Around this time every year, people start making lists of what they hope to accomplish in the new year. Well, I thought it would be nice to have my own list of PR New Year’s Resolutions. Some of these resolutions are for advancing my career, and some are just because my enthusiasm for PR has crept a little bit too much into my personal life. If you need any ideas for your own PR resolutions list, keep reading!
Redesign my resume. When I originally created my resume, I was thinking about how professionals sometimes print them, so I didn’t want to waste too much ink. I was also in a time crunch, so I used a template. However, I’ve realized that I can create a resume that doesn’t use much ink when printed, looks original and creative, and shows off my graphic design skills.
Learn that silence is sometimes okay. One of my first observations about PR majors when I started off my college experience online is that we cannot handle the silence. Yes, this can be an asset. For instance, no Zoom breakout room was ever awkwardly quiet, friendships were still made despite the online format, and students readily answered teachers’ questions. Still, one of my PR professors once said, “I can wait until people want to respond. I have no problem with silence.” That has forever struck me as the biggest power move, because every single PR major I know is uncomfortable with silence. However, learning that silence is acceptable and leaving room for others to talk is important for both your mental health and relationships.
Stop using semicolons in regular texts. Okay, okay, I get it. Semicolons are not normal for people to use in an informal text. I’ll just use boring simple sentences or run-on sentences. Watch out world: my texting is going to look like every other grammarless buffoon’s (even if I had to rewrite this paragraph five times to avoid semicolons).
Finish my personal portfolio website. At Biola University, our professors encourage us to create personal portfolio websites so that potential employers or freelance clients can gain a better sense of who we are and the work we can produce. However, updating my website always takes a lot of time, so I put it off. My goal is to have a website that I am proud to share with others.
Stop researching the best time to post before sharing something on my personal Instagram account. While we may be counting likes and comments at work, it doesn’t matter how many interactions I get on my personal social media account. I’m sharing to document my life, so my personal practices can be more laid back than my professional ones.
Show authenticity on Instagram. One thing we’ve been talking about a lot in my classes is the public’s desire to see brand authenticity. I think this goes beyond brands, though. Social media has become a place where everyone creates curated versions of themselves, so I want to stop striving to appear perfect on social media, and instead show a more holistic, authentic version of myself.
Stop treating myself to coffee every time I need to crank out a paper or article. Or lemonade. Or chocolate. Point is: I don’t need a treat every time I get work done. This is not healthy for my body or my budget.
Bring my camera to more places. This semester, I finally took a photography class. I would recommend this to any PR major, because being able to document events is so important; you never know when you’re going to need a specific picture. Now that I’ve got some photography fundamentals under my belt, I’d love to start taking more photos of the world around me.
Stop checking how many LinkedIn connections I have. It doesn’t matter. It’s not a competition with yourself or others. LinkedIn is about building relationships, not growing numbers.
Reach out to more PR professionals. In PR, we always hear people telling us to “network, network, network,” but how often do you actually go out of your way to do so? I know I don’t do it as much as I’d like to, but there are some wonderful Champions for PRSSA who have great expertise and would love to help mentor the next generation of PR professionals.
Of course, one of the stereotypes about New Year’s resolutions is that no one follows through with them, but let’s hope that at least a couple of these resolutions get completed. Check in with me in a year to see what I followed through with, and let me know if there are any resolutions I should add to my list!
Nicole Steele, PRSSA 2022-2023 National Vice President of Brand Engagement, is a junior at Biola University majoring in public relations with a double minor in communication studies and biblical & theological studies. She found her passion for public relations by volunteering in a branch of the Boy Scouts of America known as Venturing, where she currently serves as the founder and editor in chief of their national publication. She has also practiced PR in a variety of other positions, including as the communications intern at Benchmark and the account executive at her school’s Nationally Affiliated Student-run Firm. If you’re interested in writing a future Progressions article or simply want to connect with Nicole, feel free to reach out via email or LinkedIn.