1. Possess a comprehensive knowledge of content strategy. According to Swan, more than 90% of marketers believe that content marketing will become more important during the next 12 months. Media operations are should be a management priority, while content will be a sustained part of PR and marketing communications.
2. Be a master of the most important communications tool conceivable to modern man: PowerPoint. Did you know that PowerPoint is used at an estimated frequency of 350 times per second? If you’re still struggling with putting together slides to showcase your latest campaigns success, you’re already behind the curve. Set aside some time to really learn your way around PowerPoint. For beginners, Swan outlined three must-haves for every PowerPoint presentation: Story arc, big visuals and context not content.
3. Unplug. Really. Fifty-six percent of your PR peers experience anxiety as a result of missing an important event or status update if they don’t monitor their social networks, Swan said. Employees who detach themselves from the office not only report higher levels of psychological well being than those who don’t, but also experience higher job performance at all levels. Do yourself—and your boss—a favor: Put down the iPhone.
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I’m quoted in this piece from PR News promoting my presentation next Tuesday:
Knowing how and when to unplug will be one of the key skills for communication leaders in the coming years, says Greg Swan, senior VP of digital & interactive for Weber Shandwick. “Mastering the balance of plugged in and unplugging will help us all succeed in 2014. Our brains need time to rest, and our ADD, always-on culture won’t allow it. We have to ask ourselves, what kind of role model are we setting for our employees and clients?”
Swan, who will be speaking at PR News’ Aug. 6 Next Practices PR Conference, offers five tips to help you become a master at plug-pulling:
1. Establish clear physical and mental boundaries between work and private life.
2. Give yourself (and your team) permission to be offline on evenings and weekends.
3. Set an out-of-office reply email that encourages recipients to call if it’s important.
4. Don’t go overboard. Develop systems to stay abreast of news without 24/7 monitoring.
5. Take regular, unplugged breaks or vacations with no apologies.