10 Lessons from my 10 Years at KCSA
I celebrated my 10th anniversary returning to KCSA this past summer. Over the past decade, I’ve seen social media go from a cool brand experiment to a must-have. I’ve seen a myriad of print publications close their doors or move exclusively online. And, I’ve seen brands continuously disintermediate the media through the use of their “owned” channels.
Here are a few things I’ve learned over the past 10 years from working at a top NYC communications firm.
Media isn’t the Only Way PR Should be Measured: While media relations is a critical PR skill and strategy, increasingly clients want to tell their story to their audience in their words on their turf. Whether it’s through their own events, podcasting or digital videos, there are more tools than ever to enable PR pros to communicate.
Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously: Man, I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self this. It’s important to take your work seriously, take your peers and your clients seriously, but I wish I had approached more situations with humor and humility.
Social Media Matters: I get served business conference ads on Instagram right next to content from my favorite beauty influencer. Social media is just as critical for B2B brands as it is for B2C. I wish more B2B brands would take risks on these platforms.
Corporate Jargon Doesn’t Pass the BS Meter: The days of long, rambling corporate jargon are over. Media and their readers want good-old, plain English in the tone and manner that is reflective in the short-attention-span culture in which we live.
Failure is Okay: Not every campaign, client engagement or internal project is going to be a success and that is okay. Just fail gracefully. Learn from your mistakes, acknowledge it and don’t let it stifle your growth.
Authenticity Is Critical: This can mean so many things and the answer is “yes” to them all. Customers want to do business with authentic people. Likeability and values matter sometimes even more than the product and service. Be your authentic self and help clients find their authentic voice. It will pay dividends.
Think Big, Even on a Budget: It never hurts to think big. During the last decade, some of the biggest ideas didn’t have the big price tag. And, even when a big ticket, big idea was turned down, the client appreciated our tenacity and creativity.
Say/Do Ratio: A client taught me this a long time ago. He said that he tries to keep my say do ratio high. This means doing what you say you will do.
Face to Face Matters: While I email, text and slack my peers, clients and journalists, “face-time” is still the most valuable. This is where the most meaningful connections are made beyond the transactional dealings with running a company/campaign.
Love What You Do, and Who You Do It With: Can’t stress this enough. I’ve learned so much from my teammates, my clients and my partners. I spend more time with these men and women than most of my family.