PR professionals can be described as people who wear many hats. Why? They have to take on many roles and responsibilities in their profession. And when your plate is always full, it's so difficult not to get overwhelmed or even completely demotivated. But with so many tasks at hand, PR professionals are pressed for deadlines and seldom have the capacity to motivate themselves.

But when procrastination rears its ugly head, what keeps a PR pro's motor running?

Don't know? Don't worry! media update’s Lara Smit is coaching PR pros on three ways that they can reignite their fire! Let's do it!

1. Create your own reward system

Sometimes the most effective way to motivate yourself to get a job done is through a little self-bribery. Why? According to the Cornell Chronicle, rewards assist in creating a positive experience when performing a job.

Additionally, psychologists have formulated a theory of motivation which they refer to as incentive theory.

This theory proposes that behaviour is often prompted by your desire for reinforcement. So, essentially, incentives justify the effort that you have put into a task. Therefore, the use of incentives serves as a type of positive reinforcement for completing work. Establishing these patterns of productive behaviour, and rewarding them can motivate PRs to complete even more tasks.

But how exactly can you trick yourself into doing more work?

In order to create your own reward system that works, you have to ask yourself: "What will motivate me the most?" The answer may be as simple as a piece of chocolate, a cup of tea or being able to watch an episode of your favourite series after completing a task. Whatever you choose, it must be something that you want and will work hard to get.

Reward systems can even be set in place for teams, whether it’s a voucher to a store or an extra-long lunch break. Rewards can be a good way to push your team forward and give hard-working team members the recognition they need.

2. Build your army

Demotivation is one of the most difficult mental battles that PR pros can face. But a simple solution to this fight is turning to team members and fellow employees for help. Why? Your team members are your allies. They are all working towards the same goal as you and want you to succeed.

Additionally, your team members arm you with knowledge and support by sharing their own opinions and experiences with you.

This helps you feel less isolated in the workplace and allows you to collaborate with team members on solutions for the obstacles you are facing. It also inevitably fosters good relationships amongst yourself and your team members that validate your feelings and provide an understanding of your situation.

Receiving support from your team members will help you feel valued and appreciated for the work that you do. In fact, according to Oxford University's Saïd Business School, this contributes positively to an individual’s sense of motivation. The study found that up to 13% of workers are more productive when they are happy. And who isn’t happy when their efforts are valued?

We get further insight from in The Role of Peer Support in Managing Occupational Stress: A Qualitative Study of the Sustaining Resilience at Work Intervention, published by SAGE Journals. In this piece it is stated that the support provided by your peers aids in building up psychological resilience. This means that you will be less likely to be demotivated when confronted with strenuous or time-consuming tasks.

So, in this case teamwork really does make the dream work and PR pros should definitely consider filling their ranks. PR professionals must also ensure that the support that is provided isn't just one sided. It's important for them to stop the spread of demotivation by checking up regularly on their colleagues and to boost them up whenever possible.

3. It’s going down! (And by that we mean downtime)

Finding a balance between work life and personal life is an important skill that PR professionals need to develop. Because of the demanding nature of a PR career, these professionals tend to work overtime and find it difficult to switch off when they need to. This can affect them negatively as it results in burnout.

Feeling overworked often leads to a decline in your mental well-being. Therefore, when PR pros avoid taking breaks they will begin to develop chronic stress, fatigue and a general decline in motivation and productivity.

Taking prolonged breaks from work is, therefore, necessary for them to fully detach from the demands of their jobs. These well-deserved breaks also allow them to recuperate and refresh their tired minds.

But, it is also important for a PR pro to take regular breaks while they are at work. Studies show that taking regular breaks every 25 to 90 minutes throughout your work day has benefits like:
  • promoting productivity
  • increasing job satisfaction
  • boosting performance, and
  • nurturing good mental health.
So, dear PR pro, ensure that you take a break and decompress because you've earned your much-needed downtime!

PR pros, what do you do to motivate yourself? Let us know in the comments section below.

Want to stay up to date with the latest news? Subscribe to our newsletter.

Want to read up on more ways that PR pros can beat their mental slump? Then make sure you read our article Four ways PR pros can deal with stress
*Image courtesy of Canva