While not everyone is inspired by athletes, there’s no denying the hard work and dedication Olympians must put in to make it to the elite level. So, as PRs, what inspiration can we take away from our Olympic athletes?

Hard work will get you there in the end

While these athletes would have some sort of natural ability towards their chosen sport, they have all spent hundreds of hours preparing both physically and mentally. They had their goal and did everything they could to reach it.

As a PR pro, what is your ultimate goal? What do you have to do to achieve it? It may not be 60 hours a week swimming laps, but be prepared to put in the hard yards to win your version of an Olympic gold.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Sure the athletes are the ones putting their bodies on the line day in and day out, but they don’t do it alone. They have a whole team of people behind them, guiding and supporting them. From coaches to managers and support crews, they have others to lean on. If you are unsure how to do something, ask for help, find a mentor or take a course.

If you do something you are unsure about on your own, you risk making mistakes that could cost you dearly in the long run.

Think before you post on social media

In the lead-up to the games, how many of our athletes courted controversy by posting something on social media they shouldn’t have? This is a great lesson in having a moment to think about what you are posting before you do. Don’t press send unless you are absolutely sure your message will be received in the way in which you intended!

Even if you delete something after posting, someone somewhere may have already taken a screenshot and sent it on to their networks. If in doubt, leave it out.

Be proud of what you have achieved

When everything comes together and your hard work pays off, let people know. You are a PR pro, learn how to share your achievements, not just the achievements of your clients.

You may not have an Olympic podium photo call or hundreds of the world’s media vying for an interview with you, but you can make a splash, and potentially attract new clients, by sharing your wins with others.

Be passionate about what you do

You can see it in the eyes of Olympic athletes, they are passionate about what they do, it’s what drives them. Have you ever sat down and thought about what in PR drives you? It may be writing, creating great new ideas, building client relationships. Whatever it is, build those skills to make yourself stand out from the rest.

You don’t have to be over-the-top passionate every day, even Olympians want to press the snooze button sometimes, but if you’re not passionate about PR, why are you in the industry?

Don’t be afraid of failure

If you never fail, how can you learn? If you have tried your best and something still didn’t work, don’t be ashamed. Sit down and go through, either by yourself or with someone else, what went wrong and work on it for next time. You would have learnt some valuable life lessons, so take these on board and use the information to make yourself a better PR pro.

As PRs we spend most of our day flexing our mental muscles, not our physical ones, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be inspired by those chasing their dreams in a different field. Inspiration comes from everywhere in life, you just have to open your eyes to it.

 

Catriona Pollard
BY Catriona Pollard ON 3 August 2012
Director, CP Communications, which provides specialist PR and social media strategies that achieve positive media coverage, increased brand awareness and improved sales results.