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Vivian Li/李雯雯

PR Manager/公关经理

Tel:0086 010 83907451


12 pieces of advice for your PR team

One of the biggest drawbacks of working for yourself is the complete and utter lack of a team.

I work by myself at my home office most days. I love it, but it is a fairly lonely existence.

You have to make an effort to get out and see people, hence my involvement in #SoloPR meetups and corporate mastermind groups, to name a couple of examples.

Recently, I started working with one client that provides the opportunity to work with a small team. It’s really just two or three people, but for me, it’s a chance to work with a team of humans and work with younger people—a chance I don’t get very often.

It’s been invigorating. I had forgotten how much I enjoy working with teams.

As this work moves along, I’ve thought about the advice I give to the team. Largely, they don’t need a lot of advice. I try to add value by directing, coaching and providing ideas.

These younger people are smart—much smarter than I was when I was their age. Then again, everyone can use some advice once in a while, right? I love the little kernels of advice I pick up from friends and colleagues in the industry, even though they may not give it to me directly.

Here are 12 pieces of advice I’d give to my team—if I had one:

1. Measure everything.

Measure and provide context. Sharing charts and graphs in a client recap is one thing; providing context is different.

Make sure when you’re spitting numbers and results back to a client or boss, you give comparable data such as year-over-year numbers.

2. Hang with people smarter than you.

I like to say, “I never want to be the smartest person in the room.”

It might be pretty easy for me. In all seriousness, though, if you surround yourself with people smarter than you, you will be a successful PR/marketing counselor.

3. Own it.

I have to give credit to my wife for this one. Though it's her saying, I like it.

Have you screwed up, or missed a deadline on a big project? Own it. Have you let down a teammate at a client trade show? Own that, too.

If you make a mistake, accept it, say you’re sorry and move the hell on.

4. Don’t listen to me.

I do want you to listen to me, but not always. I’m not always right, and both you and I know that. I want you to think for yourself, push me and think creatively.

5. Never say, “I can’t.” Instead, say, “I’ll find a way.”

This is one of my favorite mantras. I was recently floored when my daughter spit this back at me when we were completing our Halloween costumes.

6. Be confident, but not too confident.

It’s a fine line; walk it carefully.

7. Leave something for the rest of us.

I’m talking to you millennials. You’re smart and ambitious. You’re going to run the world sooner than we might think. Just make sure you leave something for us Generation Xers. No matter what happens, you will need your teammates. Take time to highlight them once in awhile.

8. You are replaceable.

No one is. Everyone forgets this, including me. You are special, but you’re not that special.

9. Nothing else matters but relationships and results.

Focus on those two things, and you’ll be successful in PR.

10. Don’t just network when you need something.

This is the cardinal sin of probably 75 percent of the workforce. I’ve seen this way too often in my career.

On the flip side, people who look at networking with an ongoing focus on giving instead of always taking manage to continually climb the ladder.

It's not a coincidence.

11. Listen before you talk.

As a consultant, you feel like you need to talk all the time. Don’t.

The best consultants I know are the ones who are adept listeners. Better yet, they’re fantastic at listening for insights and transforming those insights into actions and ideas. This is a huge skill to develop.

12. Ignore and avoid work bullies.

Some people will say you have to learn to deal with difficult personalities, but don’t believe them. You don’t ever have to.


Vivian Li

PR Manager

Tel: +86 010 8390 7451

Mobile: +86 13041030670