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SPEAKER 1 (LLYR): All right. Hello! Welcome! My name is Llyr, I am a librarian here at Teen Scape, and I would like to welcome you all to the next installment of Career Conversations. This is the first one getting recorded for website podcasts. With us today is Tina, from our Digital Content Team, so we'll be passing the mic along and that way the people who weren't able to get here, they can listen, and that'll be very exciting.
So, just a couple notes, please silence cell phones, and bathrooms are right downstairs, and also in the art department. So we'll just go ahead and get started. Everyone will go ahead and introduce themselves, with the first question of describing what you do, and in terms of schooling what do you recommend for each of your careers?
SPEAKER 2 (STACY): Hi my name is Stacy De Vera and I work at Golin. It's an agency that is based here in downtown LA, and I work on the-- I work in video games and tech account, let's say, and we do PR and strategic communications for our client, and it sounds really specific but it's kind of a broad umbrella of PR, marketing, corporate communications, branding. It's a little bit of a mixed bag but everyday is different so it definitely keeps us on our toes. And in terms of schooling, I don't know, I kind of feel like PR is, you can kind of do whatever. I mean myself, I majored in literary journalism which kind of, you know, seems like a direct path to that or an offshoot of that but I do have other colleagues, you know, who have like majored in art or history or it's a, you know, very different backgrounds and especially with our agency they really encourage people to have different experiences and just different backgrounds, so yeah, I don't know, I would guess go with what you're interested in, and, you know, if PR ends up being kind of the career path that you want to navigate towards, like, you know, you'll definitely find yourself there with, you know, internships and other relevant experiences, yeah.
SPEAKER 3 (KATIE): Hi my name is Katie Houghton, I'm also from Golin which is an agency. Just to add to what Stacy said, we are based in Chicago as our headquarters and we have offices around the globe, I think we're at 50 something and so we are just one part of it. Some of our clients that we work on a day to day basis is Nintendo. I don't know why you didn't say it, Nintendo, Cliff bars the recent one, Razor Scooters. We’ve got a lot of fun ones, California Avocado Commission, so we have work on all sorts of different kind of projects, and so for education I actually did study PR in the School of Communications, which a lot of colleges have. A lot of people also have different backgrounds. Psychology, advertising is very relevant to PR, especially now in the digital age but we also encourage at our agency, and I think a lot of PR people have this as very different backgrounds because, and going abroad and doing nonprofit and doing a lot of different things because it ultimately always benefits whatever our next client is that comes through the door.
SPEAKER 4 (BRENDA): I'm Brenda Breaux and I work at the library. I do PR for the library and I feel like public relations-- I want to do something I love and I do love the library and I've been here 18 years. I'm a mid-level manager principal and my key areas are exhibits, the art exhibits that you see at the library, the career online high school, which gets to diplomas to adults, and any kind of swag you see, I probably have my stamp on it. So as far as education, I came up, I was a journalist for twelve years before getting into this, but I see people in this field have English backgrounds, some people didn't go to college even it's just really you know I feel that you should start if you kinda know what you want to do at a young age you should start at a young age,get on your school newspaper get on any type of your yearbook you know through college I worked on a yearbook in the school newspaper I mean the college newspaper so and also look for different clubs that support that. That is part of the networking and um I really encourage watching the news and seeing what's on there and always being aware of trends.
SPEAKER 5 (ASHLEIGH): my name is Ashleigh Kaspszak, I'm with the New Mart building here in downtown Los Angeles, and for many people they don't quite understand what we do, so i'll give you a tiny background on the building. It was the first high-rise in downtown Los Angeles or historical landmark so the company is actually a real estate owner, but because we lease all fashion wholesale showrooms, we have a responsibility as an industry building, to tell the rest of the world who's in our properties. So, I'm the director of marketing and public relations for the tenants in our building, so that's a hundred and ten showrooms and they represent six hundred collections and it's all wholesale fashion so all the stores we shop at come to the building to say, okay I want that, that, and that in my store. So that's what we in terms of where we lie in the business where the showrooms for the designers and the buyers from the stores come and see us. So in terms of like giving you a map of how to get that career, I couldn't because it's really like much of what my colleagues here to the right say is it kind of, you follow your nose. You tend to go with what makes sense to you, what speaks to you what you're passionate about, and you end up finding your way so there isn't very many positions like doing what I'm doing but I'm sure the rest of the panel could agree that it's almost specialized you end up doing what you're fit to do. And, so I went to school at UCLA, I was the first of my family to go to college.I studied anthropology and philosophy soI was definitely reading all the time, and I still use that material today. I think I get that question a lot, I'm not sure if my colleagues here to my right also do, but I say, well how do you use your degree? And everyday I don't know how not to use my degree. I think what Anthropology taught me was to understand people and cultures and communication and how to visually represent yourself with some cultural sensitivity. Right? I mean you can't for example tried to sell a leather handbag line to somebody maybe from India if they worship the cow. You can see how that would be a major conflict. For so to be aware of business environments and cultural sensitivities, I think is essential in today's business environment, no matter what you do and being in PR marketing you're almost expected to know that. You're expected to know what what can be said in a more blanketed way so you don't alienate any of your market. So it's being aware, being sensitive and kind of knowing a little bit about what's going on in every industry, right? You don't want to be so specialized and only know what's going on in fashion or interiors, but so it's uh, being widely aware of what's going on around you, and so really in terms of schooling and what to do, I'd say study, like again, follow your nose and study what's interesting to you but also be aware of the future right? I mean if programs in your school are not talking about virtual reality augmented reality, 3d- printing, they're gonna make it so you're behind and it's okay for you as a student to expect that of your institution. So you should be asking things like where's the class that's gonna teach me Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop and InDesign because how are you going to get out of school and go do the job if you don't know how to do the job? I think no matter what degree you get if you don't know the on-the-job skills, you'll be behind, so I always say that to the students that I talk to is, college will be good for theory but it's not practice right? So get out, start working, much like what Brenda was saying, if it’s something you're passionate about, and something, just go start doing it, don't wait until you're quote/unquote older or grown-up.
