So 2012 is off with a bang!
I started this working year with the Global Integration team meeting in the first week back.
Global Integration works on the people capabilities within large, complex, matrixed organizations to help them work faster and more efficiently – and make them somewhat nicer, less confusing places to work.
The team meet works for clearing the mental cobwebs.
I am always struck when we’re together at how applicable what they do is to PR companies. How many Monday mornings or team meetings do PR teams spend hearing about what everyone else is doing, gobbling up almost a full day before we even get started on any real work? How many times have we sat going through ‘to do’ lists and allocating tasks? Yet the most important meeting, the one with clients once a month, is an hour or two long. That’s some kind of madness!
The Global integration team gets together three times a year and we use the meet for some really constructive ‘moving things forward’, big picture work, and people dip in and out as appropriate. And we usually have a team exercise – sometimes one which takes us outside of our comfort zones.
Ironically for me as a water baby, the one that had me most out of my comfort zone last year was white water rafting/raft building. Any invite from work colleagues that starts ‘bring your swimming costume’ is, in my books, a nightmare. Despite the worrying, however, it was one of the best meets I’ve been to.
So this year is the one where I’ll be practising more of what they preach, managing my own time a little more healthily in a way that also benefits others: in PR and social media circles, people often put their names down for things that they mean to go to, but there is so much happening that it is impossible to do it all. So this year is the year I shan’t get side tracked. More reliable childcare, less events signed up to should mean I’m more likely to be where I say I’m going to be.
It has to be said that this is akin to taking a lush out of a pub, or a child out of a sweetshop. London is a full of interesting knowledge pools and innovation, and I’m addicted to constant learning – and in the media space, there’s constant change filling thousands of web pages daily.
I’ve done the logical thing, withdrawn and rationalised what I’m involved with.
It’s very hard to stay on the wagon, especially with Social Media Week looming. It’ll kill my ‘Klout’ score and make me a lot less ‘influential’ online (more on this one later). But there’s a second reason for rationalising. I’ve prevaricated a lot about sharing it, but tune in tomorrow, and I’ll tell you more. And yes, in keeping with new year, new approach, it’s a promise Ill keep!
Claire Thompson, Freelance PR Consultant, January 2012