I am one of those fortunate college grads of my generation who landed a job in her chosen field upon graduation. Not everyone gets to do that, nor does everyone want to. For me, Public Relations was a natural fit. I loved to write, I loved to talk and I loved to plan. As a working mom and public relations professional, I’ve come to the realization that being a PR Pro is not unlike parenting a toddler. Let me explain.
Along with years of experience, hard work and expertise in relationship-building, communications professionals have picked up a few tricks of the trade. But, you don’t have to be a pro to use them. Here are six PR tricks that also work on toddlers.
There’s a reason this is number one. I consider this a gift in disguise: a toddler’s inability to focus on whatever task you want her to do. Her easily distracted personality means you also can point out a shiny object if she is heading the wrong direction, pulling the dog’s tail or otherwise losing her mind.
- Plan for A, B, and C
Would you plan an outside event without a indoor option? Then why would you take a toddler to the doctor’s office without a bag of toys and books to distract her from the impending doom that is the stethoscope? As long as you’re filling up your bag with books, you may as well add a snack, a change of clothes and extra socks because who knows where she put hers when she took them off in the car. And let’s be honest – her adorable little feet can be embarrassingly stinky sometimes.
Me: “Green beans ARE yummy. See, watch Mommy eat them. Yummmmm!”
Toddler, staring blankly at me, doesn’t break eye contact as she feeds the green beans to the dog.
Literal: I’ve personally kicked the dryer door closed while standing at the refrigerator looking for non-expired yogurt just as my 2-year-old was about to deposit our cat into the spin cycle.
Figurative: You had grand plans for an organic breakfast and a lovely stroll around the farmer’s market with your adorable family. But your toddler refuses to put on pants. Or shoes. Or her diaper. Go-Gurt and the local playground are looking better and better.
Just like in public relations, it can take years to build relationships inside and outside your organization. What’s an agonizing 7-minute “walk” down the stairs (because she doesn’t need your help), when you’ve worked years to build positive media partnerships? Slow and steady wins the race.
Just kidding. Sort of.