Archive for May, 2013

Lessons Learned in Mentorship

Friday, May 31st, 2013

At Brookline PR we are always eager to provide students and young professionals entering the market the opportunity to intern, job shadow or work closely with a mentor. Anyone who has ever interned before (myself included) knows what a grueling process it can be and without a stellar mentor the positive experience can be lost.  Having mentored for quite some time and often reflecting with colleagues on the process, there is a general consensus that mentoring doesn’t simply involve telling a bright-eyed, eager mentee what to do but often entails taking the time to be aware of simple actions that can have a profound impact. In the last couple of months I have identified a couple of key practices, specifically related to agency-life, which at times seem obvious but can often be overlooked.

Be conscientious of your actions. A mentee is like a sponge. They look to you for guidance and leadership not only on work-related tasks but on practices such as office etiquette, client interaction and how to conduct one’s self in a business setting. What you may think is a normal, earned right (such as taking a personal call or an approved extended lunch) may seem like everyday practice to an impressionable mentee. If you expect certain guidelines to be followed, ensure you practice them yourself.

Outline your expectations. Agency life often includes a number of perks that can hypnotize a mentee into thinking that this is how it is from day one. Those perks often are the result of hard work and dedication to your practice and it is important to convey that early on. Every mentor that I have considered instrumental in my career as a PR practitioner has always outlined what they expect and what delivering those expectations will achieve. We have all had those experiences with a mentee saying “I didn’t know I was supposed to do that” or “I didn’t know that was your expectation.” Outline what will make them successful from the onset, leaving no room for doubt. Encourage them to perform at their very best from the beginning and show them how they can reap the rewards of hard work.

Take the time to teach. There is an unwritten praise for those who can jump in and be a part of the team from the moment they walk in the door. It is important to remember that no matter how good a new mentee is or how natural the process may come to them, even the best need guidance. Take the time to review everyday processes with your mentee and share with them tips and tricks they otherwise would not have known. Some of the best teaching moments I have had are when a mentee will point out a flaw in something that I am accustomed to doing. It is a reciprocal relationship and taking the time to teach, more often than not, educates you more than you could ever educate them.

Check-in.  It seems like an easy concept – check-in to make sure everything is okay. Any mentor can tell you that is easier said than done. The everyday grind can make it easy to put off a meeting with your mentee; however, what is often forgotten is that a mentee sees these meetings as a valuable part of the process. Just as you would look forward to your scheduled evaluations with your boss, a mentee looks forward to your thoughts and input on their progress. Make check-in appointments a part of your routine and something that you also look forward to. Let them know that they are just as important as your most valued client and your mentee is sure to recognize the importance of their work.

Stay on their team. Anyone who has ever worked at an agency knows that there is no such thing as a “slow day” and that an intern is usually thrown into the mix from the moment they start. At any given point, a mentee can be working on multiple projects which are evaluated and critiqued by fellow colleagues. Sometimes it is a job well done but other times they may need additional guidance. As a mentor, it is your job to manage the expectations and concerns of your colleagues, and despite their frustrations remind them of the all too familiar learning curve. It is your duty to stay on your mentee’s team and always ensure they feel supported.

– Alisha Samnani is an Account Executive at Brookline Public Relations and enhances the team with her strong social media, event management, media relations and corporate communications expertise. Alisha helps to manage and support a number of accounts with broad experience in hospitality and tourism, real estate, lifestyle and consumer PR.

Brookline Public Relations Supports Marlborough Mall on Annual GownTown Event

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2013

Brookline Public Relations was excited to support Marlborough Mall on its annual GownTown event. GownTown offers graduating students the opportunity to purchase the dress of their dreams for only $10, with all proceeds supporting the United Way. Take a look at what happened leading up to GownTown on April 14, 2013!

“A Day in the Life” at Brookline PR by Alexandra Kergen

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

Recently I had the fortunate experience of winning the “Day in the Life” contest at Brookline PR. It started with a wonderful open house Brookline hosted for students, to welcome us into their lovely organization and show us what they are all about. Talk about an opportunity. Being a student, getting invited to spend a night with PR professionals, such as the amazingly qualified ladies at Brookline, is an opportunity you cannot pass by.

The announcement of the “Day in the Life” contest created quite the buzz at the open house, with students all over the room contemplating how to come up with “creative and interesting” tweets needed to win this contest. Eager to hear back after the open house, I received a tweet telling me I was a finalist for the contest! One more phone interview to go, and I won the chance to spend a day with an entire agency of women I aspire to be.

My day started off great – a lovely sunny April day. I walk into the agency excited to have the chance to pick the brains of real PR professionals. This is exactly what students love, the chance to ask what it’s really going to be like once we are finally done school and in the real world. I got the chance to see what a day at an agency would really be like, and let me say, it did not disappoint.

I started in the morning with the routine “traffic” news scan, skimming through newspapers finding interesting and relevant stories. I don’t think I have ever been so excited or eager to read multiple newspapers. Then, instead of just sitting on the side listening, I received the chance to present what I found, as if I was a real part of the team. After a weekly staff meeting, I learned just how much this agency really works as a team, and even though someone may not be on the account with you, they are more than willing to help you out in any way possible.

After an amazing lunch break at the newly open MARKET on 17th, where I had the pleasure of not only eating the most amazing burger I had ever had, I also learned about how the agency helped support the launch of the popular restaurant. Talk about the perfect mid-day break. The lovely ladies graced me with their stories, more than willing to answer any questions I had rolling around in my head.

After a nice lunch break, we headed back to the very comfortable and cozy office, where I was part of a creative brainstorming meeting for a potential new client. In the middle of the conversation, brainstorming with intelligent and motivated women, I thought to myself “This is where I am meant to be”. And as a student, that is a very refreshing and positive thought to have.

Not only was this an amazing opportunity as a PR student, but is really showed me the type of people I want to surround myself with. I was a sponge for the day, and I had a great chance to absorb all I could. This was a fantastic opportunity, and I am honored I had the chance to experience a “Day in the Life” at Brookline PR.

– Alexandra Kergen