Archive for the ‘Professional’ Category

Keeping Your Head in the Game: Why athletes make excellent PR professionals

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Dominica Nemec, Assistant Account Specialist

Up until the day I walked across the stage at my university to receive my degree, I had been a competitive athlete – tennis player, if you’re curious. During my early years I dreamt of nothing other than being the best. It wasn’t until university that I began to realize my priorities and interests were shifting. I knew I wanted to pursue a career in public relations and was doing well academically in the field, but what I didn’t realize (until much later) that I had an advantage many of my classmates didn’t – I was an athlete! Being an athlete provides you with specific tools that can set you up for success in your chosen career, particularly a fast-paced one like PR. Here’s why being an experienced competitor gives you that competitive edge.

Growing up as a high performance athlete comes with its ups and downs. The ups: peak physical fitness, the ability to eat whatever you want in large quantities, not needing an excuse to wear workout gear all day every day and the feeling of invincibility that comes with being a champion. The downs: permanent exhaustion and constant state of hunger, not being able to pull jeans up past your knees, the complete lack of any sort of social life and the constant pressure of needing to consistently improve.

For teenage athletes with big dreams of rising to the top, these are common concerns. However, while transitioning from an athletic career to a professional one can seem extremely daunting, these idealists quickly learn they are already equipped with certain tools and skills that can help them excel in the boardroom the same way they did on the court. Being able to apply these skills makes them ideal for fast-paced work environments such as PR agencies. Here are the top five reasons athletes make excellent PR professionals:

Time management –

When your day consists of waking at the crack of dawn for workouts, a full day of classes, three hours of afternoon practice, physical rehabilitation for injuries and an evening spent completing homework, you learn to utilize every waking moment. You condense eight hours of studying to two and write term papers in the blink of an eye. Creating a list of priorities and what needs to be achieved is a daily practice. All sports require some level of strategic thinking – this, coupled with the limited number of hours in a day, allows athletes to recognize what needs to be executed, when, how long it will take and what level of effort and attention it needs. Replace workouts with meetings, classes with calls and practice with deliverables and you’re moving straight from the court to the office.

Knowing when to say when –

As PR professionals, we’re all perfectionists on some level. Being your own harshest critic means a press release is never as polished as you’d like it to be and the presentation could always use a few more details. Same goes for athletes – the serve could use some perfecting and maybe if you put in a few more practice sprints your time will improve slightly. However, when game day rolls around it’s go time and you better be confident in what you have to bring to the playing field. As an athlete, being so limited on time allows you to excel at creating your best work and paying attention to detail in a timely manner, but also knowing when to wrap it up and yell “DONE!”

Working under pressure –

This one should come as no surprise. Pressure is a commonly used word in any athlete’s vocabulary – the expectation to perform at a certain level while excelling in the classroom and all of the other responsibilities that come with the role can be overwhelming. However, there are two important skills all peak athletes must learn to master if they want to maintain their sanity: stress management and perspective. Being able to deal with pressure does not equate to a lack of stress, in fact quite the opposite – stress is a major factor in athletics. However, the near constant pressure athletes feel allows them to channel that stress into productive energy, a skill they learn to apply in multiple scenarios. They’re also able to put things into perspective – a single loss does not break a career and a stressful week at work will eventually pass. That’s why instead of crumbling under the pressure of imminent deadlines and copious amounts of work, athletes are able to stay collected and deliver.

Always a team player –

It doesn’t matter if you played singles in tennis or defense in football, all athletes know the importance of a cohesive team. While it’s not always easy (try grouping ten girls in their late teens/early twenties together and force them to work as a unit on a collegiate tennis team), you learn to step up to the plate to lead when you’re needed and lean on your teammates for support when there is too much being asked of you. This is particularly important in a work environment such as a PR agency, where teamwork is essential to the workload. As important as it is to be indispensable to a team that needs you, you must trust others to do the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Goal Oriented –

Winning isn’t everything, but it sure is an excellent motivator. Crossing the finish line first may be the end game, but every athlete knows the planning, goal setting and work is what is going to get them there. This desire to not only be the best but consistently improve doesn’t dwindle once the equipment is stored away for good. Athletes are and always will be driven by results in every aspect of their life, so you can rely on them to not only get the job done, but get it done right. Also, that age-old saying “you learn more from your losses than wins,” is not wrong – we can’t win all the time, but what we can do is lose gracefully and continually grow from those losses. Athletes know how to learn from mistakes, both on and off the court.

There you have it! Now, this is not to say that only athletes make excellent employees and PR professionals – not by a long shot – but they certainly have a leg up when it comes to being integrated into a fast-paced work environment for the first time. Why? Because they’ve already experienced it in one way or another!

