Ideas fresh off the wire

Binding the Personal and Professional: Hot Yoga and Tech PR

There are many pressures that PR pros face everyday, especially within the technology sector. An ever-churning news cycle requires us to be tapped into the media 24/7 and on-the-ready to react to breaking news. Rapid responses, short turnarounds and the ability to break down complex technologies (hello, Hadoop) are often part of the game.

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 9.55.42 AMTo help employees manage the pressures of the day-to-day, Highwire makes it a priority to ensure that our work lives remain healthy, well balanced and in-sync. Our agency’s own wellness program features company-wide weekly yoga classes on our rooftop deck. I’ve also taken to consistently practicing hot yoga at my local studio to decompress from the stresses of work. Apart from back-bends and standing on my head, I’ve learned a number of valuable lessons from practicing yoga in a 96 degree room that can also applied to helping manage the ebbs and flows of the PR world.

Remember to breathe. One of the first skills I learned in yoga –breathe through the heat, the pain and the pressure. Taking a step back from the task at hand for a moment can be an enlightening experience. Sometimes it’s necessary to clear your mind and reprioritize what’s on your plate. Resolving too many issues at once can throw you off balance, leading me to the next way in which yoga can be applied to PR success…

Maintain focus. Focus on one thing – even when you’re bent-over backwards. Multitasking can actually detract from the quality of your work and take you longer to finish things by having to address multiple rounds of revisions. Segmenting your time into chunks with 100% attention on one task can elevate your performance and lessen the stress of finishing everything at once. In other words, stay focused to increase the efficiency of your day.

Stay connected. Lastly, in yoga it’s important to stay connected and tap into the world’s prana, or the vital life force that flows through all living things. Synchronization of movements in yoga has also been shown to increase the feeling of connectedness between individuals. In PR, it’s vital to maintain connections with almost every person you come in contact with, including clients, journalists and other PR pros. The network you own and maintain is what will keep you afloat when times get tough. PR is a fickle business. Clients can go through messaging changes that impact media in progress, journalists can drop a story at the last minute and opportunities can come and go. So be sure to always keep your network strong by tapping into the prana of PR– you never know when you may need to pull from it!

Rarely do things in work and life go as planned. So please, remember to breathe through the heat, stay focused, and consistently cultivate and preserve relationships. Namaste.

Written by Matthew Gray, an intern in San Francisco