Becoming a manager is an exciting increase in responsibility but in the PR world specifically, it can also mean a noticeable shift in your thinking and day-to-day activities. Here are three changes you can expect to see as a new manager and how to navigate them.
Those Who Can Do…Now Will Teach
In PR, the adage “those who can’t do teach” simply isn’t accurate. In fact, a reversal of the phrase is much closer to the truth. For most of your career, you’ve been focused on the “doing” of the job – crafting social media content, writing press releases, pitching media, etc. When you become a manager, a key part of your role becomes translating what you know to others.
You may never have had to articulate just how you got that reporter to be interested in your pitch before; in other roles, you were focused on the fact that it happened. Now, as a manager, your job is to clearly explain these tactics to guide your team to success. Past examples are a great way to do this; you can show your team similar scenarios you’ve handled that they can reference as they put together their plan of attack.
As a team member, you can expect to mostly be mapping back to what your manager or director expresses as the overall goals for your client programs. You may be peripherally thinking about what the next task may be, but you’re more focused on overall execution. Managers should be thinking about not only “what are we doing now?” but also “what will we be doing next month? And the month after?” and even “what aren’t we doing or planning to do that we should be?”
Calendar reminders are a great way to make sure you’re making this type of thinking a part of your daily routine. You can also use one-on-one meetings with your director or VP to gut check on what you think priorities are upcoming or to get feedback on new ideas you’d like to propose. Prefer something more tangible? Sticky notes or white boards at your desk are nice physical reminders.
Guiding, Guiding, Guiding
Redundant? Maybe, but guiding your team is the best way to think about writing projects as a manager. While you will still be doing your own writing, when you are reviewing material from your team, keep in mind that you are reviewing for content, clarity and accuracy. Don’t get stuck on word choice or style; those are personal choices.
A good way to think about it is: is this wrong? Is it contradictory to what our client would say? If so, make a suggestion to change it. If not, leave as is. By doing so, you are helping your team develop their own voices and writing styles – and in turn, their confidence.
Ultimately, by being aware of these three key shifts into the manager role, you are setting yourself, your team and your clients up for success. Win, win!
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