3 PR lessons learned from Mom

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Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and while most of the focus will be on flowers and Sunday brunch, let’s not forget why we celebrate: To appreciate Mom and all she ever did for us. That includes all the lessons she taught us.

For me, a lot of the advice I call upon in my adult life revolves around my mother being right about everything. I use her advice daily in how I treat family and friends and in my career in PR.

And, while most of the life lessons I learned from Mom were meant to keep me from being rude in public, there are actually a lot which can be applied daily to your brand or business.

In honor of Mother’s Day, here is a collection of awesome advice that can carry over into your PR strategy.

Be a good listener

My Mom always taught me the importance of being a good listener. She helped instill this very powerful life skill in me, which I use daily in PR.

When it comes to PR, you need to hear what your customers, peers, and the media are saying.

Listening to their wants and needs is vital to leading a successful publicity campaign for your brand or business.

Don’t talk with your mouth full

When someone asks you a question while you are chewing food, you wait until you are done chewing and then swallow before responding. Do the same with the media.

When speaking to any media outlet or reporter, remember that you do not have to answer questions if you are not ready.

If a question is asked and you need a moment to think about before replying, take that moment. If you need longer than that moment, feel free to let the reporter know that you will think about it and get back to them.

There’s no harm in shooting off an email answer later, especially if that answer is the right one and not something off the top of your head.

Mind your manners

My mother is serious about manners and taught us to be mindful of the simple words and gestures that would help make us respected adults. However, with the influx of social media and technology today, suddenly a lot of those manners seem to have gone out the window.

No matter what your role, but especially if you are a spokesperson for your brand or business, do your best to be pleasant and polite at all times. This means always showing every one at every level respect.

The impressions you make on others, especially those in the media, will bleed into the overall impressions of your brand and, ultimately, sales. Never blow off interviews or be rude if the reporter is late to speak with you.

Show everyone respect and they’ll respect you back.

In fact, incorporate the Golden Rule into your PR strategy. For those unfamiliar, it calls for treating others as you’d like to be treated.

This rule goes a long way in PR. Going that extra mile for both your business and for members of the media means trying to not only think from their perspective, but also to anticipate their needs.

Such simple, considerate behavior creates a better working environment for everyone and ultimately allows you to better serve your brand or business.

Finally, listen to your mother. Like Mom always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

If your brand or business is engaging the media, don’t spend your time making fun of the competition. Behaving in this manner will only make you look petty and will do more harm than good. Both long term and short term.

Instead, spend your time with the media promoting your key messages, values, and your products and services. There’s no need to give free publicity to your competition.

Even as the Internet has fundamentally changed how we communicate, remembering to mind your manners will help you stand out to members of the media.

What inspirational lessons from Mom can you apply to your PR practices?

Want more helpful tips like the ones above plus more? Check out The Buzz: A Media Darling’s Guide to Press Coverage, get on the wait list for Hearsay’s PR mastermind group (launching soon), or email me directly to schedule a Mini PR or Mini PR Plus session today!