You may think, what do veganism and PR have in common?
To that I say, many people use PR principles every day, to manage all sorts of minutiae in their lives—unknowingly!
As a young PR professional, I continuously notice the seemingly unrelated experiences of my past that have contributed to my set of skills in my professional career. Among them, I have been vegan for a year this month, and while it seems like a daunting lifestyle change for people unfamiliar with it, utilizing PR practices can be incredibly helpful (and fun!).
Much like a well-developed PR plan, making the decision to go vegan requires thorough research. Jumping into the journey without taking the time to understand where you will land will only lead to complication and perhaps failure.
There is so much to learn and many changes to be made; planning cultivates a road to success.
I had some context for veganism prior to embarking on the project; I was vegetarian for seven years before taking the leap and considered myself well-versed in the background of the meat industry, as well as firm in my personal reasoning for making the change.
What I needed to do to sufficiently understand my new “project” was to do more research on veganism, the dairy and meat industry, as well as understand exactly how I would be the most successful.
It is an individual journey, no one will do it the same!
Plan, Plan, Plan
The next step, once I had set the path ahead of me with research, was to begin planning. I needed to figure out the best way to accomplish what I wanted to do and get where I wanted to be.
For example, I wasn’t going to wake up with a pantry and fridge stocked with all vegan options, so I utilized my research of vegan foods to find options I would enjoy, and made an extensive list for my first grocery store run.
Another essential component of my planning process was to practice meal prep for the first few weeks so I would stay on track. I also needed to prepare for the social aspect of my lifestyle change, which included informing my friends and planning for meals at restaurants where I may be faced with few to no options.
Likewise…PR planning requires the development of strategies, which detail how you reach your objectives. Strategic planning defines the overall focus and goal for a long-term or short-term process.
While planning may not always be glamorous, it is a critical aspect of success.
Set Realistic Goals
Setting measurable goals and objectives are important aspects of PR planning, and it is equally as important to set those goals realistically. This means setting goals that stretch you to be your best, but are achievable with your individual set of skills and abilities, motivation, timeframe, etc.
I knew that I would not be whipping up intricate plant-based meals from the get-go, so I set a goal to make a new meal each week. This goal allowed me to let go of any expectations for myself to always be trying new foods, as well as experiment and have fun with my new dietary plan. I also allowed myself the space to make mistakes and consider the human element in my new lifestyle change—which not only applies to PR as well but life in itself!
Taking on new projects may not always go perfectly, but with experience, communication skills, and support from a great team you should be well equipped for anything that may come your way.