a pop-up blocker — and flick those negative thoughts away.