SPEAKER 1 (LLYR): Well that's an excellent segue into do each of your organization's I know the library does, but, in your specific area offer internships and how in high school versus college and how will one get into that?
SPEAKER 2 (STACY): Yes so Golin actually has a really great program, they have two programs, I guess we could say one is called an Unternship and for them it's, I'm gonna describe as best as I can, because it's actually a really great program, it's mostly for post-college you know. A lot of times it's difficult to, you know, get an internship, it's very competitive, you know right now, because you know you head into the job market, and everyone you already go in like they expect you to have experience,you know, but it's like how can you get this experience if you don't have previous experience, and it's kind of a catch-22 in a way, but Golin has an opportunity, I guess for college graduates, where you apply, and the promise basically is you know, the question is, what would you do if you had like X amount of dollars, you know, if you had all the time what would you study in relation to PR marketing communications? And it ends up being about, you know, community. A lot of our Unterns who are chosen you know, you submit a video, some type of entry, describing, kind of like what you would like to study, amongst like, people, and it's a lot about community; what's the thread that brings us all together, you know, and so that allows, if you're chosen as an Untern, they basically sponsor you based on you know, whatever your proposal was and like, recent Unterns spent, you know I'd say, like, I think it was like six weeks or something, a couple of weeks, just traveling across the US, meeting different people, meeting different communities, you know they'll blog about it, they'll post on Social there, they'll share their stories, and at the end of the Unternship, they're actually placed in the office of their choosing, so they get a tour around, they get to see which one kind of fits their vibe, you know, what clients they have and they end up getting offered a full time job there. Yeah, so it's a really great program especially for those who aren't really sure you know like how you get your foot in the door, you know. A lot of PR marketing is about networking, but if you don't have those established, you know, contacts, I think the Unternship is a great opportunity to do so, and in addition of that, I know our Golin LA office we have like classes of interns and we've had people who had no background, I mean no previous information, no experience in PR but you know, like we've spoken before, our agency really loves people who have different backgrounds and experiences you know something new that you can bring to the table some new perspective that you can offer our clients, you know, our products, just a different way that we understand the world now and you know we're always, I find it strange to say but we always are looking for like fresh, like new blood, because a lot of times, like in PR marketing I feel especially at certain agencies, you'll get people who have been there forever, who have kind of been in the same routine, like with our clients, and it's always great to have a new and fresh perspective, especially for folks who you know may have not already like entered the job market. Yeah, so just different different opportunities, it's if you look they are there, but I think it is again, the onus on us agencies, and just other institutions, you know, to get out there and show that these opportunities are available, because if you know people aren't aware of them, how are they gonna apply?
SPEAKER 3 (KATIE): She answered for me but two other things we do kind of towards the end of college graduation and but mainly post-grad and the reason we do that is because it is internships most of the agencies do that now because we really want people to get immersed, and it's hard to be immersed if you're only 20 hours a week, or you know, you're competing with classes, it just is a big toll on people and a lot of colleges now accept these internships as basically their last semester course so that's most agencies do that. Unternship is very unique, but most agencies do that kind of level, I would say if you're in high school, we're talking about a lot of clubs that support it, and definitely your book, writing, and then there's also I believe, I might need to look this up, that there is a national PR organization PRSA and I believe they have high school chapters of having not crazy they have a junior PRSA thank you and then they also have collegiate chapters. So that's huge for networking, huge for hearing from industry professionals that are currently working, and they have lots of resources for all sorts of age age groups. So yeah.
SPEAKER 4 (BRENDA): I think we do we do not have an internship program and we visited it and come back, and I hope that we come back again, and eventually get one so most of the reach outreach that we do towards young people, they call us and say, “Can I come in and talk to one of you guys and find out what your job involves?” Come on in! And I worked at an agency before here for three years; Young Communications, in which we would take an intern for the summer and it would be nice if we could get something like that going because most of PR is they say if you're good in PR you can swim in the fire, they can drop you in the fire and you can swim. And so you should also I would encourage you know doing your research and find if you know which direction you kind of want to go in start researching some of the companies that do that type of PR make that cold call and say well is there a program and you know or can I come and talk to someone so it may take some assertiveness on your part.
