As PR professionals, we are information brokers. We endeavor to provide clear and accurate information to specific audiences on behalf of our clients. This work is the “what” of this profession, but the “how” is where the real work comes in. Our work often requires intellectual horsepower, the ability to write, and creativity, among other things.
Relationship building is another essential skill. To do our jobs effectively, we must build, nurture and maintain relationships with many players, including media, clients, industry partners and colleagues.
At this time of year, particularly amid the persisting upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic, it feels appropriate to recognize the people who enable us to accomplish all we do. We are perpetually grateful for the following:
- Journalists. We rely on them to cover our news and provide us with information, guidance and insight. They make our jobs possible, and they reciprocate by providing us with information and feedback to help us improve. Amid economic challenges, journalists have adroitly covered an ever-expanding amount of news, literally doing more with less.
- Clients. We are profoundly grateful that they trust us to share their stories. Our clients continue to challenge us to grow and evolve while making our work worthwhile and rewarding.
- Coworkers, partners and freelancers. These are the people who generously offer their talents and support our work in ways large and small. Our team proves the saying that success is virtually impossible without teamwork. Recognition and gratitude are default positions for this team. This attitude empowers us to support each other in times of overload and struggle to keep our commitments to our clients and teammates. Our continuing success, above all else, stems from the strength of our relationships.
- Family. Our families and support systems provide much-appreciated encouragement in normal times. The relocation of our workspaces to our living rooms and guest bedrooms had required a new level of accommodation and understanding. We are grateful for their support and for reminding us that it might be a good idea to get outside once in a while.
I also want to recap some small and large milestones we marked as a team this year:
- We celebrated the firm’s 17th anniversary with a virtual group cooking class
- We gathered for countless virtual morning meetings, sharing weekend plans and favorite Teams backgrounds in addition to our project priorities and successes
- At least five of us have moved, with two purchasing their first homes and one completing a home remodel
- One of us returned from maternity leave while another took time off to welcome his first child
- One of us was married, and another got engaged
- We marked first days of school, one kindergarten and one college, as well as high school and college graduations
- We welcomed new pets and said farewell to others
- We weathered a historic heatwave, power outages and internet service interruptions, as well as flooding
- We worked from multiple states and at least two locations outside the U.S.
- We welcomed new team members and bid farewell to others, including launching two interns and welcoming two more
- We marked birthdays and work anniversaries on virtual happy hours and are preparing for our first in-person holiday celebration in a couple of years
- We gathered for two (socially distanced) group walks and an outdoor happy hour
In PR, the relationships we develop are essential to our work. Through the challenges and upheaval of this pandemic, we are grateful for strong connections that endure adding joy to our days and making our work so rewarding.