PR managers need to be more multi-skilled than ever to handle the complexity of working under pressure to account manage campaigns and lead teams. Here are five of my favourite TEDx talks to help inspire anyone working as a PR manager.
1. Overcoming stage fright
All PR managers have to command attention, whether that’s leading a board meeting or giving a presentation. Comedian, Deborah Francis White, shows how we can convert nerves into a charismatic presence with some simple tips that all of us can follow. (And if you would like to hear Deborah in person, she is giving a How to be charismatic talk for CIPR Marcomms Group on 27 February 2017.)
2. How to create resilience to stress
Kelly McGonigal argues that stress is not the enemy. She believes that how you think about stress is what causes the problem and if you can view it as helpful, it can actually create courage. After listening to her talk, I have been able to view my pounding heart, my dry mouth and my churning stomach as preparing me for the task ahead – and I’ve been able to focus better on my work.
3. PR managers – beware carrot and stick management
Dan Pink argues that the ‘carrot and stick’ approach to managing people is only relevant if you want to manage people who are doing routine tasks because it encourages people to narrow their focus. He argues that the complexity of most jobs now needs people to think for themselves and find new solutions to complex problems and that this can be achieved more effectively when mangers give their staff more autonomy and mastery over workplace tasks.
4. Save the world from bad meetings
David Grady’s entertaining talk demonstrates how we let colleagues get away with stealing our most valuable possession – time, with a story about how we’d feel if a colleague stole our office chair. His talk has lots of useful tips for PR managers on how to avoid unnecessary meetings.
5. All chatter but no conversation
Celeste Headlee argues that we are surrounded by communication but somehow we’ve lost the art of conversation and end up being misunderstood or polarised. You can see this in many office workplaces – everyone is busy typing, texting, reading – but its deadly quiet because no one is actually talking. Here she shares her 10 rules for having a truly great conversation .
If you are moving into a new account management role, I run an Account Management course with the CIPR and the next course for PR managers is running on 28 February.