SPEAKER 5 (ASHLEIGH): I feel like probably of the people sitting up here I'm the worst one to ask that question to because I myself never intern I was self-employed for over a decade I came from a family that didn't have much to support me with, and so I had to do a lot myself, and so that's why I really advocate for people beginning work as soon as they can because not everybody is in a position to take an unpaid internship but from what I understand that's changing now I think when we were all younger it was unpaid internships, and now they're paid, and I'm not saying don't volunteer, I still work probably more for free than I do for paid, you know opportunities so I'm not saying don't give back, it's just understand maybe not everything is fit for you and that's okay don't think there's something wrong with you because the regular routine that seems to apply to other people's lives doesn't apply to you and so I can't really comment on that fact of how to get an internship or go there I help I tell people how to try and really if what are you going to bring to the table. You can't just be another body in the room taking up space, you have to contribute, so even as an intern, come in there with a perspective, with something that's maybe different, and at least try to do that. So what I can also just briefly touch on is the difference between marketing and PR, especially for an internship. You know this is a really, it's an industry where those two sections kind of get crossed over a bit. The way I usually explain it to students is marketing is the creation of the deliverable, the website, the newsletter, the flyer, and the PR is getting it to people, networking with a database, sending it their PR wire, or whatnot. So both areas often times are done by the same departments or people, but it doesn't mean they're the same thing. And, oftentimes they do get mixed up. People will tell me oh I'm doing a PR assignment it's really not PR it's more marketing, and so that's how, at least in my brain, I distinguish between the two. Creating the physical product, the deliverable, is the marketing, and PR is getting it to the people. So depending on what kind of internship you want, maybe you go for an agency that's more specialized in either/or. Or, you find a department, like it sounds like much of what us do is that does a little bit of each, so just understand that in your choice.
SPEAKER 1 (LLYR): Great, thank you. Excellent. So we're about halfway done, and I'd like to pause if anyone has questions or we'll continue with our questions? Okay we will continue with our questions. Just want to give everyone a chance. So you've talked about how it's collaborative. How do you keep your relationship strong and you are already talking, you both were talking about networking and how would one also hone their networking skills if say, they're shy, or an introvert, things like that?
SPEAKER 2 (STACY): Yeah, it's, that's a great question. First of all, I think for myself coming into the PR and marketing, yeah like I mentioned before, I majored in journalism, and like my colleague, I didn't actually intern, have any like, PR marketing internships. I did mostly, you know, journalism, writing, you know, which, of course is relevant, but when you're coming into a field where there are alot of people who have PR and marketing experience already, like you know, we've stated before, it's like, what do you bring to the table? But in terms of keeping kind of like a relationship strong on networking, I would say just think about the things that you are passionate about, you know, think about the things that, you know, as you're going through high school, as you're going through college, you know, that you really feel that inspire you to do things that, you know, every day. At the end of the day, you go, you know what, that was great, that you're proud of, you know, I and it doesn't have to be big like, you don't have to launch a big campaign, you know but everyday, it's like little victories that add up. And for me it was a little hard because, I myself was pretty introverted and a lot of times when people think of PR they think of someone who's like incredibly like super savvy, and you know, just like super quick-witted, and just like the best people person, and all and I would say, just, you know, work on yourself, start slow. You know, you don't have to talk to a big group, but you can talk to like, one-on-one, and a lot of times, that's where the best networking relationships start. Like a one-on-one conversation, talking about anything and everything really. I think just establishing those types of relationships whether they be small or, you know and they grow into something big is really just kind of like the stepping stone to building your network. Just one step at a time, because you never know. Honestly the people that you run into,the connections that you make, could lead to greater connections and networking, so yeah I would just say, you know, don't be afraid to put yourself out there, but also don't fear, don't push yourself too hard if you feel uncomfortable. You know, again, stepping stones to expanding your network and just start small.
SPEAKER 3 (KATIE): I totally love all those things. I am NOT an introvert, so a lot of what we do is really natural to me because it's my personality. So, I've had to work on other things, other skills than just the ”Let's go get em skills,” but I will say that I am not very good at networking, and it's a challenge. I think it's a something that's a forcing function you have to learn how to do and be good at, and it has to be a consistent thing, but I am lucky that I've had very strong mentorships and they have been mainly professional, that have turned personal through the years, but I really felt like having somebody that I looked up to that I could learn from and that would be there if I needed them was a little bit more valuable than going to a conference room with bad hors d'oeuvres and lots of strangers and having to put myself and they stock talk to them randomly, so I think one-on-one sometimes is is a better way to go for networking but there's also lots of resources to have them, PRSA is a great forcing function to go network and to go meet people, professionals, or other people who are have your same interests. And then I also think especially for an agency where you're doing lots of things if you have an interest or you have a passion there will be a time in your career when that will matter. So, you know, who knew that video games was something that I could do for a living, and like it'd be cool. So, if that's something that you're passionate and there's always a time for it, so that's off topic then of the networking question, but I just think that if you're hanging out with people that inspire you or hanging out with, doing things that you love, then that will be you'll meet people that will eventually come back full circle in the world, of the big world of PR.
