…a blog series by Anthony Cogswell
I’ve had a lot thrown on my plate during the course of my first two weeks at The Fearey Group. From assembling media lists, to conducting research and tracking media coverage, to drafting press kit materials, I have been busy. But this “sink or swim” brand of on the job training is a perfect way to learn.
After two weeks, I now know that even with excellent planning, projects can change on a dime. I learned little things like how much coffee is too much coffee and that the term “deck” is sometimes used in reference to a PowerPoint presentation or pitch. Probably the most important lesson I’ve taken away so far is the importance of collaboration.
So far, I’ve been invited to meetings of every kind; creative brainstorming meetings, project briefings and debriefings, and lunch meetings with advertising account executives. I’ve noticed that people here are always communicating with one another. Whether it’s through endless e-mail conversations or stopping by the office two doors down, people here are always talking.
This may seem commonplace to most, but it runs contrary to the picture that has often been painted for me about this industry. I am pleasantly surprised by how much interaction actually goes into public relations. In order for innovation and creativity to take place, people need to get feedback and outside opinions that help refine and develop an idea.
I’m particularly impressed with the creative brainstorming sessions that we’ve done. Everyone – from the president of the agency, down to me – sits in the conference room and shouts out ideas for a campaign. The process is loud and unorganized, but it allows people to use each other’s ideas as inspiration and “piggyback” new suggestions. The term “fearless thinking” comes to mind. When ideas start to become increasingly outlandish, the meetings are typically adjourned and the best plan is selected.
Experiencing things like this makes me realize how important unapologetic creativity is. Without fear of judgment or egos getting involved, people come up with some pretty incredible ideas.
PR is about creating and maintaining connections between an organization and its public. This focus on building relationships and connecting with people can also be seen in the way PR professionals work with one another. If you can’t clearly explain a project to team members, it’s very unlikely that you would be able to reach anyone in your target audience. An environment of open and constant communication allows us to develop ideas, collaborate and ultimately produce better results.