Stop, Collaborate and Listen!

Try this: it might just result in a communications environment that garners the best results for both the client and the PR team.

There are a few simple rules that seem to fall into the “logical side of the brain” category – and yet, they mostly seem to become lost in the melee of other less sensible workplace rules.

One of these rules applies to those operating in communications industries or departments, and the hopes that they be good at … well, communicating! Seems logical enough. We’re communications experts and are thus professional communicators, right? Sadly, we often find that it is within our very organisations that communication can be lacking, to the detriment of our efforts in claiming space in our relevant clients’ industries.

So, the rule I ask you to consider today is: stop, collaborate and listen. Whenever the bilious feeling of panic starts rising from the diaphragm and your throat starts itching, stop! Take a breather and speak to your team.

This advice is as much for clients as it is for teams. Panicky, reactive shouting sessions hardly ever result in positive change or coverage. If we all just took a minute, took a breath and talked to each other, we’d no doubt find the problem we’re busy nightmaring into something bigger than it is, is not as big as all that and can be easily managed, and swiftly too.

We all know some days there’s just no time. We all know that sometimes panic sets in and it’s all guns a-blazing. And we forgive ourselves because it happens to the best of us and, really, when you think of it, it all worked out in the end.

But did it really? Did it all the “working out” not take twice as long as if we’d approached things more calmly?

What we should also all know is that, when we don’t make the time and manage the panic, we’re going to have to, nine times out of ten, duplicate efforts when fixing the results of sub-par overly-reactive work anyway.

So, in future, we pledge that we will do our utmost to:

Stop, when we feel the drama rising.

Collaborate with our teams and clients around the best and swiftest approach to addressing the current dilemma.

And, most important of all, listen to everyone and record all input. Recapping has saved many a day, but listening properly the first time negates many potential road hazards going forward.