I’ve been on a freewriting course today. That involves getting your thoughts down in writing as quickly as possible (as opposed to being unpaid). It was interesting and a useful technique – especially the points about looping. Although also a little frustrating if you like to think about what you write and also research as part of informing the quality and reliability of your work.
As part of my PhD studies, I’ve also attended a speed reading course in the past. Again, useful to do and I did learn a few things about skim reading and ensuring that I read with a purpose. I appreciate the purpose of speed reading is to focus on getting the gist of what you read, but again, I found it a little frustrating not to be able to savour the words and really enjoy the craft of the person who was communicating through the written word.
Fast is an approach to coping with the modern world where we are overloaded with information and supposedly time poor. Doing it fast is supposed to be a way of getting more done in our limited hours, minutes and seconds. Busy, busy, busy.
The same seems to apply to public relations – no time for planning, evaluation, thinking or reflecting. Quick, quick, get that message out – tweet, tweet, or vine it in seconds…
But are we so busy churning out information – as fast as we possible can that we are losing out on achieving really memorable and remarkable communications. I wrote a post last September at PR Conversations, In praise of PR silence, where I argued in favour of writing short and using silence rather than churning out content.
Well, perhaps it is time to go further and advocate Slow Public Relations. If you’ve not been too busy rushing round, you might have heard of the Slow Movement – slow travel, slow food, slow cities, slow books and more ideas around stepping off the relentless treadmill of modern life and taking the time to reconnect with the world and ourselves.
Could taking a few minutes longer improve the press release you’re crafting – or enable a better conversation with a key influencer? Rather than quick Tweets, would a considered blog post convey your thoughts better? How about constructing a truly memorable speech – and taking the time to rehearse the delivery rather than winging it?
We all know that a little slowness and taking time out is essential in relationships – especially those that matter to us – so if public relations is about quality of relationships to enhance reputation with effective communications, isn’t it time to step off the accelerator and slow it down a bit?