New Challenges in Public Relations


“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” – Brian Tracy

 

They say the comfort zone is a behavioral state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviors to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk. Ask anyone in the PR industry who has settled into a core practice which they specialize in and they will tell you of the miracles they have performed, the many crises averted and the brilliant exposure they have brought their clients.

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Most people never enjoy being placed in a situation where they have to step out of their comfort zone. A sense of doubt tends to creep in when faced with such a situation. Working in Technology PR for nearly 3 years, I had found my sweet spot in the form of excellent media relations with tech editors, a knack for writing technical releases, orchestrating product launches and so on. This went on for years before my foray into the unknown: I was informed I would be working on a new client in the Oil and Gas sector. I was initially tentative about how I would go about it but the anxiety soon gave way to a fierce competitive drive with myself and my abilities as a PR professional. I felt that the basic rules and techniques of servicing a client’s needs, in any industry, remain fundamentally the same.

 

The work I did for this client was an incredible learning experience with my knowledge rapidly expanding in the Energy sector. The new media contacts I made and the new writing styles I acquired gave me a sense of lasting confidence in my ability to adapt. I find it extremely important to challenge myself with new industries regularly as it provides an avenue for unconventional thinking, widening the horizon of possibilities which were never visible before. Rising up the ranks in the PR industry also means that your knowledge should me as macro as possible with adaptability being a core virtue. As my favorite write Terence McKenna once said, “Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it’s a feather bed.”

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