"That's One of the Things We Do Best"

"That's one of the things we do best."

My first public relations firm job in Nashville in the 80s was assistant to Hal Kennedy, head of what was then the region’s largest PR firm, Holder Kennedy. He was a short, mustachioed, flashy Texan who wore cowboy boots, big, fancy belt buckles and gold chains around his neck. I followed him around to all his meetings, selling business and serving clients.  I learned many things from him including what to do and what not to do to be successful.

The running joke was that no matter what the client needed, Hal’s response was always, "that's one of the things we do best."  Then, when we got in his car after the meeting, he would turn to me and say, "OK Katcher, figure it out" and I would work on how to achieve what he had just promised (which trust me, wasn’t always easy). 

Needless to say, I learned a lot from that experience - particularly what the things I do best are and what are not.  And I know that it is ok to admit to what you don’t do.  Now, years later, it helps me keep my business focused on the things I do best – crisis communications planning, training and implementation and strategic health care public relations and marketing.   

As a result, if a client comes to me with other needs, I help them figure out how to achieve them and find the resources they need to do so – but I am honest about what I do best and what I don’t.  If a client wants an ad campaign, I find them a resource to do that.  Same with research, graphic design and direct mail. 

Learning that lesson also helps me keep my clients focused on what they do best and target their communications and marketing efforts to support that.

So, are you focused on your strengths?

What are the things you do best?