How working in PR has prepared me for the Big Day
Ok so I admit it….I’m far more involved in my wedding plans than I originally thought I would be. The truth is no one really has any idea how much preparation goes into a wedding or the extent to which ‘wedmin’ takes over any little free time you have until you get engaged.
My fiancée and I are now just six months away from the Big Day and although most people look at a wedding and see all the pomp and ceremony, the planning to get to that stage is anything but a piece of cake. There’s a lot of moving parts, a lot of different players, a great many different opinions which means crisis communications is sometimes necessary. It’s therefore very easy to get overwhelmed.
Unexpectedly I’ve come to realise that in this process my career in Corporate PR has prepared me incredibly well. The skills that someone in PR has to use on a daily basis can actually be synchronised with planning for a wedding. Below are some of these instances:
- Keeping cool
In PR and wedding planning alike, it’s very easy to get consumed by tasks and detail which often will have little to no impact on the overall success of your initiative. Clearly sometimes crisis PR is required to make sure the wedding or PR campaign runs smoothly but it’s also important to see the forest through the trees and be able to allocate your time suitably. Will your friends and family really care that you spent days excruciating over the type of wax you chose for your candles? Indeed would your client worry that you have printed the coverage booklets on a slightly thicker version of printing paper? The answer is probably not but be careful not to spell your friend’s name wrong…
Be prepared and flexible to shift your priorities. If you are fixated on your wedding food throughout the process, the décor, church hymns and cars for bridesmaids could suffer. With any PR initiatives, the planning process is equally important. Be ready to adapt to changing market situations to keep things moving instead of fixating on a single detail that may cause everything else to grind to a standstill. Make progress where you can and when you feel something stalling, shift gears and move on to what can reasonably be accomplished. Crucially keep your client in the loop of any shifts you make.
- Building good relationships
In PR just as in wedding planning, keeping in regular contact with clients, key influencers and reporters is very important. Being consistently visible with those around you demonstrates your commitment to the project, will ensure that everything is running as smoothly as possible and gauge how you can create new opportunities. Indeed be wary to engage with the most suitable contacts for your campaign. For example, you wouldn’t pitch a new beauty product story to a sports journalist or hire a didgeridoo player to play at a Scottish wedding!
- Trusting people around you
Don’t micromanage! Trust in the teams you’ve chosen or recruited to help you achieve your desired end-result. Remember this is YOUR special day so assign meaningful tasks to each individual based on their strengths and interests. As with PR have regular check-ins with your team to ensure that everything is running on schedule from the pre-briefing meetings to the DJ’s playlist. Most importantly do not fall out with your fiancée and remember you are working as a team for exactly the same result – a successful wedding!
It’s the word that keeps you up at night (and definitely keeps the father of the bride up at night!) and nothing is more infuriating that choosing your favourite suppliers, planning the running order and then finding out that you’re way over budget. Preparation is absolutely key. Whether it’s a product announcement, media breakfast event or the biggest day of your life. Sure, you might be able to pull out all the stops when you’re given a blank cheque but there are always creative ways to stretch your pound and work smarter to achieve the look, feel and results you want.
- Having fun!
Your wedding day is finally here, the big product launch, the main event. All those months of planning, research and preparation are behind you, so it’s time to sit back and just go with the flow. There will definitely be a few bumps along the way but the most important thing of all is toenjoy it from the beginning to the end. Whether it’s admiring the smiles on the faces of your wedding guests or watching cutting after cutting come in, have fun.