So to start off on a somewhat personal note, as the title suggests I am indeed planning a wedding. While the process can be super-exciting it can also be super-stressful, but with the help of a wonderful future husband and supportive friends and family everything is coming together.
While I've been swept up in a whirlwind of table linens and hot chafing dishes, I couldn't help but notice a bunch of similarities between these two very different industries. When working on client campaigns, my mind is fixated on work and how to reach my clients goals, but during my free time I'm drowning myself in bridal magazines because let's face it - I've never planned a wedding before... Media event sure! But wedding, definitely NOT. So when I started to learn more about the planning process, connecting the dots came naturally and here's a few solid examples:
Your Budget Is Your BFF
The word "budget" is something we sometimes dread in the media industry because some clients either don't have enough or don't have one at all - a major no-no. The same goes for wedding planning, knowing what you can afford and what you can't is key to making major decisions. Obviously if my PR client needs a certain goal accomplished we allocate the budget accordingly to reach their goals - weddings are a lot like that too. While I yearned for a rustic barnyard, the price tag was just too high and frankly, my large Italian family does not allow me to eliminate anyone from my growing guest list so on to the next one! Eventually, my fiance and I were able to find a place that we can easily manipulate to be rustic without having to freeze in a barn in the winter without breaking the bank.
Become An Expert Thanks To Research
As an Account Coordinator, my primary job for most of the time was research. Researching industry news, trends, announcements, the works. This ability to perform deep investigations helped out a lot when it came time to start the wedding planning process. No successful project happens without a little research, especially when you are unfamiliar with the industry to begin with. From print bridal magazines to excessively pinning on Pinterest in the late hours of the night, while the forms of research I use might be different from my PR days, the extent to which it is performed is no different. Just like I follow industry competitors in PR, I do the same with potential bridal gown designers, florists and photographers. Also something to note, the research will never end and that goes for BOTH industries. Without WeddingWire and The Knot I'm not sure what I would do...
Customization Is Possible With Persuasion
All of your clients are different in some way. They have different needs therefore, one media strategy may not work the same for another. The recommendation? Obviously cater it to their needs and customize. Maybe you change up the pitch style or reach out to a different industry of media outlets if there's a hook for them - either way MIX IT UP. Also similar with weddings. Often times, we feel pressured to take the packages we are presented with when we visit venues to avoid feeling like a "Bridezilla". We settle for packages that have most of what we want, but not all. My advice? Talk to your vendors and see if they're flexible. Pete and I love ice cream and wanted an ice cream bar but not enough to pay $6.96+ tax per head for it - so we asked if it was interchangeable with something else in the package and guess what? It was! Sometimes you need to think outside the box and be upfront about what you want. They'll be flexible with you the same way you're flexible with your clients.
Effectively Communicate With Everyone About Everything
I majored in Communication, studied it and pursued it as a career so no surprise that I find it important obviously. When it comes to talking to your clients and your teams, clearly stating your expectations or relaying them is crucial to the success of a media campaign or your client's overall success. Once again, this too applies to wedding planning! From effectively communicating what my fiance and I envisioned for flowers to making sure my bridesmaids have the right timeline for day-of fun, communication is a large part of bringing it all together because as much as we hope everything will magically fall into place, it definitely won't.
Do you agree with these comparisons? Do you have some of your own? Leave your answer in the comments!