My head hurts vs nerding out

Do you ever wonder if you’re doing the right thing with your life? Or at least your career? Communications work is so varied that it’s natural to ponder:

  • Should I specialize or be a generalist? Strive to be a technical expert or a well-rounded leader?
  • If I specialize, should it be PR or marketing? Internal or external? Owned or paid? Bitcoin or Ethereum? (J/K)

I’m not going to tell you what your answer is. But two experiences I had Monday illustrate a cool way to find out.

In the morning, I watched a stellar presentation by a real marketing expert. He had data and examples to prove his points. Then he gave step-by-step instructions on how to implement them. I was completely confident that applying his lessons would get me the results I want for my business. But there was one problem:

Just thinking about doing all that made my head hurt.

He convinced me it’s the right path. But I don’t love that kind of marketing enough to get into it myself. So I’ll outsource it.

After lunch, I had a video call with a PR pro who is fresh off a MEGA media success who was excited to tell me all the things she’s doing to maximize its impact. I could hear the passion and enthusiasm in her voice. And I was asking granular questions about chronology and phrasing and how many follow-up emails she sent and geeky stuff like that. As we wrapped up she said, “It’s just so fun to have someone to nerd out with over this stuff – nobody here really cares about this the way you do.”

You see where I’m going with this? You want to pursue the type of work that you naturally “nerd out over,” and leave the stuff that “makes your head hurt” to people who love it.

You may not be at the point in your career where you have the authority to make that decision. If not, keep grinding and – more importantly – keep learning, so you can achieve the track record of results that will earn you that autonomy.

But if PR is what you “nerd out over,” here are two quick, free steps you can take right now:

  1. Register for my Inner Circle Wait List. We pulled together some of our best lessons into a free email series that’s running every week.
  2. Today is the last day you can get free access to the Earned Media Mastery summit. I’m keynoting along with Gini Dietrich and David Meerman Scott, plus there are a boatload of other great presenters. You just pick the ones you want.

And thanks for reading. I’ll be back here “nerding out” over PR every week. 🙂

P.S. If media relations is what makes your head hurt and you don’t know whom to outsource to, tell me about your needs and budget. I might have the widest personal network of media relations pros in the country, and I’d be happy to make a referral.

This article was originally published on August 19, 2020

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