You’ve been in the public relations game for a while. You know how to handle clients well, and you’d like to take on new challenges and responsibilities. You want to lead and manage others. How can you prove that you’re ready for management?
Showcase the skills you’ll need to portray
A lot is required of the public relations manager. Along with handling the media and developing marketing communications strategies, you’ll have to be ready to counter negative PR. You’ll also need to oversee other employees, including those within the organization and freelance designers and writers. This means you’ll have to be a good multitasker, someone who sees things through to completion, and you’ll have to be a good leader. In short, there’s a lot to manage.
Know your management style
One thing you’ll have to do to prove yourself as a manager is successfully lead others. That means it’s important to know your management style. Top down management styles are not always the best option. When there’s a lot of work to be done, it can be challenging to convince others to do it by just giving orders. In truth, your title will only take you so far with the people you work with.
Instead, try an approach where you work as hard as those on your team to get them to buy-in to you as the leader. Servant leadership is a concept in which leaders create buy-in and establish authority by serving with the desire to fulfill the needs of the community. For servant leadership examples, think about leaders like Martin Luther King Jr. Or Ghandi. If you use this genuine approach, it’s hard for others not to work hard and follow your lead.
Take on leadership opportunities
Maybe you know what sort of leader you want to be, but how do you demonstrate that you have the skills needed? Volunteer for opportunities to lead teams. This might mean running the office party planning committee or organizing a work softball league. Show your superiors that you have the skills needed to lead a team well.
You may also want to consider asking for leadership opportunities. Ask to take the lead on an account. Tell your boss that you’re interested in management and you want a chance to prove your skills. If you work in a positive environment, your boss will encourage you on your desired path and be a mentor to you.
Be a mentor
In general, mentorship is another opportunity to show that you’re a leader. Is there someone you view as a mentor who taught you a lot about PR? Consider doing the same for someone who is new in your office. Help them develop the skills needed to be successful in their job. Show them how to manage accounts, what kinds of press releases get the most attention and how to work with different colleagues in the building.
Aside from actually leading others, another way you can demonstrate that you have leadership skills is to provide solutions. Is your boss or a colleague working on an account and trying to figure out how to fix a challenging problem? Come up with the solution, or at least try.
Write out a report or a strategy to overcome the problem. If they like your solution, offer to help implement it. This shows leadership skills and tenacity.
Become the go to
If you provide solutions to challenging problems frequently, you can become the go-to. Being the go-to means knowing everyone, connecting people and having solutions. It also means seeing tasks through to completion after you’ve found a solution.
One important thing to consider here is how important it is to communicate well and openly with those you work with and your clients. When working to become a leader, remember that you’re essentially spinning good PR for yourself within your company. This involves creating and maintaining good relationships with your colleagues and clients. People are more likely to want to work for you if they believe you to genuinely have their, the clients and your company’s best interest at heart.
It can take time and patience to learn and demonstrate the skills needed to be a manager in public relations. Be patient and remember that good relationships are the key to success.