Posted by: Paul Jenkins | May 14, 2008

Mere Suggestions

Markham St., Toronto, Ontario

This is such a since you didn’t ask post. I present to you, Paul’s eight tips to office success – with a PR bent.

1. Try to keep most of your e-mails to 30 words or less. It takes longer to do at first, but it sharpens what you say.

2. Say yes to every task you’re assigned. I babysat 18 square feet of sod a few weeks ago as part of my internship at Habitat for Humanity Toronto.

3. Say less and act more. By taking advantage of the opportunity to learn you improve your productivity and demonstrate your value to the organization.

4. Step three, of course, requires knowing what needs to be done. I reviewed the business plan, marketing and communications plan, and asked questions of all department staff. I then took responsibility for the submission of 50 grant proposals.

5. Type quickly and write well. I was asked to craft a thousand word advertorial on garage organization to deadline.

6. Be amiable. It’s your responsibility to get along well with people. Participate fully in relationships with all colleagues. Remember names and interests, and be aware of office culture and multiculturalism.

7. Don’t underestimate the importance of maintaining and growing your professional network. Identify your talents and the talents of your peers – and then share them.

8. Make ethical decisions and be tough. It’s all about you – don’t be stubborn, but don’t compromise core values.


  1. All great tips Paul, and I especially like the photo. With so many messages aimed at us, “How do you cut through the clutter?”

    I like the: “type quickly and write well” tip, aka. efficiency?

    Another tip: known when to shut up and/or pretend you didn’t hear gossip…etc. etc.

  2. Staffeen,

    Your own advice is strategic, sound and too often needed. Thanks.

    The photo was taken on Markham St., Toronto, in Mirvish Village.


  3. I’m still trying to figure out when exactly I can park near that sign…

    I agree totally with your post Paul, especially the part about remembering people’s names and interests. I know personally I am annoyed at people who don’t remember my name, and I never forget that they didn’t. So I try as best as possible to remember the names of others.

    It’s also amazing how much people take a liking to you when you ask them on Monday morning about their trip to Hamilton, that they mentioned the wednesday before.

    Number one tip in PR: Pay attention.

  4. Hey Paul! I don’t know why I was not reading your blog before but I was beginning to miss your clever wit.
    Now, in regards to your post, I highly disagree with #2. I’m at the bottom of the food chain here, as I’m sure many of us are in our intern positions. People come up to me desk all the time asking me to do random stuff and if I said yes to every one of them I would never get anything done. The real trick is knowing how to say no. I, like you, would love to say yes to everyone because I want to prove that I am effiencent and reliable. But when I start handing in crap because I was too busy doing other crap, then we have a problem. So, rule #2 should be:
    Say yes as often as you can, dedicating yourself 100% to the task at hand.
    Secondly, my goal here is to learn and experience as much as I can. How do I do that? By asking questions. I was once told (by an Account Director) that it was obvious I fit in PR because I ask so many questions. I think that should be on your list as well.

    AH well,

    Cheers Bro

  5. HAHA, as you can tell I am still the same person though, sending comments without reading it first for edits. However, at least I don’t do that at work (well, I try not too….).

  6. Rhonda, I believe the signs want you to park down the street in Buffalo. Glad I don’t drive.

    Megan, I hear your concerns with point number two. Your disclaimer is an important one. You can still say yes to most tasks though, as long as you’re upfront with the effort time allows you to put into them.

    What I more accurately meant, however, was don’t get all uppity if you feel a task is beneath you. Suck it up and get it done.

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