PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Robert Fulghum wrote a book entitled “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Check out his Web site here.

Back in junior high, I had monthly visits to the orthodontist. In his office, I saw a poster that read “all I really need to know I learned in kindergarten.” Despite the horror of braces, that sign stuck with me. Now, a couple of years later, I still find a lot of these principles to be true in both personal and professional settings. Go figure! Here are some of my favorites:

Share

Whether it’s a stuffed animal or your lunch or even five minutes, sharing is a great way to build relationships. In the PR industry, agencies pitching companies to earn their business will sometimes send articles about the company they find in various media outlets to build rapport. Sharing is also a great foot in the door – especially when it involves making time for some one. It’s important to remember that is someone scratches your back, you need to return the favor.

Social media makes sharing knowledge and information really, really easy. Start tweeting with people, commenting on their blog and generally engaging yourself in coversation. I haven’t come across many people that aren’t open to hear new opinions and to get more input. Don’t be shy!

Play fair

Every kindergarten class has the one kid who thought he or she was the supreme ruler of the world and therefore is entitled to special rules in games, the right to take snacks from everyone else, etc. Those standards are the roots for a disastrous career.

I really look up to professionals who uphold high standards of honesty and ethics. This summer I worked at a company that really valued ethical professionals. The company culture that grew from this ethical base reflects on the solid professionals who work there and the stellar work they do for their clients. When I graduate, I’m going to be looking for a company with a solid code of ethics and that actively follows that code in their work. I hope you all consider that, too.

Flush

While this might have been referring to something completely different, the principle is the same for me: if it’s just floating there not doing anything, get rid of it. When I was redesigning my resume a couple months ago, I had some (what I thought were) cool extracurricular activities on there and were near and dear to my heart. After getting it critiqued, everyone else seemed to come to the conclusion that I needed to “flush” those bullets and add some more important things.

In today’s rapidly changing world, we need to have the ability to let things go when they aren’t working. If it’s holding you back from something better, don’t be afraid to “flush” it. This might create more work, but it will be worth it in the end.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours

A deal breaker when working on a team is not giving credit when it is deserved. Who doesn’t like to be recognized when extra effort is put into a task? I’ve been working in ad sales at The State News for around two and a half years and I have been really lucky with bosses who are fantastic at recognizing hard work. At our weekly staff meetings, everyone who beats their monthly goal gets a shout out. If you really kicked butt, you get a lot of oooohhhhs and aaaahhhhhs.

Even if you’re not in sales, recognition goes a long way. Nothing motivates me more than getting a message from a boss or co-worker thanking me for the extra effort.

When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together

This is my personal favorite. And I have to say that I can be guilty of rushing into something before I look both ways before crossing the street. Take the time to do your research. Look and listen to all the options – you might miss something if you only look or listen. Also, “traffic” might come at you from any direction, so always be prepared. Whether you lose your job or change your major, awareness and reaction are key.

The most important part of this is the last part: stick together. One of the reasons that I love the public relations industry so much is how genuinely supportive professionals are to students. While students can get a lot out of a mentor and internships, I also believe that professionals with an open mind can get just as much out of the relationship. So, cross the street with your team – whoever may be on that team.

So, what else did you learn in kindergarten that still works today? Any cool examples out there?

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6 Responses

  1. Shannie :) says:

    I love this! It really is true. Except that I find that, more often than not, my kindergartner’s haven’t learned any of this 😦

  2. Great post, Nick. I love how you can tie these ideas to PR and they are so true.

    My favorite is “flush.” I redid my resume recently and that’s a great way to think about things.

  3. Matt Haupt says:

    Nick, love the post. Very entertaining and informative at the same time! It is funny because I was just thinking the other day when I saw someone I was best friends with in elementary school, but haven’t really seen since. A lot of people do not change that much from elementary school, and how they act and feel somewhat stays consistent throughout their lives.

    Most people would think that these silly rules you learn in Kindergarden only apply then, but as you showed, they are just the foundation of who you become as a person.

    Wow, way too deep for a more light-hearted post haha. Great tips though!

  4. Becky Johns says:

    No Hitting.

    In a lot of jobs, especially a commission-based or similarly competitive environment, sometimes you’re going to take a hit from someone else. This might be in the form of stealing a client, maybe it’s a rude remark in front of the rest of your staff, or it could even be a salary cut (given these economic times).

    In my mind, the key to navigating these tension-filled situations is to take it in stride and try to step back and look at the big picture. Often, our first instinct will be to “hit back”, but this is ultimately going to make things worse.

    There’s a fine line between letting yourself be taken advantage of and knowing sometimes you’re just going to get burned by the system.

    So, don’t hit back! Focus on healthy conflict resolution and leave the fight with your dignity intact.

  5. Best post to date, Nick!

    Show and Tell

    In my kindergarden, this was the best part of the day. At work, this is the best part of the day. Learning new things and excelling at them is one of the best feelings you can experience in the professional realm. Blogs, sales tips and workshops are great ways to showcase your skills and help your team. Remember, you’re only as strong as your weakest link!

  6. nicklucido says:

    Becky – great point. Figuring out why someone “hit” you in the first place is another suggestion.

    Katy – That’s another good rule. And it’s something people can always get better at because you don’t want to do too much showing. You want to see other friend’s show, right?

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