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Harnessing Rookie Energy

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How Thinking Like a Rookie Can Energize Your Marketing Strategy

Last month I had the pleasure of attending The Art of Marketing in Calgary. I left feeling inspired by the speakers, in particular Liz Wiseman, author of Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work.

Wiseman’s talk got me thinking about the value of a fresh perspective on the job. The positive attributes of rookies — confidence and a naivety regarding the risks of failure; openness to the ideas of others; energy; and the simple fact of not being entrenched in long-held ideas — can be harnessed in any business or on any team to yield fresh, surprising results.

If you’re looking at your communications strategy the way you always have, it might be time to take a step back and see if there are ways to shake things up. Here are five ideas to help you think like a rookie.

Ask Someone

Be open to the ideas of others. Do you have a friend or colleague who works in communications at another firm? A mentor? Even your professional association might be able to point you in the direction of contemporaries whose experience you could draw on.

Trust Your Instincts

When you’re fresh out of school and get your first job in the industry, or any time you’re hired for a position that’s new and exciting for you, you’ve got confidence. Being hired for the position buoys you and gives you the guts to voice your ideas on the job.

Hire a Marketing or PR Consultant

Put a different set of eyes on the project. Hiring a professional even for a day could turn your strategy on its head or at least give you a new point of view.

Get Out of the Office!

Business meeting in park
This is a simple but effective tactic: get your team out of the office, and see what comes of a new setting. The answers don’t all lie within the four walls of your building — hold a meeting offsite. Hey, go for a walk! What ideas could come of that? A change of scenery can shake up the brain and get new ideas flowing.

Create a Culture of Innovation

Encourage a corporate culture within your company in which there are no bad ideas, and team members are allowed to screw up. Allow employees to be innovative and try new things, to think outside the box. When you’re new to something, you take your biggest risks — and this can be an asset. Make space for this energy within your organization.

In her talk, Wiseman quoted Bill Gates: “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” Give people permission to fail, to screw up, and you’ll open their minds to new ideas.

Try being a rookie again — you may be surprised by what you see! And if you decide to call a public relations or marketing professional to help shake things up, give us a call!

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About the Author - Susan Elford
Susan Elford, BA (Hons), BPR, APR, Strategic Public Relations Associate With over 20 years in the business, Susan has special interest areas in strategic communications planning, community relations, corporate social responsibility, public consultation, media relations and communications policy development.