When I was re-thinking PRFest, during lockdown, I was talking to and listening to my fellow PR colleagues and they seemed to be struggling. I actually felt like my own industry needed some hand holding, so with my cheerleader pompoms, I decided to throw some time into using the PRFest community as a catalyst for conversation. For checking in with PR and communication colleagues and for offering support if required.
#PRsUnite was born in the first week of lockdown.
Since the first week, I developed a unique format and offered the flexibility for anyone to join and a welcome to all new faces.
I kicked off by welcoming people, then running through some great resources for people to tap into. Some from CIPR, PRCA, useful articles and podcasts worth noting. Then asking “how are you this week?” It’s amazing by asking a simple question how it can help people a) know you care and b) let off some steam or honestly say how they are feeling. The thing was, most people were in the same boat.
There was no agenda to the hour-long hangout, as the conversation naturally flowed. From what the US was doing, how Greece had used mobile tech within 24hrs to how we, as an industry had an opportunity to underline the value we add to organisations.
#PRsUnite was a concept to keep things positive, to keep people together and to show solidarity for an industry which was clearly facing a really challenging time. Many of the people who wanted to come to #PRsUnite couldn’t, as they were on shifts or on the front line of communicating through the crisis. But we were still there. Our conversations flowed from the #PRsUnite zoom, onto Twitter.
In fact, one of the things I’m grateful for, after having set this up, is that I got to meet some amazing new PR colleagues from overseas and I got to get to know many more closer to home.
We really do have a fantastic PR community.
So what do you say? Who’s in?
The future of #PRsUnite is entirely at the choice of the community which meets each week. People come and go and that’s cool! I always chuckle when someone messages to say sorry they can’t make it. I’ve had some lovely messages of encouragement from people though, saying it’s the highlight of their week. It’s like a virtual team. Some of it’s a bit self help, but some of it is analysing and debating. You’re welcome to join if you’ve not come before, if you work in PR. Just subscribe to the PRFest emails to get the link.