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26 reasons why preparing to run a marathon is like working in PR…

by Brooke Kenyon
Published on

I know, I know, a loose link but then I started listing them and actually these things are in many ways more similar than you think. Well at least that is what I am telling myself - and therefore hopefully why I will cross the finish line of the London Marathon on Sunday 13th April 2014.

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1. Planning is essential

I have drawn out a detailed schedule of the hundreds of miles and hours of exercise I will do between now and April and stuck it on my fridge – aka the fridge of doom…

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2. Appearance is important (a questionable characteristic maybe but everyone on my PR degree some years ago looked pretty dapper!)

Most of my Christmas presents were ‘high vis’, I now own very expensive trainers and a draw full of lycra

3. You must evaluate your progress

Realising you aren’t running enough miles – means you start running more.

4. Speed isn’t everything – it’s a fast moving industry but thinking before you speak is crucial to success

I’m not a fast runner and don’t think I ever will be. But I know that even if I have to walk some miles I will complete this race.

5. Relationships are key – with clients, with journalists, with bloggers, with everyone

You need a running buddy to get through the many hours of training and mine comes in the form of my good friend Gemma Chapman.

6. Always be ready – activity can strike when you least expect it

I keep my running gear with me all the time – I never know when I might be able to sneak in the odd 5 miles.

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7. Have thick skin – we get knockbacks from all sides and need to be ready to get back up again

A bit gross…..but you do get quite thick skin – on your feet!

8. Have an eye for detail – no spelling mistake or grammar error goes unnoticed

I now have a watch that tells me how long I run for, my quickest miles and my total calories burned. This detail keeps me going.

9. Work well under pressure

Hundreds of thousands of people line the streets of London to watch this race – I’m hoping this will be positive pressure to help me reach the finish.

10. Punctuality and timing is key

Don’t go out too fast and never finish your final step of a run slowly - no matter how good or bad it has been – well that’s what my Dad told me!

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11. Be willing to learn – the industry is always changing and our PR toolkit must reflect that

When I am not running (or doing PR stuff!) I am reading as many books and blogs as I can about running, fitness and diet

12. Be a great storyteller - an obvious one but no matter if it’s written narrative or delivering a presentation the art of telling an interesting story is invaluable

I would like to think I’m pretty good at keeping my running buddy entertained over the miles. I will talk about anything given half the chance.

13. Be adventurous – think and be different

Signing up to do this is one heck of an adventure for me. But Im using the training to discover the bits of Guernsey I don’t usually see from my comfy car.

14. Be creative -  don’t think outside the box, think like there is no box

I’m writing a blog about why PR is similar to marathon running – is that creative enough?

15. Be persuasive

I have £2500 to raise and at the point of writing this blog I nearly had £600, so I’ve already done a good bit of persuading!!

16. Anticipate – things change quickly and you have to think fast

I always run with my phone and £1 in my pocket!

17. Be self-disciplined – be timely and meet deadlines

I’ve turned down many offers of alcoholic drinks so I can train better, longer and harder. It has taken some discipline.

18. A good listener – it’s noisy out there

It’s amazing what you can hear on a bleak Sunday morning in January.

19. Know your strategy

Speed or endurance, distance or time. Each run has a strategy, but mostly it’s just LOTS of miles.

20. Do your research – knowledge is power

Wearing the best shoes helps. Eating the right things helps. Stretching helps. It all makes running easier!

21. No two days/stories/clients are the same

Every run you go on feels different – some good, some bad, some both.

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22. Hard work really does pay off

I’m running 3 times a week, going to spinning classes to increase my fitness and doing weights in the gym to increase my strength.

23. It takes some juggling - ‘wearing many hats’ and ‘spinning many plates’ - too often to I hear these words from PR people but it’s the truth

Fitting training in around a busy job and looking after my 7 month old son takes A LOT of juggling.

24. You have to live it and breathe it to succeed – the media never switches off so neither do we

I go to bed thinking about running and I wake up thinking about running.

25. Training is key – I got mine at Bournemouth University and we rate the good things our friends at the CIPR do

Did you see the mammoth picture of the training plan? I know if I don’t do as much of this as possible race day will be much harder.

26. Be passionate

My husband’s uncle passed away on Valentine’s Day last year – I’m running the marathon in his memory.

Brooke Kenyon
Brooke Kenyon

Managing Director - Strategy & Agency Growth

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