SPEAKER 4 (BRENDA): Well, believe it or not I'm an introvert, so it's when I get like, it's like, I'm on, when I'm working, and when I'm home I'm an introvert. So it's sort of part of being shy is not being confident, and that's why I always encourage students to really research their topic know your business. You know, when you're no-- you know what you know, you're not gonna be shy when you're working, so-- part of that is when you do meet people, pick their brains. Especially if it's a field that you want to, you're gonna have to ask those questions, you might as well get into the questions, so that's half of the work, and I think that once you kind of can get really comfortable then, just try to also expand from one person to more. Right now whoever I meet, if I talk to them and I get information from them or I work with them on a project, they're all in my phone. Everyone. And I call them, it helps sometimes. Sometimes I call them to go to lunch, you know, so part sometimes it's just figuring out how to approach a person or a situation, but I do believe in networking and I'll go to these parties, and I'm like stressed out till I get there, but then my goal is to get to know whoever I need to know there, and when you're focused on doing that then you ain't got time to be shy.
SPEAKER 5 (ASHLEIGH): That's so true I'm not gonna even echo anything they all just said cuz I'm a--i'm also an introvert, I mean I'm a friendly person, but I'm extremely shy and I don't like even doing things like this, is out of my comfort zone but again, to Brenda's point, we do it when we know what we have to say means something, so even though we're uncomfortable, and we're up here shaky, and we don't like it, we do it because we love to do it. I don't know, and so when I read this question and it says how do you keep your relationship strong? And this may not be the intended answer you wanted, but I just immediately I think of honesty. I know that's so lame of an answer, and it's not what you wanted to hear, but I don't care if people are business contacts, or family. If you're not an honest person, that translates, and your reputation is everything. So whether you are one person to your family, or another person at work, people find out and especially now with social media who you want to be online is sometimes very different from who you are in person and people remember that. They take note of that; let's not insult each other. We're all intelligent, we're able to pick things up about one another, and so finding a genuine connection in somebody is rare. I'd like to think it's more common, but it's really not. And you guys, I'm sure you all had a similar experience where you've met someone, and it's very easy, and you can just click, and it's simple, and it's effortless. Then you meet somebody else where you have to break down a few more walls before you get there or you meet somebody else and there's walls all the time and they never get broken down, and so you just have to trust your gut, and your instincts. I don't like the word networking. I'm terrible. I'm gonna go against the panel. I hate it because to me I think it's a disingenuous way to meet somebody. It's almost like speed dating for entertainment. You know, it's like you show up and everyone's got a business card, and they're best dressed look, and they pass them out, and then, for what? So you can size up everybody in the room and see who's the most quote unquote successful and then hit them up for opportunity? What does that do? That does nothing for anybody. So instead, so my other colleagues point out, go ahead and join associations clubs like anybody in this room who's interested in press and being in PR join the LA Press Club there's other smaller associations to where you can really get to know people. I'm in a couple myself but then I also sit on boards at SMC and at Cal Poly, because I think if you don't give back, and you don't talk to the community, like the kids that are gonna be working with us in five and ten years, we are hurting ourselves because if we don't reach out to the students and at least try to give them some insight now, hey you may want to study this, or hey don't waste your time with this because it may not be relevant in five years. That helps, that develops a real connection, you know, I've had kids come to me five and ten years later and said you know, something you said stuck, and it mattered, and it pivoted my whole life, or you know, the opposite. I've said that to others, you know, so really it's about being honest and open and not trying to lead with a certain representation of yourself; just be as open and transparent as you feel comfortable.
SPEAKER 4 (BRENDA): Can I add one thing? I think it’s just something you guys will all agree, is the most important thing in it, that she made me think of it, is to listen. To listen to when people talk, and to really, not just you know, listen for what you can get, but listen to know who they are. And. that will help you also relate.
SPEAKER 5 (ASHLEIGH): I tell the kids all the time, I'm like you can take your brains to companies who don't deserve it, and then what would that be doing for this world? Like, what? Don't keep them in business. If you don't think Burger King is food, don't go do PR for Burger King. You keep them around, so it's, you have to, almost, like that saying that, is coming out,”I'll vote with your dollars.” Well same with your career. Vote with your decision of who to go with, and make millionaires or billionaires. Because it does matter.
SPEAKER 1 (LLYR): That's wonderful. Thank you so much. We did have an audience question with a follow-up. So for myself, as a librarian, we have particular places we can go to find a mentor. Do you also have the same affiliations and places you can definitely try to find a mentor? Or are they more organically found?
SPEAKER 2 (STACY): It's good question. I think kind along the lines of what we've been saying so far, like, there are institutions, there are places like PRSA, La Press Club, you know that you can go and inquire about mentorships, but I feel that probably the most beneficial ones that I've found again were ones that just kind of happened organically. You know, whether it was through work, or an outside organization, like Brenda here said, you know if you connect with somebody and you can, you know, just kind of like align with their thinking, and someone that you can look up to and really learn from-- I think that is probably like the best way to do it.
