Darlings – it’s AFPRG’s last week! Don’t know how you feel about it, but I feel bittersweet. Thrilled to be moving into something new, and already nostalgic for losing the time I spend writing posts for you wonderful PR Girls about this profession that has enthralled and entrapped me for most of my career!
We’re returning to the archive again this week. Here’s a post for anyone starting out. . .
When I was a young spongelet, maybe about six months into my first PR job, I was sent to interview the client to write a bylined article about fault tolerant trading floor systems. He and I sat together for about an hour, and I had absolutely no idea what he said. Thankfully I brought a tape recorder.
That evening, I sat in my hotel room and tried to start building an outline. The first two or three times I listened to that tape I was terrified. I couldn’t understand a word, and the draft was due in the morning. The more scared I got, the harder his words were to comprehend. But failure was not an option. I couldn’t tell my boss I couldn’t learn my own client’s business! So I took a deep breath, walked around the room and resolved to gut it out. I listened and listened until I understood – at least five or six times. It was a long night.
My point? Keep trying. Just because you fail once, twice, or three or four times, doesn’t mean you can’t do something. It just means there’s a steep learning curve, and that climbing it is hard.
If you dig in and make that vertical climb the rewards are immensely satisfying. Miraculously, I delivered a draft the next day that everyone liked. But even better, I never had a hard time comprehending b2b technology again. It just made sense.