How PR Guidelines Can Help You Survive (and Thrive) This Thanksgiving

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How PR Guidelines Can Help You Survive (and Thrive) This Thanksgiving

Before piles of orange-blushed pumpkins gain leering smiles and flicker with ominous candlelight, copious amounts will find their ways into cinnamon-sprinkled pie crusts, nestled warmly on Thanksgiving tables. As the season of gratitude approaches, many Canadian families will choose to acknowledge it in a variety of ways. Whether you find yourself playing touch football in the rust-coloured leaves, or gathering with loved ones to simply reflect on what this time of year may mean to you, it’s almost guaranteed that the majority of us will finish the day with a large, family meal. 

While these affairs are often romanticized on sitcoms – complete with perfectly golden turkeys and professionally-staged homes – in reality they can be stress-laden, messy and ripe for potential family conflict. As a team who have mashed more than our fair share of potatoes (pro tip – Yukon Gold or bust), we wanted to share how some foundational PR tips can make sure you get through this year’s Thanksgiving no worse for wear.

1) Be over-prepared

As anyone who has ever purchased a rock-solid frozen turkey the day before Thanksgiving can attest, planning is king. We use a variety of tools to help organize everything from event-day schedules to multi-year media buys, which help us stay on track and make sure our KPIs are accomplished with ease. By being over-prepared we’re often able to free up a little extra space in our calendars and in our brains for creativity, and explore avenues we may otherwise have missed. The same goes with hosting a gathering for your loved ones; when your turkey is bronzing right on time it may just mean you have a little extra time to attempt mixing that cranberry cocktail you’ve been eyeing on Pinterest.  


2) Listen (more than you speak)

You might think as professional communicators we would spend the majority of our time talking – but while we may be a chatty bunch, we know that listening is one of the best ways we can be better storytellers for our clients. When working on a strategy, our team intentionally embeds feedback loops throughout to make sure our communication is always responsive; we want to facilitate conversation, not just broadcast. It’s a good tip for PR pros, and a great one for navigating the variety of opinions that can percolate around a dinner table.

Psst – speaking of listening, we’d love to hear your thoughts on what live events could look like in a post-covid world. Take our three question survey here!

3) Don’t be afraid to ask for help 

Rachel could plan a conference in her sleep. Julia can whip out a media report at the speed of sound. Individually, our team is great; together, we’re unstoppable. Trying to plan and prepare an entire family meal on your own will leave you feeling overwhelmed and defeated (and might result in burnt broccoli). Asking your loved ones to pitch in with the meal prep, cleaning or hosting will mean everyone gets to feel like they played a part, and might result in you actually getting the chance to enjoy that slice of pumpkin pie!

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