Growing up, in academics and athletics, my father imparted upon me a single virtue intended to help create success that would carry over into adulthood: you will only get from something what you are willing to put into it. This has always held true.
Throughout my admittedly young professional career, I have managed to experience the workings of organizations both big and small, and practice public relations both in-house and in an agency setting. While each of these experiences brought their own separate sets of challenges, there has always been a direct link between the personal results I achieved for myself and the level of output that I invested into a project.
That being said, success in PR is not nearly as linear as let’s say early morning swim practices and finish-times in the 100 Medley; or for that matter, hours spent burning through a textbook and a desirable grade point average. In my career, a new layer of complexity is added from client-industries that are driven by creativity and innovation – versus the petroleum and natural gas that so strongly fueled my hometown’s work ethic.
The “hard work” that can be derived from a successful media strategy certainly borrows value from physical time and labor, which comes from constantly staying on-top of the trends and influencers who are shaping the media. But also, the ingenuity required to develop market-shaping stories, and then the ability to connect these efforts and create the public voice that is necessary for a product, brand, or idea to reach the world.
It has been through my professional journey, and experience within different facets of the public relations industry, that I learned one undeniable caveat to my father’s childhood lesson: no matter how much effort you put toward a goal, these successes are only capable of shining when backed by the support of a team and collaborative minds.
Regardless of the original idea that ignites a winning campaign, the messaging and content that is developed to create the perfect pitch, or the media relations that result in a placement and propels an unknown startup into unmistakable notoriety – it’s the collaborative effort of the team that enables each of these actions to come to fruition, and ultimately create a win.
Keeping my father’s parental advice in mind, and knowing that it takes a village to raise a child –it also takes a team of creative minds to launch a company or product; each member investing their effort into various components of the media strategy. Regardless of what role that has been played, each action could not be completed without the support of another. That is to say that the intern who worked tirelessly to keep a media list updated with relevant, captive contacts – deserves as much credit for a feature spread as the account-rep who picked up the phone and pitched the reporter.
The power of collaboration is what truly enables agencies to create and execute winning media strategies for clients. By allowing individuals to focus on their unique talents, in combination with those of their peers, a group dynamic is created that magnifies strengths within a team and propels action capable of hurtling unforeseen obstacles.
Between the different organizations that I’ve been fortunate enough to work for, each team always comes equipped with its own talents, strengths, and weaknesses; however within the agency setting, creativity and flexibility stands-out as unifying qualities between all members.