Plan Your Work, Work Your Plan

I had a former supervisor who used to say, “Plan your work, work your plan.”  A lot.  And while that’s great advice for anyone in any business, it needs a bit of tweaking for those of us in public relations.  In our world, the model is actually: “Plan your work, work your plan, review the plan, revise the plan, work the new plan, review the plan, revise the plan, work the new plan, review the plan, revise the plan…”  I think you can see where I’m headed with this.

Plans are an important part of any successful business, public relations or otherwise.  And the start to any great plan is, of course, the goal, or goals.  Because once you know what you want, you can figure out how to get there, right?

This is not new information to most, if any, of you reading this post. But how often do we find ourselves crafting the goals and the strategies and tactical plans to support those goals, and then filing them away, and setting about our work.  And then a shift happens…in the market, in the news cycle, in the business model, in management…and we shift our focus to work on new tactics.  Without ever going back to re-visit the original plan, or seeing if it supports the goal.

Ask yourself. Was it a legitimate shift in activity, or was it simply a distraction? 

A ski instructor once told me that the best way to avoid slamming into a tree on the way down the hill is to look away from the tree.  To which, I thought, how do you avoid hitting the tree if you don’t look at it?  He explained that your body will naturally turn in the direction that your head is turned. It’s basic physiology.   In order to keep from hitting the trees on the way down the mountain, I had to make sure I kept my eye on the horizon.  In other words, I had to turn my head in the direction I wanted to go, versus where I didn’t want to be, and my body would naturally follow.   

The same goes for your work. We need to keep our eye on that goal, and not let the distractions keep us from getting there.

Now that we are six months into 2017, (I know, right??) it’s a good time to reevaluate. Dust off that plan, check the goals, decide if they are still relevant, adjust if necessary, and then make sure your work activity is leading you to where you want to go.

But first, enjoy the long holiday weekend. Happy 4th of July!

Liz Feldman

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