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On working with the brains you’ve got

18/11/2011

Sam Howard proposes you stop dwellling on what you can’t do and make sure you tap into what you can…

Tim France

if the suit fits…

The most perplexing thing about writing this blog, is not coming up with the ideas or the opinions, or creating the content and making it interesting and engaging – but noticing days after I’ve posted something, that it’s full of typos. A recent blog post saw me pen the phrase, ‘pig picture thinker’ for heaven’s sake!

I really struggle with the detail, to be honest I don’t even see the detail. Does this make me stupid? I’d like to reassure you it doesn’t it’s just my brain works very differently to your brain and your brain works very differently to the person you sit next to, or at least we should hope it does.

In the words of Groove Armada: “If everybody looked the same, We’d get tired looking at each other.” Usually in team of people you get a great mixture or analytics, inventors, empathisers and doers so why not just let each person do what they like doing best and stop bemoaning that the most organised person in the room is not so hot at brainstorming or your most creative copy writer can never get to a meeting on time. Let people be what they want to be and great things can happen.

The trick is to understand how your brain ticks and how to get the best out of it and then surround yourself with people that tick to different rhythms so between you you have the surround sound sorted.Nicky Imrie, co-founder of the PR Network explains a recent profiling session we did together…Are you playing to your strengths?


a day in the life of a PR freelancer

16/11/2011

So what’s it like being a PR freelancer?  Six months into freelancing Sam Howard on what a calm day looks like (the frenetic days you don’t want to dwell on):

 So you guys with proper jobs have
an expense account, gym membership,
private healthcare oh and a salary…
but I have a dog, and his name is Moby.

7.15am: Alarm goes off, this is really annoying as now I’m my own boss I’m sure I shouldn’t have to get up while it’s virtually dark, it says so in the small print somewhere.

8.00am: Lasso the new pup and accompany my son to the bus stop, and then  walk our new lab/mastiff puppy, a much longed for addition to the family. He is 18 weeks old and my reward for going solo, my bonus if you like.

10:00am: Team commute to office.

10:01am: Team settles in for the day: I fire up my shiny new laptop, (last one died without warning, great week that was) cat settles on desk, giant rabbit flops by french window, new pup flakes out on sofa. Drink coffee, review mails. The days of 200-plus mails every morning are thankfully no more.There’s a mail from a head hunter, ‘do I want to go permanent in a super high-profile new role?’ No thank you. Another mail from a journo friend, ‘would I like to do some PR consultancy for a small tech company he’s just met?’ Yes please. Check out Facebook, Twitter and my LinkedIn groups.

11:00am: Start with some essential admin, this takes easily an hour a day. Enter my receipts and raise a modest invoice. This still makes me ridiculously proud, as if I baked it myself or something.

11.30am: Okay, so now the day is free for actual work. What luxury! When I was agency side, in the end, I was lucky if I could find 20 minutes to sit still and ‘do’ anything at all. I enjoy being able to focus, turns out I am a starter finisher, who knew? This morning I write some client content. I like writing  good job too there is alot of it when you go freelance. Then spend some time  preparing a workshop I’m giving at the Taylor Bennett Foundation, tomorrow. After all if your time is your own, it’s quite nice to give some of it away I think.

1.30pm: Boy do I miss Pret, Itsu, Eat, Tossed. Stand by the fridge and finish last night’s leftovers, then take the pup out, he chases leaves, I laugh.

2.10pm: Spend afternoon reaching out to contacts in search of internship opportunities for my USC Annenberg post grad students. I love working with my Californian crew, hopefully I’m teaching them the gentle art of self deprecation while they’re teaching me to be nice – won’t kill me will it?

5.20pm: Welcome my son home. I had to return to full time work when he was only tiny, now he is 11 and this is the first time that I can open the door to him pretty much every day. The novelty has yet to wear off. Manage to fix my printer after a week of glaring at it, feel really rather smug.

6.30pm: Shut down office but brain is still ticking, it’s hard to switch off just like that, so take pup for a quick stroll, he rolls on the grass and i have to drag him on his back for 50 yards.

7.00pm: Hit the kitchen and prepare something gorgeous. Tonight we’re having smoked haddock on puy lentils with hollandaise and an apple crumble. Not bad for a school night.

This article first appeared in PRMoment http://www.prmoment.com/.