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Olivia Martin

Published on

January 22, 2019


professional skills, public relations

It’s that time of the year again. As PR professionals, we’re jumping into 2019 with ambitious goals for our careers and client success. While it’s a great time to start fresh and set big intentions, most of us are guilty of losing sight of these by the time the next year rolls around.

Working in the ever-evolving industry of PR, we’re constantly faced with new challenges to conquer and trends to leverage. While it’s critical to adapt to these developments year-round, the new year is a great time to reflect on these changes, plan for future opportunities, and ultimately start fresh. While thinking big and setting goals is an important step in doing so, developing consistent and strategic daily habits is the key to making them a reality.

Reflect, reflect, reflect

It’s no secret that PR is one of the most dynamic industries out there. The moment you think you’ve got everything figured out, a breaking trend is bound to throw you off course. Therefore, in order to set the right goals for the year ahead, it’s critical to reflect on the developments over the past year and prepare for what’s to come in the year ahead.

After you’ve got a good grasp on the current PR environment, it’s time to take these reflections inward. What worked for you last year? What didn’t? Which daily habits enabled success and which hindered it? While it’s never easy to face your short comings, truly understanding how your everyday actions affect your work is a crucial part of professional growth. By addressing these questions honestly and openly, you’ll be able to align your goals in a way that leverages your past weaknesses and improves on your strengths.

Get clear on what you want

Now that you’re equipped with the insights from these reflections, it’s time to get crystal-clear on what exactly you want to achieve in the new year. While bold goals might sound nice, they are often vague and unrealistic. It’s important to not only get as specific as you possibly can, but also make sure you’re reaching for something that challenges you but is still reasonably attainable. Just as important, create goals that are easy to measure your progress towards in a quantifiable and timely way. This means writing them down in a place you can view daily, and consistently evaluating your work towards achieving them.

Take action

This is the most obvious yet overlooked step. While it’s exciting to set goals and make big plans for the year ahead, nothing is going to magically happen without hard work and consistency. You might know exactly what you want and when you want to achieve it, but what are you going to do every day to make progress towards this? Just as you won’t get healthy and in shape by going to the gym one day, your professional goals won’t be achieved overnight either. Instead, plan your day around your goals, block off time to put in the work, and adjust your daily habits so that you’re making consistent progress daily.

For instance, let’s say your goal is to stay on top of industry trends and be more proactive with pitch ideas. While it’s a nice goal to have, it’s not going to be achieved sitting around and waiting for the perfect story idea to appear out of the blue. Instead, you need to make it a consistent and daily habit to block off time to research developments in your client’s industry. Regardless of your professional goals, the key to success lies in your everyday actions – so make sure they’re working for your benefit!

Be flexible

While it might sound contradictory, being flexible about your goals is just as important as taking necessary actions towards them. Especially in the field of PR, everything is constantly changing whether it be the industry environment, client needs, professional developments, or all of the above. While you might be dead set on a specific goal, it’s critical to stay open and receptive to avoid being blindsided by a major opportunity. This doesn’t mean throwing all your hard work to the wayside at the first sign of changing needs, but it’s likely you’ll need to adapt your goals throughout the year in a way that will best leverage these.

Overall, It’s an exciting time to be in PR, and while the field is constantly changing and challenging us in new ways, the new year is a great time to leverage these new opportunities. So take the reflections you need from the past year, know exactly what you want, and have the courage to pursue them relentlessly. But remember, some of the best opportunities disguise themselves as roadblocks, so always stay open to the twists and turns that 2019 will inevitably bring.
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