SPEAKER 3 (KATIE): Yeah, I had somebody reach out to me this week, Tuesday, 4 o'clock, of where that they saw me talk, they have a lot of the times, the colleges will come into agencies and like do a tour of the office, and and meet people and hear about what we do so that they know what they want to do and go in. And she heard me talk at one that I literally don't remember doing, and she reached out to me, and she was like, “Hey, can we get coffee?” And I was like, yeah! I didn't know this person, but she came, and we talked, and she was just wanted to share about how apparently, I said something, or she found me on LinkedIn, either way, but she said you know, I just I'm trying to talk to as many people as I can, to get an idea before I graduate. Where to go next, and so, I think there's a lot of-- she took a lot of initiative to do that. Which is what happened. But, I don't think you're gonna meet a lot of people that are gonna say no. I mean we rescheduled six times, but but it was one of those, like, I want to help you. A lot of people in this industry want to help, because they know you will be your next intern, or we'll work together, and a lot of ways, especially in the agency life, it's a really small industry. So talk about being honest, and people will know who you are in all sorts of situations, after not sleeping for 48 hours, and being on a plane, and like trying to finish something, and they'll know your true self in those moments. Accurate? Accurate. So I think I think because that, then the relationship should be more kind of natural but nobody's gonna say no because I think we want to share the kind of wonderful craziness that is this industry.
SPEAKER 4 (BRENDA): I've worked like I said for the last 18 years for government; City of Los Angeles, and before that I worked three years for an agency. And, I still keep in touch with the head of that agency. I still asked her advice. I-- in the government you might all start at the same level, but in five years you could all be a different levels, so that's why it's-- you need to develop those relationships at the beginning.And and keep in touch with people, and but like I said not just to get things but also just to see how they're doing. How their career is going, how are they going up, and you know, is they're opening? So, I would say that I still talk with people who I worked with as a journalist who are now directors of different agencies throughout the country. And you do need to think beyond Los Angeles, beyond whatever city you work and you want to have sort of national contacts and international contacts, so it's more of-- you slowly develop these relationships, but you... it is work, it's on you to keep those contacts and keep up with people.
SPEAKER 5 (ASHLEIGH): I couldn't agree more. And back when I answered the question about internships, I had addressed, I wasn't one, and part of it for me, that's how I filled the gap, was I began as many mentorships as I possibly could.You know in college, it was a little forced, Right? Because you're already taking your professor’s class when you go up, and you ask them questions. They have to give you their time. But, then I would go outside of my own courses and I'd contact other professors and department chairs, and I'd say, you know, I'm curious about this and that; I want to do independent research with you; you specifically! And they'd say yes, and so, I got some college credit for that kind of arrangement. It's learning more one-on-one direct from an expert and then. Now I do that for students who again reach out to me, that it was something I did, or said, and it impacted them. They want to know more, they want to talk; tell me their story, and I love hearing their stories, because they still teach me things-- every time. So really it's being on both sides. It allowed me to see how important the mentorship and being a protege to somebody really is. I think many many years ago that's the way it was. You learn from somebody else who was an expert in that thing, and they passed it down to you, and then you pass it down to somebody else. And we've lost that a little bit, we've lost a little bit of that facilitating and educating one another. And I think we tend to look at others for that, or read blogs, or do do one up. But I encourage you to be strict on where you're getting your education from as well. You know, don't just believe everything at face value, don't believe something just because someone self-proclaimed they're an expert, maybe you go with somebody who others are calling an expert. But really the mentorship for me is where I-- it's, it's how I got to where I am today. Without it I would not be here.
SPEAKER 1 (LLYR): Wonderful thank you. So we have about 15 more minutes. I do have one question I still want to ask. If you could all describe a typical workday, kind of the tasks you do day-to-day, to give the audience an idea of what you do.
SPEAKER 2 (STACY): Yeah, I kind of alluded to this earlier, but-- and it may not be the case for everyone, but at least for an agency life, you work on different accounts, but for myself in particular, and my colleague Katie as well, we work specifically on one account which is Nintendo. And day-to-day is very different. I could probably go by weeks, I guess? You know you're-- you get a campaign plan or a marketing strategy doc-- you brainstorm, you come up with tactics, ideas, you know, things that you wanted you to like, execute this, to meet the directive of the client. That's-- there's-- a lot of different things that you do every day, you know some days could be very slow, some days could be all emails, some days could be you in meetings, so it really varies from day to day. But just know that every day, you're likely just gonna get challenged. Whether it's how do you respond to a client question, you know? How do you reach out to like certain vendors, you know? How do you-- just-- it's conducting research. You know, so there's a lot of different-- I guess you can say, skill sets, that you apply in the day to day, that from the different experiences, that you have, you'll definitely apply, but yeah, I don't know it's kind of it's kind of hard to describe a day to day. There's no template, like there's no formula, is what I would say. It is very different, and it definitely differs, I guess, depending on you know, the industry, or the, I guess specific clients that you're working on; an industry that you're working in.
