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3 Unwitting Traps That Ruin Social PR Careers

Plateauing careers are a very real danger. is provided by CommPRO Global, Inc. (CommPRO) to give visitors the opportunity to read about events and share opinions for those interested in the integrated communications business sectors. is provided by CommPRO Global, Inc. (CommPRO) to give visitors the opportunity to read about events and share opinions for those interested in the integrated communications business sectors.

We communication pros are multitaskers extraordinaire, are we not? We’re constantly juggling screens, devices, clients, and deadlines … it’s amazing! And also completely exhausting.

But it’s also understandable. After all, if we don’t try out the latest technology, how will we be on the cutting edge of our field? And if we dare to shut down every now and then, mightn’t we as well we say “buh-bye” to career advancement?

Now, plateauing careers are a very real danger if we’re not consistently expanding our horizons. And given how quickly technology changes the communication landscape, I completely understand the fear of getting left behind if we’re not up to speed with the latest tech du jour.

But in our zeal to do keep up, we often end up burning out.

These are the three unwitting traps I see Social PR pros falling into all the time, that derail their careers:

Being Unable to Answer the Question: “Why?”

There is no shortage of “shiny new” toys around, and more and more emerge by the day. But just because they happen to exist is not a reason to incorporate them into your plan or campaign.

Do they make sense, when looked at in light of your overall strategy and resources? Or are you adding them simply because your favorite social media guru can’t stop talking about them?

If you cannot explain clearly and logically why you should use a particular tool, or tactic … chances are you shouldn’t be using it.

Trying to Be Everywhere at Once

With so many platforms on which we can engage, it’s tempting to try and be everywhere at once. In fact, that approach always seems to me to be the Social PR equivalent of ground cover.

But trying to follow too many conversations on too many platforms at the same time quickly leads to burnout and overwhelm.

Luckily, you don’t have to be everywhere all the time. You just have to be where it makes the most sense.

Trying to be everywhere at the same time is probably the worst approach you could take. Leave “ground cover” where it belongs – in your backyard.

Talking at, Instead of with, People

If you’re going to use social channels to simply broadcast a message, honestly … why bother? The whole point of “social media” is to be … well, social.

If you’re just going to talk about what YOU want, without taking the time to listen to what people say THEY want, you won’t get very far.

Smart listening is a big part of effective Social PR. And that means talking with, instead of at, people.

If you’re trying to fine-tune your Social PR efforts, I strongly suggest you take a look at how you’re doing in one or more of these three areas; because these traps are relatively easy for us to fall into (yes, even those of us who are seasoned professionals).

The minute you start to make a change in any one of them, I suspect you will see a dramatic improvement in your work product.

And that, more than anything, will jump-start your career and catapult you to that famed “next level.”

About the Author: Shonali Burke, ABC, is a globally acknowledged, award-winning Social PR strategist, teacher and trainer, who’s also the world’s biggest ABBA fan. Lock your spot in her free, LIVE Social PR Masterclass coming up on Tuesday, May 2 (2 pm ET), to learn more about how you can turbocharge your Social PR career and perform at an elite, superhero level.

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