Corina Manea

PR Lessons from Searching for a New Home

By: Corina Manea | June 15, 2016 | 

PR Lessons from Searching a New Home

A couple of months ago I had the genius idea to move to a bigger house.

While this should be a good experience, in my case, everything that could go wrong, did.

Let me tell you what happened.

After searching, calling, and seeing no less than seven houses, I finally chose one and began doing the prep needed for the move.

Things such as finding movers and buying appliances (they didn’t come with the house) were on my to-do list.

Nothing unusual so far.

But, just when I thought everything was set into place nicely, it all began to fall apart.

I was supposed to move during the Memorial Day weekend, which was an excellent time because of having three days off.

In my head everything worked perfectly.

That was until I went to the house and discovered the painters would continue working through the Memorial Day weekend.

Well then, not much to do there.

We decided to regroup and organize the move in one day, instead of during the course of three days.

Though I wouldn’t receive the keys until the morning of the move, it was a stretch, but we decided it was doable.


The painters finished the morning we were planning to move, but then the cleaning crew came…and worked until 7 p.m.

Suddenly my day of moving had evaporated.

Not to mention, the internet hadn’t been installed and I’m rather reliant on that for work.

On top of all of this, the washing machine was not delivered the day we agreed, because they had um… a problem with the system.

It was delivered a week later.

The fridge was delivered on time, but broke after only two days.

What fun!

OK, that’s all nice, but you may be wondering what it has to do with PR.

Much more than I would have expected.

This move reminded me of these important PR lessons we should keep in mind for any project.

PR Lessons In Planning

One of the most important PR lessons is planning.

No matter how prepared you are for the project you’re leading, whether it’s landing an interview for your client, launching a website, or leading a PR campaign, you need to be prepared.

Successful people of all times prepared themselves over and over again, even if they did a particular task hundreds of times.

A good planning ensures you stay in the moment, you stay focused and ready for action.

I stayed mainly in my head instead of the moment, when I should have put the bad things first, and create a plan around that.

PR Lessons In More Planning 

Let’s stay in the planning area for a bit.

It’s great that you have a plan and are prepared to take action.

However, keep in mind that sometimes, everything that can go wrong, will go wrong. (Duh!)

Have a backup plan in place and train your team on how to act when things don’t go as planned.

In my case, was having a back-up fridge (which thanks to my parents I did) and keeping my old internet line, just in case the new one wouldn’t be installed on time.

PR Lessons In the Big Picture

When things don’t go as planned, you might find yourself overwhelmed and lost. And overly stressed (me).

What should you do first? Where to start? Who should you speak to? And the list of question can go on and on.

If you find yourself in that state of mind, stop right there.

Take a step back and look at the big picture.

Leave your personal feelings aside, don’t beat yourself up and think as a leader.

What is it you are trying to achieve? What can be done with the resources you have at hand? What is the most important thing to do first?

These questions will help you focus on what it needs to be done, rather than dwelling on why things did not go well.

Only when I stopped and took a step back, I was able to make things work with the resources I had at hand.

PR Lessons In Following Your Gut

No matter how good things seem to be working out, if your gut tells you to pay attention, listen!

Sometimes our sixth sense comes into play to show us what our conscious mind is too busy to see: Those warning signs we so often brush off.

When I bought the washing machine, I had a feeling the person taking my order didn’t go through all the process.

I can’t tell you how I knew, but remembering the conversation, I remember her being nervous, repeatedly asking her colleague, etc.

PR Lessons In the Hard Things

We are tempted to leave the hard things, whether it’s about a difficult project or having a tough conversation with someone on your team, last.

It’s human nature, nothing wrong with that, as long as you are aware of it and work on it.

The best professionals and leaders are renowned for doing hard things first.

And here is the trick: When you do the hard things first, you expand your limits, you become more confident in yourself and your abilities, you inspire the ones around you.

Though I was tempted to leave others deal with the issues, I had to step up and take matters into my own hands.

There you have it.

These are the five PR lessons I dealt with when I decided to change homes.

How about you? What PR lessons have you learned lately?

image credit: shutterstock

About Corina Manea

Corina Manea is the chief community officer at Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She works directly with Spin Sucks students and writes for the award-winning PR blog. She also is the founder of NutsPR. Join the Spin Sucks  community!

  • Moving houses is never fun, same can be said when the best laid communication plan becomes irrelevant due to internal and external events. It’s smart to have a back up plan or two just in case.

    • Corina Manea

      That is so true, Bill. Back up plans give you a certain piece of mind, and help you move things forward. Not to add that they can make the difference between success and failure.

  • Why is it that the tasks we think should go smoothly are often the ones with the most problems? (Not that moving is ever an easy process. I dread the day we have to move – and it’s coming soon as we’re quickly outgrowing our four walls). And the tasks we usually dread often go off without a hitch. We should plan for problems and various scenarios, but don’t let those what-ifs cause unnecessary worry, which admittedly is very hard to do.

    • Corina Manea

      That’s true every time, Kara. It can be because we give more attention to those things that we dread, to make sure all goes well. Or simply because sometimes things don’t go as planned.

      The key lays in how we respond to each challenge.

  • A) will we get a great house warming party out of this? 🙂 and B) great parallels re: preparedness — I empathize with ALL your frustrations

    • Corina Manea

      Hey Paula!

      A) Of course! There will be cookies and wine. 😉

      B) Thank you!

      • Yay! I’ll supply the green pens so your new home has adequate writing instruments!

        • Corina Manea

          Woo hoo! Thank you, Paula!

    • Gini Dietrich

      I like the way you think!

  • Laura Petrolino

    I can’t even read this post without having PTSD!!! I’ll also add to the “planning” lessons—plan, plan, plan…but then be able to be agile. Life happens, things go astray, best laid plans sometimes become mute. So be aware when you just need to mission abort and be creative on the fly. And try not to stress about it. Focus your energy on solutions vs. problems. That’s the only thing you can control.

    And I love this:

    “And here is the trick: When you do the hard things first, you expand your limits, you become more confident in yourself and your abilities, you inspire the ones around you.”

    I always remind myself, if I don’t live about 90 percent of my life petrified and feeling like I’m on the edge of failing….I’m not pushing hard enough.

    • Corina Manea

      That’s a great point Laura, thank you. You need to know when to push forward or to mission abort.

      Yes, we have to constantly challenge ourselves. That’s the beauty of life.

  • Gini Dietrich

    When do I get the tour of your new home?!?

    • Corina Manea

      It’s coming. Believe it or not, I am still cleaning (in weekends and that’s why it’s slow). But pretty soon.