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Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving has long been my favorite holiday. In addition to the fact that I love cooking, and enjoy eating even more, I appreciate that Thanksgiving forces us to think about and recognize the good things in life. It reminds us to take a break, look up from the busyness of our daily lives and remember the people who have supported, encouraged and collaborated with us throughout the year.
We tend to focus on our families during the holiday season, as we should. But Thanksgiving is also an opportunity to show appreciation for our colleagues—those with whom we brainstormed, strategized, celebrated success, and possibly even lamented projects that didn’t go as planned.
As communicators and media relations professionals, our success is often dependent on the willingness of others to participate in our pitches, interviews, and photo shoots. All of this is in addition to their already jam-packed, full-time jobs and other responsibilities. Without the cooperation of administrators, faculty and students, we wouldn’t be able to do our jobs. They are the spokespeople. They are the stories. Without them, the best pitch in the world would never make the pages of a newspaper or be broadcast across the airwaves.
I try always to be conscious of that fact, and take several opportunities throughout the year—and especially around the holidays—to make faculty and others who have been particularly generous with their time and talent feel appreciated. I’ve done things as simple as sending a handwritten note (with a copy sent to their boss) or a gift card and as elaborate as a party/awards ceremony recognizing contributions to media relations efforts. I’ve found that no matter how big or small the gesture has been, the impact has always been great.
The same rules apply to reporters. Theirs can be a thankless profession. They hear from people fairly often with complaints about their stories, rather than appreciation for a job well done. A plate of cookies or a box of candy dropped off at the news desk can make a big impression.
However you choose to thank people this year, I can guarantee it will help strengthen relationships, and in turn will make your PR efforts more successful.
And with that, I thank my amazing colleagues Teresa and Kyle for welcoming me to TVP Communications this year, for sharing their strategies for success, for teaching me how to do my job better, for supporting and trusting my ideas—and above all, for making me feel appreciated.
Happy Thanksgiving!