A few months ago I went “over the mid-twenties hump.” And like a ‘So-Co’ lime shot over the age of 21 – it was hard to swallow. Inching closer to 30 its taking its toll – but there’s some comfort in knowing that while you may not be in times driver seat there’s still plenty you can control.
This time of year we’re looking towards the future a lot – in all aspects. In the office we’re knee deep in gift guide product spending the last of 2014 and brainstorming over beers for 2015. But to prove our worth sometimes it boils down to pen paper and cold hard facts – aka. reporting. While account success is being evaluated – now is the perfect time for us PR gals to do the same. If you were to pull a “report” on yourself right now – what would it say?
Dr. Meg Jay – said “30 isn’t the new 20” – translate that into PR terms and the ‘eager beaver deadline beater’ isn’t going to get the promotion in 2015 because of a good attitude problem. Self-advocacy in this business is key and during a time of year when things are slow it’s a great time to build something I like to call “The YOU report” (TYR). Cheesy name – I can’t take credit for it.
Pat yourself on the back! You’ve worked hard this year. You know what you have accomplished, the relationships you’ve made and the impact that you have had. That’s value! Value you added. So think about this…
YOU’RE PUTTING MONEY IN THE BANK – For every placement for a client or a product that’s a win. A win to keep track of! You are bringing something to the table that you are responsible for. But, just like in school – you may have aced the first essay but you’re playing catch up other places. “Not doing well in pitching/math” well in 2015 looks like you need a tutor/tips for how to improve and you will know to cozy up to a media maven in the New Year. Acing your “art/creative” courses – you can let your managers know that you would love to do more of this in the new year – by that time you have proven how you can succeed in this area so your manager should be open to integrating you in more creative work. You’re TYR will showcase where you excel but also where you can improve – it’s truly a report card.
WHERE TO START – There’s no template for a TYR and that’s the beauty of it. It’s customizable for you. Start with what you do on a daily basis and (maybe in excel – ah spreadsheets J) create categories based on your responsibilities – media pitching, placements, media relationships, project management, etc. Also look back at your last review and make sure that those categories also satisfy what you work on at your level and also the areas where your manager is looking for improvement. Fill out each area with facts and evidence – like “placed client product in 15 gift guides” and list all the publications and links to each. It will all be there in black and white – irrefutable capital!
WHEN TO USE IT – Now as proud of your work as you may be – don’t include a print out in your Christmas card to your boss – it could get you the boot instead of a bonus! However from your TYR creation you should be able to come to a few conclusions – “I didn’t foster as many relationships with media as I would like,” or “I want to write more.” Those highlights are PR gold. So when the next press release needs drafting or a media maven needs pitch help – JUMP in! Did you kill it on event planning this year? Offer guidance to next year’s “host” and let him/her know that you’re there should they need anything.
Taking stock of your PR worth shouldn’t be a once a year thing – your report card is a great tool come review time and having that litmus test at end-of-year is just a way to enter the year with a few PR resolutions. So? Time to stack up! What does your report card say?