My favorites for Thanksgiving include:
- Watching the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. This is non-negotiable. (The National Dog Show afterwards, however, is perfectly negotiable.)
- Finding my mom’s chocolate delight chilling in the refrigerator. This is only made on Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it’s a prized delicacy in our house.
- Pulling out my grandmother’s silver for Thanksgiving dinner –even if it’s just the six members of our immediate family who normally wouldn’t think twice about plasticware.
- Ending up in the utter chaos that is Black Friday despite my firm commitment to “not go Black Friday shopping this year.”
And perhaps the most widely adopted of all Thanksgiving traditions:
- Taking turns to remind ourselves and each other of the people, the things and the experiences for which we are grateful.
For this last tradition – there’s really no need to wait until tomorrow to indulge, because quite frankly, I have so much to be grateful for everyday – including my work life. So when it comes to this segment of my life as a PR pro, here are a few particular things that I am especially thankful for:
- Nashville media. If you haven’t heard, Nashville is the “It” city – and its long list of local publications and outlets are worthy of similar acclaim. At the Bradford Group, we invest our time in building good relationships with media so they know our a) clients can be useful sources for them, and b) we will do whatever it takes to make their job easier when they work with us. These reporters and editors are talented, resourceful and delightful people. And quite frankly, I’m grateful to work with them.
- Email. Email is communication gold. Reporters today are asked to do much more with less – meaning they often don’t have time for a phone call or even a voicemail. Pitching by way of email is one of the best ways to communicate with a reporter or an editor, and it keeps communication records organized.
- Op-Eds. If you haven’t read my fellow Groupie Brooke’s thoughts on why the op-ed is as valuable to a PR pro as a turkey is to a Thanksgiving meal, check it out. She’s right when she says op-eds present strategic opportunities to showcase clients’ voice and expertise on important issues facing our communities.
- Social media. Social media is the cool kid of PR, and we’re duly impressed. Not only can it be a tool to build online buzz about our clients, it is another source of news and communication to key journalists. Social media is also a terrific outlet to encourage web traffic to our clients’ websites, which helps them drum up new business.
- The blogosphere. A paper on the doorstep and the 6:00 news are far from the only players on the block. Blogs and online news sites (a.k.a. new media) present PR pros with an abundant list of media resources. A well-known, reputable blog or news website can rival traditional media in audience reach.
- My AP stylebook. When writing press releases, columns or almost any other written copy – we live and die by the AP stylebook. Mine sits upright on my desk not even an arm’s distance away. When I need a refresher, my handy-dandy stylebook reminds me that a length of building lumber two inches thick by four inches wide is always a two-by-four and never a 2” by 4”.
- Our clients. Forgive this mini brag session, but our clients are – in a word – amazing. They are some of the hardest working entrepreneurs, attorneys, executives and leaders that I’ve had the privilege of knowing. It’s been an exciting journey to get to develop personal relationships with our clients and become an active partner for their business.
- The Groupies. Fact: I work with some seriously smart and insanely cool people. Each and every Groupie brings his or her personal flair, expertise and creativity to the team, resulting in a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Not only is my work a better product because of this powerhouse network found within our firm, but my day gets brighter because these folks are just a lot of fun to work with.