Adapt to stay relevant; #GearUp with your adaptability quotient

Imagine jumping off an airplane at 15000ft, shouting your lungs out in fear and counting your blessings! But simply within a matter of less than two minutes you are soaking in all that you can of the sky that you seem to now be flying with. 

It just shows our intrinsic nature to adapt, as humans. Building on Adaptability Quotient for us as PR professionals is what will set us apart and help us survive, in the long-term. And if we happen to control our initial reactions, we can definitely think better strategy. 

For instance, would we able to handle crisis better, if we immersed ourselves in the situation and learnt to adapt better? Could we strategise far better, when we can evaluate the ever-evolving situations and yet learn to adapt to them?

So how do we adapt seamlessly? Or would adapting mean we aint unique anymore?
Infact it’s the other way round. Adapt to stay unique, interesting and maybe a better misfit! 

As creating stories for our clients moved over so quickly from print newspapers to digital versions, but that didn’t stop us from adapting to new platforms. Managing client expectations, collaborating with internal and external teams, networking with media, whilst building your career (and company) is not an easy task at hand. But why should that deter us from thinking what will make a better story. So, ADAPT. 

Yulu cycles, a Bangalore based startup, is making commuting simpler and environment friendly with their cycles. You unlock a cycle at the stand and take it closest to the destination you intend to travel to. Infact, in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, the government is actively supporting this initiative. What resonated with me is that they created disruption in the market by adapting to what works best for locals. 

What’s possibly relevant might not be in existence a few decades later. Our press conferences have given away for those exclusive interviews. Maybe the future holds interviews with drones hovering around (considering selfie sticks are doing half of the job already!). A lot of opportunities are now opening up for professionals interested to take on freelancing projects. PR today involves understanding more about the company, beyond mere media relations or leadership. Thus, an increased need to understand how we need to adapt to newer scenarios. 

Being an eternal fan of Nadal and Federer – because I can never choose between the two – the art of adapting to unexpected situations, can be best learnt from these two. Be it the championship matches or coming back from an illness or displaying the best humor after a loss, these two stalwarts are the shining examples of adapting and performing. 

No two days for a PR professional are the same. This also means the challenges we face differ each day. Keep asking yourself lots of “what if” questions, unlearn what market accepted previously, to instead explore new techniques. 

We can’t back away from any change or challenge. But we can proactively seek out what may make us archaic (in few years). Hence, the best times are now to up our Adaptability Quotient. 

Pooja Trehan
Pooja Trehan, AVP, Communications & Public Policy.

Bringing up a 7 year-old boy and building a career in Communications have possibly been the key driving forces in my life! Obviously, apart from the 6am runs and eternal love for black coffee. The reality of 2020 hit this industry with the worst storm, but gave me a silver lining through awards & recognition in the 40Under40 category for PR and Corporate communication professionals (three of them in one year!). My goal is to keep - Communications - as the big picture, whilst being the wanderlust traveller who is reading all the time!

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