Introduction Director of PR at Brunner downtown Spent 2 ½ years at Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago where I led their PR department 9 years before that as a government consultant where I advised the government on their communications plans
Wanted to start here – this is a quote from the Global Chairman of Ogilvy PR and the new Chairman-Elect of the global trade association – the newly named PR Council (formerly the Council of Public Relations Firms. Maybe some of you have started to hear about this gap – maybe it’s in terms like “traditional” and “contemporary” PR; or maybe you heard about PRSA’s effort to redefine the term “public relations” or maybe you’ve noticed that it’s become a lot harder to get clients to buy into your PR strategies. Whatever the case, the increasing desire for integrated marketing (including PR) is forcing a seismic shift in what many think of when they hear the term “public relations.”
Came across this quote a few years ago from a friend of mine and I love using it. I very much believe in the “ask for forgiveness, not permission” ethos and it’s served me pretty well. And that’s the attitude, combined with the belief in integration, and the ambition to be at the tip of the spear of this shift in our industry that I look for in my team members. I was even featured on a website called RebelsatWork.com. Unfortunately, these qualities are very much the anomaly. PR hasn’t attracted the same boat-rockers, disruptors, and change agents that other fields have. Sure, we’ve got a lot of people who may recognize the problems with our industry but how many have really committed to making change? How many are willing to put in the work to manage upward and make some change in their org, with their clients, within the industry?
Best practices help you avoid standing out in a negative way…but they also prevent you from standing out in a positive way
Internships outside of your hometown/school
Do you want to join an agency? A brand? What industry? Why? “Looking for an entry level position” isn’t a goal. It’s the bare minimum.
Want to get into PR? Join PRSA. Want to get into Advertising? Go to AdFed events. But do it virtually too.
If you can’t get me excited about you, how are you going to do that for my company?
Lead without authority, a title, or a position
"How am I doing? How did I do?" Ask for feedback early and often. It shows that you want to improve and that you want to know how to do things better. After every presentation you give, report you complete, article you write, etc. make sure you ask your manager if he/she has any feedback for you. And don't let them get away with just telling you that "you did a good job." Ask them specifically what you could have done better. Seek the negative AND the positive feedback. "Don't worry about it – I got it." One of the things that all managers love is to be able to cross something completely off of their to-do list because they know that someone they trust is taking care of everything – from beginning to end. From doing the actual work to keeping the right people informed, the ability to take something entirely off your manager's plate and do it well is something that will be much appreciated. It will also give you some great experience in showing him/her that you've got what it takes to move up to the next level as well. "I just read/watched/heard…and it got me thinking that…" Learn how to look at everything you read/watch/listen to from a work/client perspective. I want people who are constantly on the lookout for newer, better, more efficient ways to do things and who can apply them to their current work. You should be bringing new ideas to your boss at least as often as he/she is bringing them to you. "You know how we've been doing X? Why do we do it that way?" Question the status quo. Don't just accept things because "that's the way they are." If you're curious about some process or rule or regulation, ask for the background on it. You'll be surprised to discover how many things we do for no other reason than that's the way it's always been done and no one ever bothered to ask. "I don't think that's the best way to do that. How about we do it this way instead?" Please, don't be a yes-man/woman. Disagree with me. Don't just assume that what I say goes. Sometimes, I have no idea and am just throwing ideas out there and want some honest feedback on them. When I was first given a team, the first person I approached was a good friend of mine whom I knew would be candid with me and tell me when I was wrong. I knew that she'd tell me about an awful idea long before it made its way to the client. "Here's what I'd recommend and why." If I've asked you to work on something, don't just send me your research. I want to know your thoughts on it too. You're the one closest to the research. Give me your recommendation and your rationale for it. It shows me that you can think critically and that you can back up your assertions. "Here's what I learned and how I'll do it better next time." Learn how to be your own worst critic. One of the best things you can do is become self-aware. Know where you're strong, know where you're weak, and know where you can improve. "You gotta see/read/listen to this – I know you'll love this." It doesn't always have to be about work. Don't be afraid to send your boss the latest meme if you think he/she will enjoy it. I like to know my team's interests outside of work, and I want them to want to get to know mine as well. "Do you know who I can talk with to understand this better?" If you're struggling with something, I will NOT think of less of you if you ask how you can get smarter on the topic. I'll be impressed that you were self-aware enough to know what you don't know and confident enough to ask about it. I may not know the answer either, but I'll be sure to help put you in touch with someone who will. "What can I do to help? Be proactive. Don't wait for other people to task you with something. Ask if you can help with something. Or better yet, refer to numbers 3 and 4 above.
Waynesburg PRSSA: Caffeinate Your Career
Caffeinating Your PR Career
PRSSA Regional Conference
April 8, 2016
And you are more than this
• You’re proficient in Microsoft Office
• You were a waitress/receptionist/office manager/assistant
• You did your internship at a local small business or for a
• You’ve drafted press releases
• You’ve got a 3.0 GPA
“There is a gap between an old world of public relations and
a new one that must be addressed because jobs that were
more about media relations are now taking on a role of
content creation and content marketing, which is more
difficult to do.”
- Christopher Graves, Global Chairman of Ogilvy PR
You can do all of this. Right now.
“The PR business is in need of disruptive change and none
of this generation are even willing to try.”
- Rick Rice…in 2012
• Implemented organization’s first
thought leadership program where I
interviewed senior executives that
became blog posts, white papers, and
social media posts, resulting in a 456%
increase in web traffic and a 45%
increase in new leads.
• To drive awareness of our new
sustainability initiative, I built
relationships with the local energy
reporters, resulting in three local
stories that I then used to pitch Fast
Company. This resulted in an executive
profile in the June 2015 issue.
• Wrote and copyedited news
releases, blog posts, brochures and
• Assisted in researching and
contributed ideas for public
• Used CisionPoint to create media
lists for clients
• Wrote social media posts (Facebook,
Twitter, Pinterest) for various clients
The why and the how > the what
How often are you saying?
• "How am I doing? How did I do?"
• "Don't worry about it – I got it."
• "I just read/watched/heard…and it got me thinking that…"
• "You know how we've been doing X? Why do we do it that way?"
• "I don't think that's the best way to do that. How about we do it this way
• "Here's what I'd recommend and why.“
• "Here's what I learned and how I'll do it better next time."
• "You gotta see/read/listen to this – I know you'll love this."
• "Do you know who I can talk with to understand this better?"
• "What can I do to help?