Why PR pros make great parents
This article originally appeared on PR Daily in May of 2017.
What’s the secret to parenting?
Mankind continues to seek answers regarding the vexing pursuit of
child-rearing, but I may have found a break in the case.
There’s no right way to raise little ones, and no proven methods of
fostering responsible consumption of cookies or “Paw Patrol,” but it’s
clear that PR pros have a huge head start when it comes to parenting.
Public relations practices, precepts and strategies are ideal training for
handling Planet Earth’s bumpiest, most confusing ride.
Here are five areas of expertise that make PR practitioners natural
1. Dealing with and defusing crises.
Parents deal with crises every day. Whether it’s a fight at school, an
accident, a stomach bug or “Peppa Pig” not fully recording on the DVR, PR
experts are well equipped to respond and reach an amicable solution.
Children create crises like LeBron James scores baskets, so crafting a
family crisis communication plan might not be out of order.
[FREE DOWNLOAD: Keep your cool in a crisis with these 13 tips.]
2. Managing difficult personalities.
Most everyone in PR has dealt with a tyrant or two. Handling impetuous,
hard-headed, selfish, insensitive adults is tremendous preparation for
interacting with children, who are also not known for empathy and impulse
control. Managing difficult personalities with tailored measures of carrot
and stick is the name of the game in both arenas.
3. Reframing bad situations in a positive light.
What do you tell a child when she doesn’t make the team? How do you explain
that you’re not able to go to Disney World this year? PR pros know how to
break bad news—with compassion, tact and clarity. That’s an invaluable
skill when you can’t find a favorite toy or blanket.
4. Cleaning up messes created by other people.
If your kids are like mine, they leave toys and clothes everywhere and toss
plates around like every night’s a Greek celebration. You have probably
dealt with companies suffering from similar disarray and lack of discipline
and have had to (figuratively) whip them into shape. PR veterans know how
to clean up a mess efficiently and, ideally, prevent it from happening
5. Providing counsel, encouragement, inspiration and coaching.
The savviest PR virtuosi go above and beyond to uplift, educate and empower
their clients. They take the time to help on a genuine, personal level to
ensure sustainable professional success, instead of just scoring quick
wins. Patiently providing counsel, coaching, encouragement and inspiration
is a sizable chunk of the parenting gig.
Of course, this is just a sampler plate of what PR specialists bring to the
parenthood table. Those skills in speech writing (“Say this when you apologize to your teacher…”), influencing policy
changes, image management and hosting special events will also come in
handy. Persuasive communication always helps, too.
Hopefully, your little clients are nice and not too destructive. Either
way, you probably have them covered if they do end up needing some good PR.