Dominica Nemec is an Assistant Account Specialist at Brookline Public Relations. She is at her best when coming up with creative ways to tell a story and is a self-professed grammar geek. She has helped multiple brands tell their stories and build their reputations through media relations, digital communication and event planning.  When not doing her PR thing, she can be found staying active and teaching spin classes – you can take the girl out of athletics but you can’t take the athlete out of the girl!

The Brookline Way!

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

Sophie Pilon, Account Supervisor

Brookline was founded more than 12 years ago and the company was built on four main pillars that are the backbone of everything we do: Solid, Creative, Fresh and Professional.

At Brookline, we pride ourselves on delivering bold and stellar client service and we strive to continuously outperform ourselves and go above and beyond what is asked of us. Without divulging our secret sauce, I wanted to outline a few ways we continuously show excellent and world-class client service to our clients and partners.

  1. Brookline is relentless. We always go above and beyond and work hard to achieve and exceed our clients’ goals and expectations. We are never satisfied with decent results, we always want the best for our clients.
  2. Brookline is responsive. As a boutique agency, we pride ourselves for having out-of-the-box ideas with a customized approach to all our clients’ needs and expectations. This also means that Brookline is extremely responsive to our clients, partners and media/blogger contacts. We work under strict timelines and work hard to deliver great results no matter the deadline.
  3. Brookline is detail-oriented. The success of any campaign or project resides in the details. Here at Brookline, we take the time to dot the I’s and cross the T’s and make sure everything is as organized and precise as possible… and then we check all the details again.
  4. Brookline is a team player. Typically, Brookline works under a one-point-of-contact account structure. This model ensures the client has only one contact to communicate with – while behind the scenes, our account lead project manages all additional partners and vendors and team members to ensure the job gets done in the most effective manner. This model ensures there is no stone left unturned for any project or campaign.
  5. Brookline invests in stellar people. Finally, Brookline would not be successful today if it wasn’t for the talented team of experts working at the agency. We know we have the best clients, but we also know we have the best public relations practitioners. If you ask anyone at the agency, everyone will say the best thing about Brookline is the team!

 

As part of the senior team, Sophie’s strategic thinking and calculated public relations insight have helped effectively guide large brands to reach their goals and objectives. Sophie’s strengths lie in creating innovative and tailored strategic communications and media relations plans tailored for each client and their needs. Her creativity, coupled with a wealth of experience in sports, lifestyle, corporate, not-for-profit industries, has led to exceptional results and brand-elevating coverage.

Getting Back to Business – how to survive post-PR crisis

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

Lisa Libin, Vice President

Turn on the news these days and you will be inundated with PR crises. And while a crisis can be detrimental to a brand, there are also a number of companies who have used a crisis to come out stronger in the long run. Think Tylenol, Maple Leaf Foods, Lululemon. The common thread among these companies is that they used a crisis situation to create a long-term opportunity.

Looking at the bright side during a crisis situation may be inconceivable for many business leaders, but below are some key ways to not only move through a crisis but ideally, create a stronger business for the future.

  1. Reconnect with customers – A crisis is a great way to reconnect with customers you may not have been actively engaged with. Many companies tend to be complacent in terms of customer relations until a crisis occurs. Emailing with updates and other forms of ongoing communications helps to show the value a company puts on customers. It is also important to respond to tweets, emails, posts on an individual basis to demonstrate your commitment to the customer. And once the crisis subsides, why stop the communication? Now that the brand has reopened the doors for engagement, it is a great opportunity to keep that interaction going, keeping customers informed and loyal to your brand.

 

  1. Think Differently – while this was a common saying of former Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, these are strong words to live by as a business leader and communicator. Often when a crisis occurs it can be due to a process gap that has impacted the health or safety of the brand’s stakeholders – using this unfortunate incident as a way to relook at and rethink the way things have been done, the way employees have been trained, or the way the brand speaks to the public can present a great opportunity for business leaders to improve their brand both internally and externally.

 

  1. Build your reputation and credibility – a crisis is an opportunity for a company to build on its reputation and credibility. In many cases, customers are keen to understand that “sh*t happens” and can happen to anyone. What they aren’t keen to understand is when a company tries to hide the issue. By properly handling the situation through communication and most importantly, transparency, it presents the opportunity for the brand to retain trust with stakeholders and even leverage them as advocates for the company.

 

At the time of the crisis, it can seem like the sky is falling and there is no end in sight. However, the brands that come out shining are the ones who focus not only on the present issue, but also on the future.

 

Lisa Libin is Vice President at Brookline Public Relations. Lisa loves a good crisis (as long as it’s not a personal one!) and has vast experience in issues management and brand reputation issues, working with local and global communications teams to handle ongoing and current industry issues.