Turkey confidential: 5 PR lessons from Thanksgiving dinner

Turkey confidential: 5 PR lessons from Thanksgiving dinner

It’s turkey season, and while that has many of us panicking to put in last minute turkey orders or train for a Turkey Trot 5K, some of the same tips you use in your PR role can be used to make your Thanksgiving as seamless as possible.

Here are 5 ways you can put those PR skills to the test to have a wonderful holiday dinner.

1. Plan in advance

Planning your menu for the Thanksgiving meal is an essential part of a stress-free dinner. From figuring out the grocery list to prepping casseroles days before, it’s essential to set up a plan for the big meal (you don’t want to be known as the host who forgot the mashed potatoes).

Just as you strategize before the feast, in PR, planning is a fundamental step of any project.

Coming up with a timeline, deliverables and communications strategy ensures nothing gets forgotten and gives you goals to work towards. Just like when the grocery store is out of a key ingredient, you need to be ready for the unexpected.

A change of plans is much more manageable than no plans at all (Thanksgiving pro-tip: shop in advance and have backup ingredients on hand).

2. Share the load (and the meal)

Teamwork is an essential part of any Thanksgiving meal. From assigning guests to bring different dishes to divvying up cleaning tasks, sharing the workload is crucial for any host’s sanity.

Delegation also plays a part in any successful PR campaign.

Sharing your tasks with coworkers is important to keep you from getting overwhelmed, plus it brings in new eyes and ideas to the project. You may have a coworker who is an expert in social media strategy or know someone who is a graphic design pro – utilize each person’s skill to put together the strongest team possible for a successful campaign.

3. Gobble, don’t gulp

It’s easy to overindulge on Thanksgiving.

From the mashed potatoes to the many kinds of pie, there’s so many tempting options! While it’s fun to get a bite of everything on the table, for your stomach’s sake it’s important to taste a little of each and not have your eyes be bigger than your stomach.

Whether we are talking about food or words, it’s also easy to overindulge and feed a reporter more than they can chew.

When reaching out to the media, it’s important to keep pitches succinct and to the point. A good pitch is tailored to the reporter…make sure to feed them their favorite type of pie!

4. Break the wishbone

One of the most memorable moments of Thanksgiving is breaking the wishbone and bickering over who got the larger half. You have a 50 percent chance of winning, so why not take the chance?

Risks are also part of the PR world.

To make your client stand out, sometimes you need to take a risk and try something new. Innovation and creativity are important parts of successful campaigns – while you don’t want to rely completely on a new tactic, it never hurts to be open to new ideas and opportunities to grow.

5. Relationships matter

Thanksgiving is all about coming together over a meal, expressing gratitude for each other and our community.

Family drama aside, the shared experience of a Thanksgiving feast is the most valuable part of the celebration.

Public relations is also all about the relationships you build with your clients, coworkers and media.

Every relationship takes time and effort to be a meaningful part of your work. Take the time this season to reach out and do something to foster these relationships – reach out to a reporter on social media and comment on a recent story, take a coworker out to lunch, or bring in leftover Halloween candy for the office!

This Thanksgiving, take your turkey tips to the office and put those carving skills to the test!

Give thanks to your family, but also to those who work with you each day to build successful campaigns with measurable results. Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to acknowledge your team and the hard work and collaboration that goes into each project.

Judith Rontal (@RontalJudith) is a senior associate at Scott Circle (@ScottCircle), a full-service communications, conference and event management firm based in Washington, D.C.

Photo via Pixabay

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