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Stepping up to PR management

Ready for promotion?
Ready for promotion?

You’re on track to be promoted into a PR manager position – but what do you do differently when you get there?

If you want to hit the ground running you’ll need to have a strategy otherwise you might soon find yourself snowed under with work and feeling that you aren’t making progress. That’s what happened to me.

I had worked hard to earn my promotion, but two months later, I felt like I was still doing my old job as well as that of my boss.  And I find that some of the PR managers that I train today have fallen into the same trap, so here are some tips to help you step up to a PR management position.

1. Manage expectations

Schedule in regular meetings with your boss to determine what is expected of you in terms of account delivery, generating revenue, client servicing and PR management. Develop a 90-day plan. Plot out a map of how you can let go of tasks you used to do and take on new responsibilities. Get senior buy-in and then work with junior colleagues to agree a developmental plan for them too.  Find a way to take more control.

2. Act differently

Change something about the way others (clients and colleagues see you).  The more visible it is, the better. Perhaps instead of coming into work at 9 and leaving at 5:30, you arrive at 8:30 to spend 30 minutes planning and leave at 5:00.    With your bosses agreement, take the lead in client meetings and conference calls.

3. Image counts

Adapt your image so that you look and feel more professional – a smart pen to use in meetings, a less childish smartphone cover, tailored shirt, higher heels.  Every sector has its own dress code and Elissa Freeman’s article in PR Daily on what to wear in the PR and marketing industry gives some good ideas. Consider the organisation that you work for and look to senior management for inspiration. Then develop your own ‘brand’ based on your own personality and strengths.

4. Get organised

You’ll need to work smarter if you are taking on more responsibility for managing people, counseling clients and implementing and tracking PR campaigns.  So, if you are not a plan ahead kind of person, now is the time to start.  Treat time like a valuable resource and focus on achieving.  The 50/20 rule applies.

5. Plan your learning

Identify your development goals and find ways to achieve them.  Find out what internal resources are on offer.  Enrol on a course, attend a workshop, join a webinar, listen to a podcast, subscribe to relevant RSS feeds. There is no shortage of readily available resources available face to face or on the internet.

6. Delegate the right tasks to the right people

Take time to get to know each of your colleague’s strengths and weaknesses so that delegation for urgent tasks as well as developmental tasks can be more effective.  Then build in time to plan and delegate.

7. Find a mentor

Learn from a colleague who has been through the same process.  Someone who you can share concerns, feelings and frustrations with – who can act as an objective sounding board.

If I can help by running a training course for your PR managers, please do get in touch. My next course for PR managers is running on 12 November 2014 at the CIPR. Click here for details.

Picture courtesy of Free Digital Photos Net by Salvatore Vuono


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