Be Less Stressed: 6 Organizational Strategies for PR Professionals

Project Management Time Tracking Public Relations

Working in PR means a never-ending to-do list (client research, social media management, editor desksides, staying on top of industry latest trends to start), not to mention a barrage of back-to-back meetings, client requests, and seemingly nonstop email/slack/text exchanges each day. So how do savvy PR and marketing professionals stay organized?

Here are some of my favorite, hard-earned tricks, tips and tools to keep you at the top of your game and more organized with your to-do list, your clients, and your schedule:

1. Make your to-do list mobile

Whether scribbled in a notebook, or a combination of email and appointments everyone has a preferred method of keeping a list of what needs to get done. A great way to ensure you’re priorities are top of mind is to choose an app that will keep your tasks at the ready, even when you are not at your desk. Get immediate access to anything you might need on your list right when and where you need it with an app like Todoist or Wunderlist with Gmail integration.

2. Conquer energy-giving tasks first

With your to-do list in hand, it’s time to get to work. Each day you’re faced with a list of tasks, and among them, a sense of each tasks priority or deadline. There are a ton of productivity methodologies out there – and many, like the popular “eat the frog,” or “worst first” concepts advocate selecting the item on your to-do list you dread and getting that out of the way first. It makes some sense, because once you’ve crossed off that task, the rest of the day is likely downhill. But I’m advocating a different approach; start your day with a task that lights you up and gives you an energy surge (instead of post-frog nausea). Once you’ve found your groove it’s much more likely that you’ll have the stomach (ha!) for the task further down on your list.

One caveat, of course, is to truly understand what tasks are a priority – immediate client issues, editor requests, and sample pulls are likely to take priority over Pinterest research!

3. Step away from email and embrace project management

Email is handy, but easily becomes unmanageable when work gets busy. Instead of dealing with multi-response threads and not having the right team members on a particular series of emails, not to mention a lack of clarity about who is owning what, move away from email and think like a project manager.

Start your day with a task that lights you up and gives you an energy surge…

These days, online-to-mobile accessible project management software enables client and agency teams to collaborate on various initiatives start to finish with integrated conversations, timelines, dashboards and tasks. If you’re an agency CEO or company owner, I’m partial to Asana, check out Teamwork and Basecamp. For individuals and teams, take a look at Trello. For many of us in the fashion & lifestyle space, the aesthetics of our organizational tools are just as important as our client’s new lookbook. Trello is a visual collaboration tool that organizes projects into boards and checklists so you can see what is being worked on and who is working on what.

4. Set up Systems and Automations

There are likely multiple tasks that you perform over and over – client onboarding, media tracking, invoicing – and without a clear process in place you’re basically scrambling each time to find all your previous documents, emails and spreadsheets and modify them to the project at hand. Using a project management system will help, but truly organized types swear by their systems. The next time you find yourself sitting down to do the same thing you did last week, stop and take the time to create a template and checklist that documents your approach. Not only will you be more efficient the next time around, but you can more easily handoff these type of projects to someone else who can simply follow your best practices (cue the confetti and the extra glass of rosé at lunch).

5. Batch pitch for better workday flow

If you’re pitching a different coast or international time zone, there’s no need to get up at 4 am in order to ensure your pitches are at the top of an editor’s inbox. Instead, set aside time to batch and then schedule pitches to send when you want them go out. An email application like Boomerang not only lets you schedule emails to be sent at certain times, but you can also better automate follow-ups with email reminders. Basically, the app will put the outreach as unread in your inbox at a time you designate, making it easy to quickly shoot over follow ups without having to take an extra step to review your tracking sheet, calendar reminders or task list.

6. Track Your Time

Oh where does the time go? Unstructured meetings, endless brainstorms and yes, long client lunches are all to blame for making it feel like the days are simply too short to get it all done. If you’re feeling like you never get time to actually sit at your desk and do the work, it’s time to get vigilant about tracking and analyzing your time.

