In my first three-months in the Liberty Communications’ San Francisco office I’ve learned that the most important part of working in public relations all boils down to one thing: relationships.
The first relationship I had to build was one with my alarm clock. I mean, I was never the type to sleep-in until noon, but the earliest start time I’ve ever had for a job was 10am. Now, imagine waking up at 6am and having to be fully alert for two hours worth of client calls before your day even starts! Here we are, three months later, my roommates are still in awe when they see me running out of our apartment before they’ve even had breakfast. But I’ve also learned that when you’re headed to a place where you enjoy working and feel motivated, waking up early isn’t actually a chore anymore.
The second important relationship I’ve built over the last few months is with my co-workers. I’ve learned that it’s vital to open up to the people on your teams so that they feel comfortable giving you feedback, which in turn, leads to professional growth. As you continue to work together, they might also introduce you to passions you never knew existed. In my case, I’ve discovered an interest for big data and real-time communications technology.
Next, I’ve learned that the relationships built with journalists, editors and clients are amongst the most important. You thought your mom was harsh about making sure you mail those graduation photos and thank you cards? Ha! Try not answering a clients’ email in a timely fashion, or not doing your research to present relevant information that fits a reporters’ beat before sending a pitch. This is another aspect in which paying attention to detail comes into play, as it’s important to keep the relationship with a reporter in mind, not just settling for the fact that you’ve secured a briefing or a decent piece of coverage.
I’ve seen first hand that trust between a client and their PR team is what builds a great relationship. Once a client sees that we have their best interests at heart, the opportunities to show value are countless. That kind of trust only comes from transparent professional contact, exceptional communication, mutual respect and taking the time to really understand your clients’ needs.
Last, and certainly not least, is the relationship you need to develop with yourself. I’ve been extremely fortunate to join an agency and a team that is more closely-knit than I had originally expected, especially since some of my colleagues are over 5000 miles away in London. The team has helped me focus on my strengths and build on them. It’s truly a remarkable feeling to be a part of Liberty, and I love being able to support my teammates and see the direct effect of my contributions.
As I move into my fourth month working at Liberty Communications, I’ve realized just how much I’ve learned since starting. In college, you learn the concepts and practice your writing but it’s not until you put your education to use that you actually begin to learn that there’s so much more to know. These interpersonal relationships are critical to your success in the exciting – and sometimes challenging – world of tech PR.
Kourtney, Junior Account Assistant