“A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was.” ~ Joseph Hall
It’s amazing how many people not only limit their abilities, but take it even further by claiming not to have the ability to do things they do every day. For example, how many times have you heard someone say, “Oh, I could never be a sales person. I’m just no good at selling.” When in fact, if you exist (and since you’re reading this, chances are that you do exist), you’re a sales person to one degree or another. When we are children, we quickly learn to sell our parents on the idea that we need the latest toy or a candy bar or that we simply must watch the new Disney movie. In school, we sell our teachers on the answers we provided. When we apply for our first job, we must learn to sell ourselves. When young men ask a girl on a date, he must sell her on the idea that he is date-worthy.
People who impose these self-limitations will go to great lengths selling you on the idea that they are unable to sell! Or I love this one, “I’m not a speaker.” You just spoke to tell me you’re not a speaker. You can speak – and you do speak, you just aren’t comfortable speaking publicly, but you can fix that, just as you can improve your ability to sell.
Just as we all work in sales, we also all work in public relations. Employees may think they don’t work in public relations but in fact, we all do. Major companies all spend enormous salaries for a “PR guy” (or gal). Here’s a short list of PR guys:
Chris Aheam – VP of Public Relations for Lowe’s
Vivak Varma – VP of Public Relations for Starbucks
Michelle Rene Scott – VP of Public Relations for Wells Fargo
Linda Rutherford – VP of Public Relations for Southwest Airlines
Winell Herron – VP of Public Relations for HEB Grocery
These are five businesses I deal with on a regular basis, but guess what? I’ve never met any of these people. Who I have met are the hundreds of people who have assisted me when doing business with these companies. Those people are the real face of public relations.
No one, anywhere, is ever exempt for PR duty. Everyone is a mouthpiece, a critic, a supporter, a case in point, an endorsement, an argument, a testimony or a walking billboard for or against something. Everyone is in the PR business. Let me take this further. I mentioned Lowe’s earlier. Suppose someone knocked over some plants in the garden department or dropped and busted a bag of potting soil. It never got cleaned up. Then the misters spraying the potted plants got the soil wet and it turned to mud that customers had to track through. Do you think the Bobby the night stocker at Lowe’s thinks of himself as a PR guy? Probably not, but his neglect of cleaning up the mess will make an impression on the entire company from the customers that had to walk through the mud. I gave the example in this way to drive home a point and the point is this – we don’t just work in PR when we are face to face with customers or potential customers – we work in PR 24/7. PR is not a part-time job. It is a mindset that MUST be present at all times.
You can publicly place limitations on what you are capable of doing, but like it or not, you DO work in sales, you ARE a public speaker and you are a PR professional every single day. What can you do today to become a better PR professional?
Monty Rainey is a District Manager working in the self storage industry since 1996 and currently overseeing 13 stores in the San Antonio, TX area. He is also a leadership coach and public speaker. For a free consultation, please contact Monty at 830-743-2139 or visit his website at http://www.montyrainey.com .