Timing apps like Focus Booster or Be Focused both use a time-blocking method to split your day into chunks of time with breaks in between.  Toggl will track the time you spend on projects, pitches, releases and status calls with categories and names for each entry. You might be afraid to look at RescueTime, the app that tracks how much time you’re spending in Gmail, Facebook and Poshmark, but you should.

There’s nothing quite like the rush and pace of PR, but we’re working with two hands, one brain and finite patience to keep everything turning. With these tools and tips for staying organized and getting the job done right, the first time, you can start to GSD (get sh*t done) in a way that will leave your coworkers and clients wondering how you did it.

In case you’re more of a scroller than a reader, here’s the 101:

  1. Have your to-do list follow you around with ToDoist or Wunderlist
  2. Email is out. Project Management is in. Asana. Basecamp. Slack. PS: Trello might change your life
  3. Work on what you love, first
  4. Create systems for recurring tasks
  5. Batch pitching and follow ups with an app like Boomerang
  6. Identify time sucks with Be Focused. Focus Booster. Toggl. RescueTime

Twitter Verification for All, Self-Esteem Branding & Keeping up with Audrey Cooper

Fashion PR Fridays Image 3

Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News

…for the week of July 18, 2016

  • The little blue check mark goes public. Anyone can now apply to verify their Twitter – a major perk for influencers of all genres (via The Verge)
  • One minute you’re InStyle, the next you’re out (via The New York Post)
  • Forget Keeping Up with the Kardashians, we’re more interested in keeping up with Audrey Cooper (via The Cut)
  • A little inspiration for your next earned media campaign (via Business 2 Community)
  • A shift in fashion shows is on the horizon. Susie Lau aka Susie Bubble shares her thoughts on the future of runways in this interview (via Vogue)
  • Vacation isn’t just good for the memories (and inspiring FOMO), it’s proving to be good for your wellbeing (via PR Daily)
  • Lean in is getting a re-think (via WSJ)

 

5 Reasons I Quit Freelance PR and Took The Job

Should you quit your freelance PR career?

A little over one year ago, I made the decision to leave my freelance hustle and accept a job offer. I started freelancing because I wasn’t happy with any agency I had worked for. Being underpaid, overworked and having limited responsibilities were my biggest pain points. Then, after building a successful client base as a freelancer, something interesting happened; companies started reaching out to me with (great) job offers. Here are the five reasons why I decided to quit the freelance life:

1. I wanted to expand my areas of expertise

An opportunity that was in a vertical I’d never worked in came calling. Why did they want someone with no experience in their industry you might ask? The team was looking for someone with luxury lifestyle experience to bring to their historically archaic industry. I value the idea of continuing to learn, and appreciated that this position was not only in a different vertical, it gave me the opportunity to collaborate with another employee on email campaigns, the direction of the website and all marketing materials.

2. I was looking for a credibility boost 

As a PR professional with only two years of experience, I found it a challenge to convince prospective clients that I was capable of managing their account. The role I accepted offered me complete ownership and control of the company’s social media and public relations efforts. This position was a great boost to my resume, proving that I could handle the executive-level responsibility. I worked with a six-figure marketing budget, ran my work day and reported directly to the CEO.

3. I got those, Good Team Vibes

The team understood and loved that I was entrepreneurial, young and hungry. When I interviewed at this company and met everyone, I felt that this was truly a team I would work well with, and also enjoy socializing with after work.

4. Consistent Pay and Cheaper Health Insurance

As a freelancer, there were weeks where I made no money, and weeks when I felt I was killing it. The ups and downs of freelance work meant that I wasn’t saving at all, much less for retirement. The idea of earning a consistent paycheck with a bonus structure was incredibly appealing, not to mention quality health coverage.

5. The ability to turn off from work

You eat what you kill as a freelancer and it’s a nonstop hustle. I found it impossible to turn off work and simply enjoy myself. I would be at the club pitching people at the table about why they should hire me. I would attend networking events almost every night to keep my prospective client funnel full. With a regular 9 to 5 job, it’s easier to move away from work concerns during the evening. A full-time job also helped me with boundaries – responding to late night or weekend emails wasn’t expected – which was something I had always done as a freelancer. After months of always being on, being able to put a period on my work day was a major perk.

