Here are a few more pearls of wisdom from the Landis team about how traveling makes us better at our jobs. Interested in viewing part one? Click here.
Be flexible. There are always options.
“On a trip to London recently, I arrived during a rail strike that made getting around the city almost impossible. I had to be flexible and find workarounds – travel by car to appointments early and find places to work nearby, walk to meetings (bring a change of shoes!), hire a boat on the Thames or take a ferry. That’s a good metaphor for client work – there are always choices; explore them and pick the best one.”
Nothing beats meeting IRL
“This isn’t news to almost any PR practitioner on the planet, but it is definitely worthwhile to mix pleasure with business. On a recent vacation to Singapore, I arranged a meeting with PR pro Jocelyn, who heads up a boutique firm in Singapore and collaborated on a joint project. Jocelyn and her husband took my husband, Tommy, and I to the iconic JUMBO Seafood, a household name in Singapore that serves Spicy Chilli Crab — the must-have dish in Singapore. Between the fun and food (so much food!), we discussed various similarities and differences in our cultures and communications practices. This taught me to be willing to reach out to your PR connections worldwide – even while on holiday. Meeting your contacts face-to-face, even a world away, is definitely worthwhile.”
Challenge yourself to get creative and out of your comfort zone
“Whenever I travel, my favorite activity is trying local cuisines. Whether it’s a fine dining experience or a street food truck, I’m always searching for new flavor combinations to try. What I find fascinating about different cuisines when I travel is that they can also communicate a lot about a culture, the area’s traditions or even the chef. PR is a lot like food – there are endless combinations of ingredients (strategies/tactics) to create a successful meal (campaign).
When you travel, food can also dare you to be more adventurous – take frog legs or escargot from Paris, for example. In PR, you must be willing to embrace new challenges and get out of your comfort zone from time to time. It can be a great learning experience!”
Planning is everything
“PR people tend to be really good at planning, whether it’s a product launch, VIP media event or influencer activation. Whenever my husband and I take a trip, I relish in thoroughly researching our destination, from hotels and restaurants to off-the-beaten path attractions, and creating a full itinerary. Sure, we often venture outside of our plans once we’re there, but it’s comforting to have a structure for our adventures if we want one. And I love channeling my inner travel agent. I always learn so much about the local culture, cuisine and history while planning a trip, which is similar to the discovery process when onboarding a new client and planning a bespoke strategy for them. Being prepared is key, especially when things don’t go as planned!”
Embrace the differences
“One of the most exciting parts of wandering the world is not needing an agenda. That said, things are bound to get a little chaotic, but who’s to say it can’t be fun along the way? PR Professionals are often faced with unpredictable situations and must be able to adjust and think quickly and strategically – like the abruptness and sudden changes that arise while traveling. Traveling, naturally, makes one more open-minded. I’ve always believed that the most self-destructive, scariest thing a person can do is stay where they are comfortable and only surround themselves with others who think and feel the same way.”
Photo courtesy of Pixabay