Losing weight, going to bed earlier, keeping active – traditional New Year’s Resolutions aren’t going to cut it for PR and communications in January 2021 as we get stuck into more working from home, uncertainty in the market and, well, uncertainty everywhere.
If you haven’t made your own resolutions yet, or are curious how fellow PR and communications people are getting ready for the challenges of a new year, here are a selection of vows for 2021 to consider taking up yourself.
For more New Year’s Resolutions in PR and comms, check out Part Two here.
Carnsight Communications’ Georgia Christley will be kinder to herself
‘To do more exercise at my desk and ensure I take regular screen breaks. It’s easy to get sucked into emails and forget to take yourself away! To push myself out of my comfort zone more. To establish a better sleep routine, I find being a mother of two young children I squeeze as much me time in the evening as possible but forget to recharge my batteries sometimes! To take part in a charity event to raise money for Sightsavers/Age UK/British Heart foundations in honour of my father who passed away in Nov 2019 and I miss so much every day. Being kinder to myself and taking a family holiday somewhere HOT (when possible).’
…and Carnsight Communications’ Leigh-Ann Hewer is taking up healthy habits
‘To incorporate healthy habits into my working day such as walks at lunchtime and more nutritious meal choices. Cut down on caffeine and get better at making the swap to decaf – it pains me to say!’
Life Size’s Lee Lodge will be shaking off the cobwebs
‘I want to put more emphasis on respecting the boundaries between work and the personal lives of myself and my colleagues. I’m a bit of a slow starter, so like to begin at least a couple of mornings during the week with a run to shake off any cobwebs. I’m going to block out these mornings in my calendar as ‘focus time’, and concentrate on a particular task once I’m back from my run. My colleagues will know not to schedule any meetings with me during this time.’
…And Life Size’s Manon Thomas is improving homeworking
‘Workwise, my priority will be improving homeworking while it lasts. While most of us are still working from home, I want to find new opportunities and ways to engage more socially with the people I interact with daily, whether they’re my colleagues, clients or journalists. It’s harder when you can’t meet face-to-face, but these discussions are one of the aspects I enjoy the most in my job.’
Zapp Communications‘ Louise Burke is out on her bike
‘I honestly find I get the best ideas when I’m out exercising. It’s a great way to plan with a clear head and obviously it doesn’t have to be a bike it could be a walk, run or swim etc. So if you can take an hour and use it for planning. I guarantee you won’t regret it!’
Teamspirit’s Adam Smith will keep up a culture of creativity
‘When we work remotely, we can still maintain creativity. We want to find new ways to stay interesting, evolve and adapt our working behaviours in a hybrid workplace – whether it’s having a walking brainstorm, or holding virtual workshops with breakout rooms to keep our training programme going.’
TDC PR’s Tim Duncan is focusing on kindness
‘The challenges and anxieties that 2020 brought has made me realise, even more, how important kindness is in leadership, especially in stressful, fast-paced industries where this simple human trait is often ignored or sneered at as a weakness. I argue that it’s kindness that keeps team morale up when things are down. It’s the glue that keeps teams together, motivated and aligned to make a business viable. For me, it’s a strategy that works. PR should not lose sight of its humanity and its duty of care of its practitioners.’
Visibility coach Natalie Trice will be putting herself front of the queue
‘Saying no to things that I do not want to do is something I started to do in 2020 – when we take something on that we don’t really want to do, it takes up so much headspace and stops us from doing what we really want to do, and can also lead to feelings of resentment and anxiety.
‘In January, I will be finishing on Friday at 3pm, put my out of office on and heading to the beach with my dogs. Finding a balance in 2021 is a real priority for me and while I love working with clients and seeing them shine, I know that to keep my energy high, I need to put myself at the front of the queue from time to time.’
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s Hannah Patel won’t be overcommitting
‘In 2021, my resolution will be to maximise time with friends and family, but not to overcommit.
‘Life pre-pandemic was crazy. And I only realised it when everything ground to a halt in March. I seemed to manage to pack a ridiculous amount in and constantly burn the candle at both ends (as my mum would say!). So, although I miss seeing colleagues in real life, going to the pub with friends, having dinners with family etc (and feel very lucky to be able to do those things), I’ve realised that slowing down is OK. And that sometimes, you can enjoy things more the less you’re able to do them.’
Down At The Social’s Emily Alice Valentina Sutton is expecting the unexpected (in Russian)
‘My New Year’s Resolution is to go with the flow, that you can adapt campaigns and stories easily, that nothing has to be set in stone, but you can use any situation to create something tangible and relatable.
‘My own personal resolutions outside of my work life are to finally do the things I’ve always said I wanted to do but as the year goes on, I forget about them as I get tied down with other priorities. So, I will learn to surf and ski, finally get to see New York and improve my Russian!’
Skout PR’s Rob Skinner is focusing on the day
‘It may sound obvious but the importance of making time and space to focus on the task in front of you shouldn’t be underestimated. When you’re running an agency it’s very easy to always be thinking ‘what’s next?’ and ‘where are we going?’ These things are important, of course, but if 2020 taught me anything it’s that what you do today is as important as where you are headed in the future.’
…and Skout PR’s Claire Lamb will be ready for planning taxis home
‘2020 has taught us to allow staff to work how they want where possible. That said, we’re looking forward to getting back in the office when we can and to celebrate the end of COVID-19. By my reckoning we’ve missed at least two big company events and nights out, and although we did hold them virtually, it would be nice to do in real life – even if it does mean sorting the taxi home!’
Aura Ads’ Bella Adams is getting some fresh air
‘My resolution for 2021 is to leave my desk and take a walk outside in the fresh air during my break. I’ve found that taking even ten-or-so minutes away from my screen and grabbing some fresh air is super helpful. It clears my head (which is often thinking of about 100 different things at once) and I often return to my desk feeling happy, focused and in-the-zone.’
Foundation Agency’s Emma Hull is wearing her glasses (Emma – please wear your glasses)
‘One of my new year’s resolutions for 2021 is to wear my glasses more while at work (she types, without her glasses on). I’ve been told I need to wear them because my eye strains on the one side, but I also paid a little more for the anti-glare glasses, so I really should be wearing them to protect me from any future damage and to get my use of them. The original reason for not wearing them is because my face doesn’t suit glasses (stupid reason, I know!) but now I’m working at home and nobody can see me, I literally have no excuse. I know a lot of people that should be wearing glasses and they don’t, me included, so hopefully a few people hop on board this resolution!’
Need more motivation for taking on 2021? Here are 8 tips for getting motivated for work and predictions for what to expect in PR and communications this year from 13 industry thought leaders.