When I reentered the 9 to 5 grind, I didn’t forget why I left. Instead, I told myself, “if you find the culture turning into the culture that you left, don’t be afraid to voice your concerns.” I already knew that I could make it on my own, so what did I have to lose?

About Sabrina Wottreng

Sabrina Wottreng is a Chicago-based publicist. Whether her clients are looking to learn how to be their own publicist or are in need of a PR arm for their company, Sabrina Wottreng Public Relations has products and services for their needs. In her spare time, Sabrina takes classes at The Second City and can be found riding her Ducati Monster.

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PR Agency News: Kenwerks Acquired, New Clients for BPMPR & Beach House PR

Fashion PR Industry News

International public relations agency Steinreich Communications Group, Inc., has acquired Kenwerks, a leading fashion public relations and marketing firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles, headed by Kenneth Loo. All Kenwerks employees will be retained and will move into Steinreich offices on both coasts. The acquisition is Steinreich’s third in the last year.

Beautiful Planning Marketing & PR, announces the addition of TomboyX to its roster. TomboyX provides underwear that any girl, any woman or any person can feel comfortable in, regardless of where they fall on the size or gender spectrum.

Beach House announces its representation of Stevie’s SisterMia Marcelle Swimwear and Mini & Maximus for PR, Social Media and Influencer Marketing, as well as representation of Trufora Skincare for Social Media Marketing.

Caitlin Davis, formerly a Senior Account Executive at Beach House, has been promoted to Director of PR while former intern Jordyn Liburdi has been promoted to Influencer Marketing Assistant. Finally, Melissa Garcia has been hired as an Account Assistant.

Send your PR agency news to hello@prcouture.com

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Position:  PR Manager
Company: Couture Public Relations
Location: Beverly Hills, CA
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2 Big Influencer Marketing Concerns (& How to Handle Them)

what keeps influencer marketers up at night

Influencer campaigns aren’t new; the strategy relies on the same idea marketers have been using for years –  find the target consumer’s cool kid (aka “The Influencer”), have them promote and engage with a brand, and reap the rewards of their implied endorsement. At the core, influencer relations is no different from traditional public relations or experiential campaigns that utilize third-party credibility.

Similarly, the influencer is not a new idea nor only the territory of digital marketing. An influencer can be a celebrity or a respected editor of course, but equally the chairman of the school board, the most outspoken mommy in the group, or a social leader among a certain friend group. What has changed are the digital communication channels that allow these people to both increase their reach and monetize their influence.

However, like all great things that catch on with speed, there comes the inevitable drop in attraction and questions of validity that follow. Influencer marketing has been a favorite buzz tactic of late, with budgets increasing and increased scrutiny from all industries.

Have we reached influencer marketing burnout? Quite the contrary — instead, it has become a necessary item in the marketing mix. What has changed is that both practitioners and brands are recognizing that doing it well is easier said than done. To that end, there are two major considerations facing those of us incorporating influencer collaborations into our strategy: establishing ROI and determining appropriate pricing.

1. The ROI of Influencer Outreach

With bigger budgets being dedicated to influencer marketing (and bigger asks coming in from advertisers themselves), there in increasing pressure to be explicit about the ROI for this types of campaign. Platform limitations and complex analytics can be a challenge. Often, it’s more about client education than a new tool or dashboard. For example, we recently purchased tickets to a show based on a social post an influencer had published. We didn’t use the tracking code or comment on the post – but we did purchase. Who tracked that ROI?

Marketer Gary Vaynerchuk recently posted a video on this topic, which we include among the greatest rebuttals to the ROI debate we’ve heard. “What’s the ROI of a $10 million commercial?” Truth be told, even with all the tricks and tools available today, it is really difficult to determine the true impact of a social collaboration. Further, the more public relations professionals input traceable tactics like contesting, discount codes and unique links, the more we tread into the space of advertising, diluting the power of what authentic influencer endorsements can do for a brand.

