Top Tips: PR Skills Taken From The Running Track
Cherish’s run club is now in its 13th week. We run around Hyde Park twice a week on our lunch hour, gradually going further and getting faster with each session. Every week there are an abundance of high-fives, fist pumps and slightly breathless praise. The club’s long-term goal is to complete a 10k charity run in the New Year, an aim we are tirelessly working towards and on-track to achieve. But it is about more than just fitness, as we there are some PR skills you can take from the running track to your business.
Competitor Running Magazine recently reported that on top of well know physical benefits such as improving cardiovascular health, burning calories and strengthening joints, running also improves your learning ability, sharpens your memory, alleviates anxiety, boosts self-esteem and increases your creativity, all of which will help you in your professional and personal lives.
On top of improving general physical health and mental well-being (read Senior Consultant Pally Kaur’s blog on mental health here), run club has been teaching the team a new approach to discipline. Each week, run club smashes goals and members reach new personal records. We are setting targets and always improving.
It was during a run, in a breathless state and legs feeling like jelly, that I considered the correlation between running and PR. It got me thinking about how I can take the discipline, lessons and processes practiced during the running sessions, and apply them professionally to reach new ‘personal records’ during campaigns.
Below are five disciplines you can take from the running track into your career:
Break down the big goals into smaller steps.
Each week the run club team set realistic goals for the next session, from reaching further distances to shaving a few seconds off our average pace. These smaller, regular aims all contribute towards achieving bigger goals in the long run.
This process can be easily transferred into the office. Look at what the top-line goals of a PR campaign are and work backwards. What are the smaller steps that will help you achieve it? It will give you solid ground to start from and a process to follow and more importantly goals to work towards.
Make it a team effort.
A big part of run club is the team effort. Each member brings different skills to the fold, our more experienced runners impart wisdom when it comes to technique and prep (always stretch before and after!), others research local charity runs and others offer motivational prose.
This can be transferred to the office by organising brainstorm sessions, bouncing ideas of each other and delegating tasks. Remember a diverse team makes a strong PR agency, so make the most of the assortments of expertise your team boasts. At Cherish we have professionals from different cultures, backgrounds and specialisms and we utilise the power that diversity creates.
Push through the urge to give-up.
Dory the fish may have claimed the words but there is nothing more true than “just keep swimming!” It takes some serious discipline to keep running through breathlessness and that abdominal stitch. When you push through and achieve your goals, you realise the moment of ‘suffering’ is worth it. It feels so good.
Apply this to the workplace. Sometimes the task ahead is a challenge but you can achieve it. People are breaking glass ceilings, sale targets and new markets on a daily basis but I bet no one would tell you it was an easy ride.
Try a different route.
The progress of run club members can be helped or hindered by the route we pick. Some paths in the park are heavily congested or feel like an uphill struggle, others provide easily measurable laps and peaceful pavements. When we find the right route we run further and faster.
If you stop making progress or feel stuck don’t keep running, map out a different route that will get you back on track to delivering.
Run club is full of whoops and cheers, fist pumps and high fives. It’s this praise that keep feet pounding the pavements and the desire to improve alive.
At Cherish, there is a bell the team ring when a great piece of coverage is secured. Senior management have also just initiated the ‘perk-box’, where special achievement is rewarded with a gift. These moments where hard work is acknowledged not only build team morale but also incentivise commitment to getting results. For all PR agencies, achievement should be a cause for celebration!
Written by Sara French, Cherish PR