SPEAKER 3 (KATIE): Accurate, oh that's all that's accurate. I would say that I was surprised when I first started in PR that I used so much of my creative side, and my organized side, so my left and my right brain. I use both of those equally every day. So we're creating new things, we're doing a lot of research, we're reading the Internet, we're making powerpoints, we're making budgets, we're dealing with money, we're using all the primary colors of your skills. We use all of it. So, a lot of fun fallacy about our industry is that we can't do math, which I can't, but but we do a lot of Excel grids, we do a lot of Excel grids, and also you know, talking about InDesign and Photoshop, we do that too. We have to know like, who's who, and the universe, we have to, we play video games, on occasion we we do all sorts of stuff during a typical day, but I think the main thing that is new, on my typical day, that I didn't expect when I started in this industry, is switching your brain from different tasks, and I also think there's an undervalue in writing, an undervalue in interpersonal, like, meeting dynamics, relationships there's a lot more of that again especially on an agency, then you would maybe anticipate going in. Stacy and I are both weird in PR that we don't talk to the media every day. And that's a unique thing at Golin,we are more on the creation side, and the being personable to the client, and understanding what they want, and reading in between the lines. A lot of listening, a lot of listening. A lot of talking and listening. So we do that, but that is a skill set as being able to pick up the phone and talk to media or write them an email that has all the information, answers every question, but does it succinctly, and being aware, so um, I can keep going.
SPEAKER 4 (BRENDA): I'll just talk about Monday. When I get here, I'm gonna meet a news crew, and we're gonna go and see the exhibit out there, and I'm gonna pitch it, and blow it up and hopefully get a front-page story out of it. And then I'll get back, and I will catch up with the swap we're getting t-shirts for the Makerfaire, and so after showing different designs to different people, we've selected one, and so I'm gonna push forward on that. On the Career Online High school, I'm gonna be calling a couple of, more media to just see, to get interest, to get people. Get more publicity on it, and and then I'll be taking calls all day on different things. So it that's all my dream, [Laughing] because then what really happens, yes the only thing will happen for sure is that I'll meet the media, but when I get back to my office, anything could happen, and this is what I do love about the job, is that you just never know, everyday, what's gonna happen.
SPEAKER 5 (ASHLEIGH): It's so true, I can tell you what I have planned each day, and it's definitely never what I get done. I always feel like I'm taking things on my calendar sliding it over from day to day. Like, oh next week I'll get to it, oh that's for later. But that is what's kind of exciting about it, you know. I think if you told me, you're gonna show up everyday at this time, and you're gonna leave at this time, and you're gonna do these five tasks every day, I would be so bored, I wouldn't want to go to work!. So I think is, what I love about what I do, is that it is different every day. But also because of what I'm doing currently right now, I kind of have two jobs. I'm the assistant property manager for our real estate company, so in any one day I could be negotiating build-outs, leases, showing space, going over construction projects and whatnot. But I also could be writing a press release, talking to the press, giving a student tour for what the industry building does in downtown. Then I also run and operate our website, newsletter, social media, we have a YouTube channel, and a podcast on iTunes, so in terms of like today's day and age of being in PR, it's anywhere and everywhere. I mean you have to be all over the place and so when I started with the New Mart, one of the things they actually had asked me is “You know we need you for social media support!” I said fabulous, where's the content? They had none. So, then, I said okay, well, we can't just keep retweeting for an hour every day because people who follow this are bored! So you actually have to have a voice, have a have a point of direction, and so instead, we started interviewing the building tenants, which is a source of information in and of itself, turn that into the podcast series, cut a short clip to put togethera video that we give to the tenant, because must most of them need help PR wise anyway. And so it helps everybody. It helps us, it helps them, it develops content, and so I could be filming an interview one day, I could be talking about leasing on another. So I think in PR and marketing though specifically it's kind of the same thing, you could be doing a little bit of everything every day, and so if you're the type of person that wants to know what you're doing, or needs to have a to do list where you get to check everything off the list that day, PR would not be for you because it will give you anxiety and probably make you depressed! So, just being honest! Little bit of depression. [Laughter]
SPEAKER 1 (LLYR): Well, thank you so much! We have a few minutes; anyone have questions? Any questions? Okay. I do have a question about how much social media you have to do, because we at the library, are always trying to make content for social media. So, do you set it up, and I know you do, you set it up, and you tweet it out, or Facebook it out? Do you also contribute to the content?
SPEAKER 2 (STACY): Yeah I guess it depends on you know your client's needs. Some clients have a need for, you know, for us to handle their digital and social media channels, others don't. I know, you know, Nintendo specifically, we don't, but in prior years, you know, we've definitely created content for them, you know. We would post natively to all their channels whether it was YouTube, Instagram, even Tumblr, is kind of where they're going as well. Pretty much anywhere there is like a social platform. We earn Nintendo tweets, or posts. So yeah, I would say, pretty much every social platform, and in very, like, different ways. You know, you could be creating like, Jifs or Gifs, I guess, as a creator says is to be pronounced, [Laughter], I protest and I just call them Jifs. Yeah, or you could be curating, like actual videos, you could be creating lifestyle photo content, or just you know really great you know actual text tweets. Yeah, so I guess it really does depend on the client's needs, but you know, in PR, it is definitely something, especially in this day and age, that more and more clients are looking to do.