We recently purchased tickets to a show based on a social post an influencer had published. We didn’t use the tracking code or comment on the post – but we did purchase. Who saw that ROI?

2. Appropriate Influencer Collaboration Budgets

As for pricing, we are all trying to figure out the appropriate threshold. There is no accurate calculator based on followership, and there are serious concerns about fraudulent inflation of influence. There are micro-influencers with niche followings who can have an incredible impact, and big names that may create a high-quality collaboration, but not drive conversions or sales. Some influencers are just more in demand at any given time, that “it factor,” so their fees are higher. It is simply a matter of supply and demand.

We like to approach conversations on pricing based on related marketing activities. What would it cost a brand to stage a shot with a photographer, creative director, and stylist and then pay for ad placement? Influencer collaborations should be a cost-effective choice in comparison while still respecting the time and creative output that comes along with producing brand content.

A campaign has to communicate the right message to the right audience in an authentic and actionable manner. Nothing is 100% traceable per campaign, so metrics like, long-term sales growth, new opportunities, changes in attitude/awareness, may be a more accurate view of success.

About Jess Hunichen and Emily Ward

Jess Hunichen and Emily Ward are the founders of Shine Influencers, a Toronto-based talent management agency for social creators that works with brands and agencies to create impactful social collaborations.

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Company: Couture Public Relations
Location: Beverly Hills, CA
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What to do Right Now to Land More Holiday Gift Guide Press Coverage

Holiday Gift Guides Fashion Magazine Gift Publicity

For some brands, holiday gift guides are the be-all and end-all of press placements; the right product in the right magazine can lead to an influx of sales for as well incredible exposure and brand awareness. The key to a successful holiday placement lies in timing – you need to ensure your client’s products are first in line for editor review – and that means pitching early and pitching smart. Here’s what you need to know:

Step 1: Define the Most Giftable Items from a Collection

First up you need to hone in on a few key products that work well as gifts. Not everything fits the criteria of “gift-y” – i.e. most skincare (so hard to know what a person’s skincare needs are and buying mom wrinkle serum can give off the wrong message). Evaluate your client’s entire line and choose a few items to pitch heavily for gift guides. You’re looking for affordable price points, items that come in great packaging, holiday-themed colors, product sets, accessories and luxe home décor items. Items with a “feel-good” story always do remarkably well, so if you have a red cashmere scarf for under $75 that includes a charitable give-back component – you’re golden.

Steer away from items that are more “necessities” than indulgences, super expensive items (unless you’re pitching a luxury pub), anything too complicated to explain, or pieces that just don’t photograph very well on a page, like products with more muted colors.

Step 2: Pitch According to Gifting Group

As you are researching publications for gift-guides passed, you’ll notice that often, editors group together collections based on their intended recipient. So, you’ll find gift guides based on a person’s style, their age, and their relationship to the gift-giver. As you write up your pitch, consider which category is a fit for the giftable items you have identified. A fashion tech accessory might be the perfect fit for a “Work BFF” themed-guide, whereas a set of gorgeous rose gold stackable rings is the perfect stocking stuffer for a “Trendsetting Teen.”

Thinking like an editor, and pitching against common gift-guide groupings can go a long way toward making it easy for editors to easily see how your products fit their needs.

samplegiftguide

Step 3. Pitch multiple items at once

Editors are sifting through hundreds of gift guide pitches from publicists and brands looking a handful of coveted spots. Make it easier for editors by pitching them a lot of items at once in an extremely organized list, boosted by clear, quality images.

In addition to your email content, embed or link to a gift guide “one-sheet” or visual collage with all of your clients’ gift offerings. Include the necessary information an editor needs, including brand, price, purchase information and a quick description about what makes it especially gift-y.

Step 4:  Pitch Editors in Person

Another smart strategy is to press pause on your normal email pitching and bring the giftables directly to key editors by hosting a “Holiday in July” style editor preview, or a”Holiday Gift Guide Deskside Quickies.” Each summer I partner with a few fellow publicists and we promise editors 8-10 great gift options in 15 minutes – and we bring candy! Getting some face time with editors is great for us, and the ability to quickly choose from a bevy of great gift options is a real time-saver for harried editors.

