This morning I listened to the Today programme, read two national newspapers, two trade magazines, about 20 overnight emails, three blogs, a business proposal, some social media research, dozens of tweets and a few pages of a chapter on building duck ponds from my duck book. All before I got to the office.
We truly live in an Information Age and the daily risk of drowning in the stuff, losing focus and not being able to pick the wheat of ideas and insights from the chaff.
I was asked by one of my team, in an internal company online q&a, what the essential traits of a PR professional are.
I offered these three;
Listening – the ability to listen as well as talk and offer an informed point of view
Creativity – innovative thinking with real business or other impact
Curiosity – an interest in the world around us, an enquiring and analytical mind.
In an information overload age, the curiosity bit is more essential than ever but so is the analytics.
I thought back to yesterday. I probably consumed the same, including the epic horrors of news from court cases, Oxford, Syria and beyond.
But the three most enjoyable experiences at work yesterday were in person, face to face. Lunch with a digital rising star with a music PR background, meeting one of our most awarded and fearless investigative journalists, meeting a pioneer of newspapers moving into the digital space who had reinvented himself as a niche content creator.
Amid all the digital and other media and information we consume, in our admirable curiosity, it is important we create space for talking and listening the people. The art of conversation.