Monday, August 5, 2013

It All Comes Down to the Details

"In a successful organization, no detail is too small to escape close attention," says Lou Holtz, former college football coach. As the only Coach in NCAA history to ever lead six different programs to bowl games and the only coach to ever guide four different programs to final top 20 rankings, Holtz knows a thing or two about success. Not only do his words ring true for the sport of football, they surprisingly apply to the world of PR.

Through my experience as an intern this summer at C. Pharr, I have redefined my understanding of "attention to detail." Due to the importance C. Pharr places on the specific needs of each client, I quickly realized that even the smallest details truly matter. 

Although I considered myself someone with an eye for detail, the precise manner in which C. Pharr dealt with each task inspired me to adapt to a higher caliber of service. My internship experience was ideal because of the consistent education I received and the level of accountability. Rather than simply getting a glimpse of what public relations entails, the team at C. Pharr allowed me to truly dive into their world of day-to-day activity. 

My time was spent on a variety of tasks such as social media planning, writing press releases, researching and participating in client relations, just to name a few. Despite the variety of tasks I delved into, the common theme throughout the summer was the importance of detail. 

In the fast-paced working world, often small duties such as updating records, staying organized and tracking are overlooked but these are often the key to success. I am grateful for the willingness of the team at C. Pharr to spend time helping me master the basic aspects of public relations. Now I have a stronger foundation and grasp of the PR industry, which will help as I advance in my studies and work on bigger projects after I land my first job. 

Not everyone is a detail-oriented person, and many of us need to consciously remind ourselves to adhere to the details of the present before getting lost in future schemes and plans. 

Here are a few tips that helped me keep the details in check:

1. Understand the "why" behind each task. Even small daily actions build into a bigger picture. Reminding yourself of the importance of each building block along the way can help to maintain motivation. 

2. Keep a checklist and follow it. One of my favorite books, Switch, states, "How can something so simple be so powerful? Checklists educate people about what’s best, showing them the ironclad right way to do something. "

3. Take a step back. Scheduling personal check points to pause, take a break and look at work with fresh eyes is important for avoiding small mistakes.

Although the semester flew by, my experience at C. Pharr has formed a lasting impression as an example of how a successful company works from the inside out. Thanks to the time and energy poured into my experience from others, I now approach the public relations world with a strong foundation and a lifelong lesson of understanding how excellence truly lies in the details.


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