Translating habits into PR best practices

In his book, “The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business,” New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg explores the neurology of habits, why habits form in human beings, and how we can change them through a systematic approach of identifying their cues, rewards and routines.

Establishing new habits can become automatic, so that we don’t even think about them.

Duhigg employs multiple case studies to convey how habits are teachable to individuals, organizations and businesses, and societies, illustrating their profound impact.  In one example, he takes us through the NFL coaching career of Tony Dungy and how he instilled certain habits in his players to help them react to cues in game situations without having to overthink their actions.  The ultimate result was a Super Bowl championship in Indianapolis.

Another one centers on Paul O’Neill, former treasury secretary in the second Bush administration and earlier, the President of Alcoa.  O’Neill’s emphasis on safety in his plants, much to the initial chagrin of fellow executives and board members, helped quadruple Alcoa revenues while instilling worker habits that empowered them to offer ideas for other improvements and best practices.  The results were a happier workforce, and crucial business alignment between rank-and-file workers and management.

Such demonstrated success informs my thinking around best practices.  While we have talented staff members who bring their own unique experiences and skillsets to Amendola Communications, it is important that we coalesce around certain “habits,” or best practices, to ensure consistent client service, delivery and results.

Best practices around account management/client service, content development, social and media relations help our agency be prodigious client stewards with the goals of fulfilling our PR program work and building long-term client relationships.  Equally important is a workforce that understands its role, feels empowered to do its best, and delivers great results.  In future blog posts, I’ll explore best practices around client planning and client communication.

Philip Anast
Senior Account Director
Philip has been building, managing and executing PR programs for technology providers since 1995. Using the power of storytelling and influencer relations, he has launched new companies, brands and products, resulting in market penetration, market share growth and corporate acquisition for such clients as HP, Language Analysis Systems, Motorola and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Prior to joining Amendola Communications, Philip worked at Chicago-based PR firm Tech Image, serving in various roles over his 15-year tenure, including managing client programs, providing strategic counsel, pitching new business, growing client relationships, teaching best practices and managing finances. During that time, he served several clients targeting the healthcare/HIT sector, including NEC Display Solutions, IBS (now Iptor Supply Chain Systems) and Cleo. Philip also has worked in the technology practices of Hill and Knowlton and Porter Novelli. He began his PR career at U.S. Robotics and 3Com. Philip holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Northwestern University.
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