SPEAKER 3 (KATIE): Yeah, we-- there's two things. One it's definitely something that media do now. So, if media like New York Times is tweeting out their stories, then we should know what is going on. So we have to do a lot of following, a lot of searching, a lot of reading all of their content, because it's not just a newspaper anymore. Now they're sharing all their stuff on different platforms, and they could do unique content for each, which they should do, because that's how-- It's really good to have your own voice on each platform. So we do a lot of that, for media. And then the second thing is that we recognize that if we're hosting an event, or we are trying to get a new product out there, we can't do it in a bubble. So it can't just be this event. You have to have this event, with content, with an influencer, with media. You have to have all these elements to really make an integrated experience, which is what people do now, so you're not just like, following on Instagram, you can follow on Instagram, and go to their blog, and then you can buy from their blog, like it's not a insulated world that we live in. So, I think that no matter if we're actually writing the tweets or not, we're always thinking about social as just one other channel that we can utilize, and you you can't really stop your brain from thinking about all the cool new shiny things, like AR and VR and drones, and like all those cool things you can't really stop yourself because that's what people are using. So it's kind of-- you kind of got to think about all of those, whether you actually write the tweet or not, it's part of what is the world and therefore we're in it to get our our clients edged in there.
SPEAKER 4 (BRENDA): We have a social media librarian in our office. We used to have two and we probably will go back up to two eventually, but whatever project we work on has a social media element. So like I was telling you, I worked on Career Online High School. We bought boosted ads on that, and we also just tweet on it, and I just put out posts that are paid and unpaid. Any-- if we have, like we have authors, and celebrities that come to the library for various reasons, we always try to get a picture of them with our giant library card. Those get posted, you know, and maybe there's quotes from them that are posted, that support libraries. Right now it's just very much an element that we use in our developing at the library.
SPEAKER 5 (ASHLEIGH): For the New Mart building, as an entity, I think a lot of people could argue either way, that you may or may not even need a social media representation. I think I would argue for, just because if you're not in the conversation, you are out of it. So even if you have really nothing much to say, at least have some form of an identity. So in the beginning that was my expectation for it, but what I slowly started to realize is that in our industry, and right now we're seeing a huge divide, mostly, some of what you're all reading in the press is retailers are closing their doors; pretty quickly now. And a lot of that is because people should want to shop for experience. Right? You don't want to just walk around now, it's kind of boring. You want to go out, and maybe go grab a coffee, and bring your dog, and go to that lifestyle boutique to get something for your brother, and your kid, and yourself. You have to make life easier for people, and that's what the fashion industry right now is experiencing-- is that transition. So when it comes to social media, a huge portion of our demographic is on Facebook, let's say, because they had been doing business, that, you know, for the same way 20-30 years, and when the first social medias came online, Facebook was-- it was the coolest one. This is of course after it wasn't, or in the beginning it was just for college students. I don't know, people don't really talk about that, but when they made it open for everybody, mom and dads could do it. Yeah, itI was like, mom and dad's could join now, and grandmas and grandpas. Everybody was on it. So, because of that wave, many of our demographic is on Facebook. But not the new buyers. Right? Not the new bloggers. They're all on Instagram. We don't do snapchat, but also Yelp is really important as a social media for us. And people don't talk about that. So really, whatever makes sense for your business, or where you end up working, stick to that. Don't just try to flood the market with more noise, and say,”Oh we've got to be on Instagram and Twitter!” And don't, if your demographic is not on there, or the people that you want to reach are not on there, it doesn't make sense. It's a waste of your efforts. And so what we did when we started to realize this, about our demographic, is streamline some of our efforts. So instead I said, “Well why don't we use our website blog, and we can funnel our content that we post on the blog through to Facebook and Twitter?” And so it actually worked! It works as a search engine optimization technique, because anybody clicking on a link is going to be brought back to our website. So it worked very well for us. That was a strategy that we developed, and it worked. Not everybody that would make sense for, right? You might want to drive people to your Facebook page, because maybe you list events, or what if for whatever reason, you want them to go there more. For us it wasn't. It was just being a voice on all of those platforms to make sure we didn't leave anybody out, but essentially Facebook and Twitter are very much run with the blog. Instagram is separate, because as you all know, if you're on it it's more photograph based, so it's not so much about the content in words. It’s about more it's about visually what you're posting. And then what was really more important for us, is a LinkedIn group. Many of our people are professionals they don't want to get their news always from blogs and papers they no longer can trust. We won't go there, about media, but that what being a thought leader is in an industry. Sometimes you become the new media. When Jenna Marbles post something she's got three million followers. I wonder what our local newspaper has? Do you know what I'm saying? So it's about your coverage too. Why would you pay for traditional advertising now, if they have 20,000 people in their group, when you could maybe hook up with 5 micro influencers who all have 50,000 followers, and that's way more coverage. So use your intuition. Don't do what's comfortable, because it's probably going to be obsolete.
