After our Weight Watcher’s meeting, every Wednesday, my high school friend Sean, and I would head over to a Louisville restaurant and eat queso and chips. They didn’t “count” toward points, we told each other because point counting started “tomorrow.” And that is how Weight Watchers meetings went for us for a whole year in the late ’80s. ??♀️
In those meetings, I remember our leader saying to me for the first time, “If you don’t have a plan, you plan to fail.” She was also the leader telling a heart-breaking story of when she was a teenager. Her parents had forced her to order a McDonald’s fried fish sandwich when her skinny sisters could order hamburgers. Her parents said, ‘That’s because your sisters don’t need to lose weight.” It was the 70’s y’all. Don’t call the child abuse hotline. What’s heartbreaking is the fish sandwich has more points on the Weight Watcher’s program than the burgers. Ironically, the parents were forcing their chubby teen daughter to choose the worst item on the menu. These scenarios beg the question, “Do you have a plan, or do you plan to fail?” ?. In other words, are your actions moving you toward your goals? Is your “why” manifested in the actions you take daily? You can apply this blog and its steps to any area of your life; however, I’m going to break it down for PR. Because, well, this is a publicity blog. (Note, I didn’t write publishing. We talked last Friday in our free PR coaching class about how people confuse publicity with publishing all the time. Catch all 2020 #21DayPR coaching calls at Wasabi Publicity’s YouTube channel here ?. In short, publicists help you with your media relations. In other words, they introduce you to producers and journalists. Publishers print your book. Very different skillsets. Please tell others. If they need PR (not publishing) refer them to our #21DayPRActionGuide pandemic challenge.)
Now, let’s get to your plan. Your “why.” I’ll go through some quick steps in this blog, but don’t forget you can download a workbook that takes you through your PR “why.” Download it for no cost no opt-in during the pandemic at the site I co-founded, PitchRate.com. ?
Now, let’s get to those success steps . . .
FIRST STEP: Declare your “why” ?
Some of my clients think they want to be on national TV. Then, when I place them on national TV, they are turned off by the need to deliver soundbites in under 4 minutes. I say, “We live in a Twitter world; I’ve literally seen PR transition from typewriters to Twitter. Yes, I’m that old. What I can say for sure, is to play the national TV tour game, you need to speak in soundbites. Almost all TV interviews are only 4 minutes long. You might be graced with a six-minute interview, however, that’s the exception.” Many deep thinkers realize this is not a game they wish to play. If national TV distribution moves you closer to your “why” however, you might stomach a Twitter headline, a sharp soundbite, or a pithy pitch. With clients, I discuss the end-game: what are you out to accomplish with scoring national TV? Often clients realize they don’t want national TV, they just want the logo’s national and international press to give them credibility. So, for you? What’s your end-game? In my view, that’s where you start.
SECOND STEP: Chart actions backward from your end date ?
Once you have your end-game established and your ‘why’ written down, pick a date by when you want to complete your plan. Then state in each month or week moving backward to today what needs to happen to realize your goal. We do this with every one of our PR campaigns. It’s also a good way to breakdown any plan you have in your life. I’ve been implementing this since I learned how to do it from personal development corporation, LandmarkWorldwide.com in the ’90s. It has proven to be the backbone of much of my own success. (?Fun fact: I met my business partner, Drew Gerber, at Landmark and viola, Wasabi Publicity was born in 2002.)
THIRD STEP: Pivot, play, and remain flexible ?
This is arguably the hardest step to success. Most plans don’t go as they’re written. The biggest pitfall is people believe the plan must unfold linearly. Ask any successful person: plans rarely go as planned. What’s more important is to remain flexible. Have fun. Why? Having fun provides your brain with the largest access to your creativity. When you’re in fight or flight, the creative capacity of your brain is redirected so you can survive. You will typically fall to muscle memory and do what you know to do without much thought. The challenge is this. Life’s “juice” lies in those outlier moments. The art of aha comes to those who plan for the unexpected and then when it comes, they have fun. There is a little box on my desk. It says, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” So, when your plan gets rained upon, simply dance. I predict you’ll be surprised by the results.
FOURTH STEP: Embrace all results; celebrate and complete your plan powerfully ?
When your end date comes, celebrate no matter the results. It’s important to complete the process powerfully. To do that, simply state all that worked and all that didn’t work. If it helps, print your plan out on paper and then burn it in your back yard. That really completes the plan. Then — yes, you guessed it! Create a new plan. My niece once said to me, “Don’t talk to me about projects. My teacher is always saying I have a project for you.” Sorry to spoil life’s surprises. But guess what: plans are projects. Projects need plans. Just remember … dance when it rains. You’ll be fine. Oh! And stay away from fried fish sandwiches when you’re trying to lose weight.
? PS: Sign up for the last PR coaching call in November ? https://bit.ly/2HwuqJH
Happy Thanksgiving, all. In December, I’ll be showcasing an actual PR campaign so you can see everything in full detail. ?? #StayTuned