Learn the Biz

business planI have been fortunate to work with some amazing professionals in my career, and one thing I’ve learned is for PR people to be respected and appreciated, the focus has to be on more than tactical execution. There has to be a business reason for doing everything. If you are unable to show how your PR program or marketing campaign will directly impact the business’ bottom line, then your senior management team will likely not listen to your thoughts going forward.

In order to prove the value of your programs, you need to put on a business hat. If you don’t have a business background, get one. Either take business classes at the local community college, pursue your MBA or find someone who will teach you.

I had one boss who suggested shadowing others in your business so you get a new appreciation for what they do as well as a better understanding of your company. Spend a day with your accounting team. Sit with your customer service department and listen to calls. Participate in product management team meetings. Schedule a meeting with your CEO or president and listen to what he or she says about your business. Ask about objectives. Take copious notes, and don’t isolate yourself in your office or cubicle. Get out and find ways to learn about your company and the way it does business. I guarantee your perspective will change, and you will be better equipped to speak the language that is needed to convey your point to your CEO and other senior management.

Take what you learn and incorporate it into your plan … remember, I said my mantra is “have a plan, work the plan“. Planning is critically important to the success of a PR or marketing department. Your plan needs to be business-centric, not tactics-centric. Everything you do should be measurable and directly relate back to those business objectives your CEO or president shared.

Let me know what I’m missing.


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