Archive for the ‘Mentorship’ Category

The value of mentorship

Monday, December 11th, 2017

Bridgette Slater, Senior Intern

 

Mentorship programs have many benefits that extend to the mentee, the mentor and the organization as a whole. Some of these benefits include increased engagement, improved goal setting and enhanced knowledge sharing. For mentees, these programs provide the opportunity to learn and seek advice from people who hold the very positions they one-day hope to attain. For mentors, these programs provide an opportunity to develop a personal and effective leadership style and to gain insight into new ways of working within the industry.

At Brookline, new employees at all levels are provided with a mentor who holds a more senior position and who has a fulsome understanding of the agency’s processes and culture. At the intern level, employees become part of the BPR Apprentices program, which is specifically designed to provide students or recent graduates with the industry experience they need to become knowledgeable and well-rounded practitioners. The relationship usually starts with the practitioners getting to know each other on a personal and professional level and, as time passes, a mutually-beneficial bond is formed.

One such benefit is increased engagement from the mentee, which stems from having the support of a fellow colleague and a resource they can rely on for help. Additionally, as communication becomes increasingly digital, there is something to be said about developing a relationship face-to-face through mentorship. This method tends to lead to increased trust, which in turn makes individuals feel more comfortable participating in team settings.

An important component of Brookline’s culture is the standard of continuous professional development. Whether an individual is just getting started or is considered the agency’s veteran, all team members are expected to set goals. Mentees are first introduced to Brookline’s goal setting initiatives by their mentors and the pair work collaboratively to develop specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely goals. Many of Brookline’s mentors use this relationship as an opportunity to become more effective leaders by providing their mentees with guidance and insight into the steps they can take to enhance their skills as public relations practitioners.

Finally, things can change in the blink of an eye in the world of public relations, which is why it is important for colleagues to keep each other informed of industry developments. Mentorship is one such way that individuals come together to share information about standard procedures and new approaches. For example, a mentor may teach their mentee about commonly recognized industry practices, such as pitching etiquette or time management strategies, to help their co-worker achieve success. Conversely, when new employees enter an organization, they bring with them knowledge gained from previous experience or through education. This information is often shared through the mentor-mentee relationship, which helps all employees stay fresh and current as they progress in their careers.

Mentorship is a powerful thing and to have the opportunity to be on either end of the relationship is something that should be valued.

Denzel Washington fully encapsulated the idea of mentorship when he said, “show me a successful individual and I’ll show you someone who had real positive influences in his or her life. I don’t care what you do for a living—if you do it well I’m sure there was someone cheering you on or showing the way. A mentor.”

 

Bridgette Slater is the Senior Intern at Brookline Public Relations. Her experience lies within the realms of event planning, corporate and creative writing, and social media management.

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.