As the white stuff is settling on the ground and making driving conditions difficult it started me thinking about some of the issues I had faced during the week. Strange as it may seem the snow reminded me of communication and PR work and the challenges faced. You will, of course, be asking how you can compare the two – snow and communication – so I will try to explain.
One of the biggest challenges facing communication professionals is how to have a constant plan to manage reputation while finding the opportunities to do innovative and creative work. We can get bogged down in the daily grind of keeping communication on an even keel. We need to lift our heads to read the road ahead. At the same time, the financial crisis affecting most businesses has changed the way the world looks. Much like the blanket of snow makes everything look very different.
Driving in the snow takes extra thought and care, as well as a clear understanding of where you are going and the route you want to take. It is the same for communication. You need a clear plan and to know where you are aiming to get to. But also you need to know that the vehicle you are travelling in is fit for the journey ahead. For me, that means ensuring you have the right skills for the activity ahead. There is another blog for me about the PR professionals who fail to keep themselves up-to-date with the latest developments in modern life, so let’s leave that discussion there.
Back to the snow. When you drive in those conditions you have to take it easy and avoid rushing or making any sudden movements that might take you off course. Much like everyday communication it is about consistency and making sure you get the basics right. Keeping a steady pace, reading the road ahead and ensuring you are in the right gear. But then the snow eases and there is a patch of clear road ahead. That is when you can accelerate and try something different. It is your chance to be creative to drive differently with a bit more speed or even to take a slightly different route. Those are the conditions we need to create within our work if we want to have the space to innovate. The chance to put our foot down without risk of spinning off and into a ditch.
So as we sit warm inside our homes and watch the snow falling it is worth considering how we can all take the opportunities in our communication roles that the road ahead brings. How can we keep doing the basics to ensure we remain mobile? More importantly are we able to take advantage of the space we may have for that big event? And when the snow clears will we have learned something new, something to improve our vehicle or alter our route? The opportunities are in our hands.