We always joke in the PR world that wedding planning is a piece of cake, but it’s true. If you’re not used to managing a project step-by-step (and a potential crisis), tracking a budget or working with vendors on a daily basis, you may not understand. But all of these things are part of your daily life in PR.
Take for example when we built the World’s Largest Coin Mosaic for our client Sandvik Coromant. It was no small feat to bring it to life. We had to identify a location at one of the manufacturing industry’s largest trade shows, secure permits, staging and on-site support, graphically design the coin mosaic, assemble $65,000 in coins to match the design, find a massive tent in case of inclement weather to fit over the mosaic, coordinate a drone to capture aerial footage, coordinate a run of show and event for its unveil, invite media and the list goes on and on.
Fast forward a few years to planning my wedding last November and it was time to break out the tried and true master excel budget tracker and get to work. In doing so, I realized that all the client events and planning I worked on made wedding planning SO much easier.
Here are four reasons why PR professionals make great wedding planners:
1) We know how to create – and stick to – a budget.
Like any event planning professional knows, staying on budget is a key component to your success. And you’re usually working with a defined budget – and not a penny more. That means making the most out of what you have and rolling up your sleeves to be resourceful, if needed.
PR pros are used to being resourceful – you never tell a client no, you always figure out a way to make it work. Whether you have to call in a favor with a friend or coworker, work through the night or negotiate your butt off with vendors, you make it work.
2) We know how to manage vendors.
Planning a PR launch or client event means you’ll be working with your fair share of vendors. Events aside, you’ll have a core group of vendors you work with on a daily basis – from media buying to satellite media tours and much more.
No matter what vendor you work with, they have 500 other things going on so it’s up to you to stay on top of them for what you need. This means being extremely organized, detail-oriented and having a timeline of what needs to be done and by when. Your second job will be to follow up with and harass people. You also hone your negotiation skills trying to get the best deals for your clients.
3) We’re always in work mode.
The rise of digital means that in PR, you’re always on. This means you can access your work information from anywhere – including while watching/crying through this week’s “Bachelorette” on your couch while also drafting up an urgent press release for your client. You get where I’m going with this.
In the world of PR, you’re used to powering through a night or weekend now and again to get a project complete. You may, for example, have clients in different time zones but will have to meet with their 8pm deadline. Or you may be out to dinner and get a pressing email from your client that needs to be answered right away.
We work with AccuWeather and as you can imagine, every year around this time it’s all hands-on deck for hurricane season. Whether it’s booking AccuWeather’s extreme meteorologist on Good Morning America on the weekend or breaking weather coverage that results in a 20/20 interview at night – we’re always in work mode and looking for the best opportunities for our clients.
4) We’ve managed our share of crises.
They always say “you’ll have your thing” when it comes to your wedding. Which means there will always be that one thing that didn’t go as planned. For me, it was my wedding dress shop ordering the wrong dress, for my colleague and friend it was her photographer canceling a month before her wedding.
In PR, you can account for the same thing. There’s always going to be something that doesn’t go exactly as planned – and that’s okay. As PR professionals we’re trained to handle crisis situations and work quickly and effectively to find a solution.
Although you may have several vendors working for you, you’re always going to be the quarterback on-site and need to make tough decisions and always have a back up plan if something goes wrong.
The one difference between wedding planning and public relations is that public relations doesn’t end after a year of planning. You may move on to your next project or even plan ten events in a year, but the passion behind PR is a lifestyle. At Coyne PR, we have people who live and breathe this every day and are dedicated to their clients, and their client’s success, and will go above and beyond to make them really “happy brides and grooms.”