Making tea will make you better at PR

Entering a new work environment can be a daunting prospect. You are immediately faced with a multitude of challenges: new surroundings, new people and, of course, the self-inflicted expectation that you should now assume office tea-making duties.

Make the tea and it could make you better at PR
Make the tea and it could make you better at PR
But this responsibility doesn’t need to be a burden. In fact, the steps to effective tea-making and the steps to effective PR aren’t as different as you might think…

1) Gauging interest: "Would you like a cup of tea?" corresponds directly with "I was wondering if you would be interested in this story". Never be afraid to ask the question, no matter how many expletives you can hear your neighbour muttering under their breath.

2) Research: Perhaps the most important stage. We have to deliver what we have promised in stage one. Too many sugars or not enough milk isn’t going to impress your new colleagues, and misinformation or moving off script won’t impress any journalists either. Be thorough in your Research/Teasearch.

3) Converting research into reality: Sometimes laborious yet always rewarding. You’ve done your research and now it’s time to get creating. You might not get it perfect right away – but keep practising and you’ll achieve that perfect brew/op-ed/approach/coffee.

4) Delivery: I like to call this stage ‘the thrill.’ You’ve put in the hard yards and finally you’ve got your finished product. All that’s left to do now is hand out your teas/coverage to the adulation and cheers of those around you. Once you’ve got a taste for this, you’ll feel like the next round of teas can’t come quickly enough. Alternatively, you might be looking forward to something slightly more rewarding – like coverage rather than tea…

5) Feedback/crisis management: But you can’t bask in the glory for too long; be proactive in averting potential crises – there’s always the danger that you’ve mixed your new boss’ mug up with your fellow intern’s mug or, worse still, the milk content could be wrong. Remain vigilant. It’s crucial to talk to your clients (in this case the office's frothing caffeine addicts) to get a feel for where you can improve. Don’t be afraid to take a couple of hits – good Teachnique, like good PR, doesn’t happen overnight.

6) Future improvement: You’ve now got a foothold in the agency and your new work friends are gaining respect for your tea-making and PR skills. The challenge is to keep improving, safe in the knowledge that you know secret to PR success – tea.

Peter Jackson Eastwood is interning in sports and luxury PR at PHA Media

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