Starting a new job can be intimidating for anyone. For me, it was challenging as I undertook the position of intern at Communiqué PR because I had never worked in the public relations industry before. I took a leap of faith after taking one communications class on public relations and decided to apply to Communiqué PR as an intern this past fall. In my short time at Communiqué PR, I have been lucky to work with some of the most dedicated and hardworking coworkers I’ve encountered. Their energy is contagious, and I’m constantly inspired to work harder.
Reflecting on these past few months, I have seen my coworkers embrace five characteristics that I believe have played a role in their success—being flexible, intentional, detail-oriented, proactive and positive. Public relations is an ever-changing industry that is difficult to navigate, but I’ve seen my coworkers at Communiqué PR embody these qualities and they’ve served as a constant guide through my transition.
The first quality my coworkers exemplify at work is flexibility. Being a team member means that you can adjust to short-term changes quickly and effectively. The culture at an agency, like Communiqué PR, allows you to embrace flexibility with your team in order to adapt to your client’s needs in a timely manner. Clients can change their plans and situations arise where a deadline is switched to an earlier time or a completely new project must be finished in a time crunch. For example, on a day with several deadlines, I was tasked with completing a press list with a quick turnaround. Originally, I planned to write a blog post, but because of the urgency of the project, I pushed the blog post aside and focused on the press list. Being able to rearrange projects based on their importance is a skill that is invaluable.
“Be thoughtful and intentional with your questions.” This was one of the best and most memorable words of advice I received during onboarding that relates to the second characteristic, being intentional. In the workforce, everyone is busy, which means being respectful of the team’s time is part of the job. Being intentional with your questions will reduce the amount of time required of your coworkers and allow them to spend more energy addressing your questions. This can apply to any job and is important because everyone has their own to-do list. Being intentional makes conversations more efficient and demonstrates respect for everyone’s time. Planning out your day right when you get to the office helps you gauge if you have room for helping other projects and being purposeful with each conversation surrounding work.
Another thoughtful tip I got during onboarding was to always carry around a notebook and pen. Being detail-oriented in the workforce enables effective management of the assortment of tasks thrown at you in any given day. Having up to three meetings a day and a multitude of short conversations can leave you making forgetful mistakes that can be easily avoided by carrying around a notebook and taking thorough notes. Along with being vigilant about your conversations, it is important to be attentive to detail. Always double check your work before sending it to a client or coworker. Being meticulous shows the recipient of your work that you are taking the project seriously and respecting their time.
In an industry like public relations, there is no rhythm to your workday. Some days can fly by like a blink of an eye while other days go at a snail’s pace. A true distinguishing characteristic is how you respond to the slow days, which should consist of being proactive. When my coworkers know they are going to have a slow day they mention it in our daily morning meetings, allowing for the team to lean on them if they have a busy day ahead. This lessens wasted time and increases the efficiency of the team. Getting ahead in simple tasks, such as brainstorming a blog post two weeks early or organizing your email, is another helpful way to stay on track before the momentum picks up.
Lastly is the importance of being positive. Being an amateur intern was a daunting experience for me but being surrounded by team members who lift me up and offer advice has provided a beneficial and rewarding experience. Having a positive mindset during my three months at Communiqué PR has allowed for me to fully absorb the helpful comments and observations made by my coworkers. Public relations can be hard for individuals who expect constant praise. To succeed, you must handle feedback and reflect on it as an opportunity to grow. My coworkers put 110 percent into each press release and pitch, seeking feedback from a variety of team members to ensure they are delivering a high-quality product. This mindset creates a drive to constantly produce quality work, even if it requires tough feedback.
Throughout my short time at Communiqué PR, I have learned to look to my coworkers as role models in the public relations industry. There is an abundance of knowledge that can transpire, from observing your coworkers, learning from their habits, and always being open to receiving advice. Whether you are starting an internship next month or have been working at the same agency for years, appreciating coworkers can change your perspective and allow you to grow into a stronger public relations professional.Tags: leadership