SPEAKER 6 (MALE AUDIENCE MEMBER): I had a question. Just, I'm sorry, I know we're wrapping it up, but for those individuals, that are introverts, can you give a quick tip or two, when we walk into a room, of a diverse group of individuals, whether socially, economically, ethnically, what are some of the things that you check off when telling introverts to do as opposed to holding up the wall and standing in the corner? What are some tips? Just a few?
SPEAKER 2 (STACY): I like to tell myself, and it's almost like I get myself like a mini pep talk, like internally, but looking around the room, there's probably at least five other people who are also introverts, you know, like, I would like to think, you know, like, you're in a room with like 40 people and sometimes it feels like, “You're in a room with 40 people-- but you're alone!” But you're not. [Laughter]. You know, like we all, again, like, I'm sure like my colleagues here will agree, just being kind of, having that, like, pure mindset, it is an ongoing, it's something that you work, on every day, you know. And especially, like, for, you know, being introverted, I, you know, again, start small, you know? If you see someone else who looks like he's kind of like hanging back, or isn't really sure, just go up to him, and just introduce yourself you know, just make that-- make them take the initiative. And, make that one small step to just try and form a connection. Because eventually, you'll end up being two people who are actually having conversation. Someone will say, “Hey, these people are having conversation! Like, maybe I'll introduce myself to them?” You know? So yeah, just tell-- I guess-- go into it with the knowledge, you know, that everyone there especially, I know, we didn't like-- we're like, I'm not working-- it's terrible, but you know, go into it with the idea that everyone there is trying to meet new people, or at least establish like some type of connection as well, you know? So, you know, don't, don't be afraid of rejection, put yourself out there, cuz that's the only way, you know, that you're gonna make those strides, to making those connections. Yeah, you're not alone.
SPEAKER 3 (KATIE): I always, this is kind of PR, and just like dinner party situations, but I'm always like, “What was the thing that happened today? Like, what was the big news? Like, what's the weird, like, celebrity tidbit that I have, that I can always start a conversation with?” Because chances are, most people have heard about, whatever the thing is. So, I like, prepare myself, especially if I'm not in the mood to, like, talk to strangers, which happens sometimes. I always like to have, like, whatever that one thing is, so that I can jump in with like, “Oh yeah, hey, did you see that thing?” I always have the “thing” to talk about. It makes it a lot less stressful. Which is weird to admit that I prepare my parties. [Indistinct chatter]
SPEAKER 4 (BRENDA): It is not weird. Do you watch the news, or I should say, not just the news, you should read, you should be, you know. When you're on that internet search for stuff that's interesting, and accurate, but I think, like I said, I'm an introvert. I get all nervous. I mean, so I always go in with the plan, you know what am I going out-- what is the goal of this? Even if it's a party! You know, what’s the goal? And so, and pursuing that goal of sometimes, I'm so in my head, like pursuing the goal, I forget I'm not-- I'm talking to people before I know it. You know, I mean so it's it's also but as they've said, you have to make that first step you know? I mean that if you can get through that first step, which is really a very small step, before you know it, you'll be talking to people, and keep in mind too, sometimes, your most boisterous people, the people that is the center of the party, are really shy. Sometimes, it's all a performance just to get through it. [Laughter]
SPEAKER 5 (ASHLEIGH): Definitely. I’ve done all of it. Everything that they are saying. Prepping myself, having the grab bag of comments, an ice breaker go to-- icebreakers! But at the end of the day, I also look to leadership, right? There’s a certain amount of masochism, Just turn the switch off. If you go to these things and it’s torture, and you’re kind of reading the room, and you’re not vibing with anybody, try different clicks. Go with leadership, go talk down. You know, if you vibe with certain, like, CEO, and he starts this meetup group, or whatever, go to his thing. More often they are going to attract people that, kind of, have their same ideals, or ways of treating each other. So, i’ve done that. Gone multiple times, gosh, Is it me? I’m not clicking. Then it might not be your room, and that’s okay. I think that’s a hard conversation to have, to just accept that, that not every room is for you, and that’s fine. You know, go where your voice can be heard, where you are going to feel comfortable too, but you should do everything they said about putting yourself out there, and trying, it’s just don’t-- if its always torture, and you’re not having any fun, try a different means to the same end. Try a different group.
SPEAKER 3 (KATIE): And humor always helps. [Laughter]. Always. [Laughter].
SPEAKER 5 (ASHLEIGH): They always say, It’ll get better too. Right? They always say it’ll get easier. It never did for me. It got worse and worse, more traumatic, and I thought, even now, hearts beating, I don’t like it, but I do it because that inner monologue is just, shut up, you’re doing it. Where as before I would say no, because I was so nervous, now, I just, it’s like almost reaction, when I get asked, and when I got your email. It was like, yes! [Laughter] I didn’t even let myself think about it, because I knew if I did, I’d say no, because I’d be too scared-- [Laughter] So, yeah, just say yes!
SPEAKER 1 (LLYR): Well thank you so much. We’re so very lucky all of you participated on our panel. And thank you so much for joining us. Yay! [Applause] Thank you.