Step 5: Pitch on time

If you’re planning to send out holiday pitches in September because that’s when editors are still working on their regular fashion/beauty stories for December issues, you need to rethink your strategy. Editors start sourcing gift guide items way in advance – usually right after 4th of July! Even if you find a magazine who closes their gift guide later, it can’t hurt to get on their radar well in advance, so pitch early.

With prior planning, insight on how each outlet structures their gift guide, and great products, you can greatly increase your chances at securing these prime gift guide placements. Pitch away – and happy holidays (in July)!

Social Media Dream Jobs, Fashion Tech in India & LinkedIn Pulse

Fashion PR Fridays Image 3

Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News

…for the week of July 11, 2016

  • This #bosslady takes female community to a whole new level with her global media empire  (via Inc.)
  • Most PR Girls know that social media can lead to a dream job – here’s more proof (via Racked)
  • Toronto Fashion Week is cancelled – indefinitely. Learn why the major Canadian fashion event decided to pull the plug (via Edmonton Journal)
  • So that is what that job description really means…  (via Conductor Spotlight)
  • Sometimes, the best option is to hang up your Rockstuds and strap on a Nudist. Stuart Weitzman has a new CEO (via Luxury Daily)
  • 9 things to consider when taking the plunge into being a business owner (via Create & Cultivate)
  • The ultimate product placement – as told by Taylor Swift and friends on 4th of July weekend (via Fashionista)

5 Tips for Cutting Costs During an Unpaid Internship

Fashion PR PR Intern Unpaid Intern

In the fashion & lifestyle industries, unpaid internships are a bit of a necessary evil when it comes to gaining real-world experience in your chosen field. However, working without a paycheck isn’t without its challenges.  As someone who has volunteered for more fashion weeks than she has completed semesters, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to save money while building relationships and making the most of all the great opportunities out there for an aspiring PR professional.

1. Negotiate Different Forms of Compensation

You may not be receiving weekly compensation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a complete lack of monetary support. Many companies are willing to pay for or provide lunch and reimburse for travel expenses and you should absolutely discuss how you can take advantage of existing benefits the company already offered to employees (i.e. paid lunches, subway tickets, etc.) as an intern.

2. Get a Part-time Job

Okay, let’s be real here. There are plenty of other things you would be rather doing with your small amounts of free time, but getting a part time job will help to alleviate the few days a week that you’re spending getting to know your dream career.

You can search for something related to your ideal field, like fashion retail, or find flexible work where the tips or standard wage might be a bit higher – like waitressing, nannying or deliveries. Having a few extra bucks in your wallet for an afternoon pick-me-up at Starbucks can only help when you’re working two jobs and working on your degree. Don’t worry – it will all be worth it in the end.

If you need a certain amount of hours at the office for your internship, ask to narrow it down a few full-time days rather than a few hours here and there. This helps cut down on travel-related expenses and opens up your availability to take on paid work.

3. Clean Out Your Closet

While not related to your career as such, it’s amazing how much extra cash you can find in your own closet. I closet purged last year and made $120 in just one week from getting rid of unworn clothes and accessories. Whether you are a Marie Kondo  convert or just someone who can’t pass up a good sale, it is always a good idea to cleanse your closet of things that no longer fit or that hold no sentimental value. You can bring your haul to a consignment store, cash/trade operation like Buffalo Exchange, or post them online on sites like eBay, Poshmark or Thredup.

4. Pack Your Own Lunch

In New York, a chopped salad can often cost more than your train ticket. Planning your lunches will help you to make healthier choices instead of getting Chipotle every day because it’s convenient to your office and packing your own lunch will easily save you anywhere from $5-$15 a day.

5. Walk it Off

Walking is good for your mind, body and wallet! If you don’t have to pay for a $12 Uber or hop on 3 different subways, why would you? The best form of transportation is your own two feet! So many professionals commute to and from work by walking, they wear sneakers and change into their dress shoes upon arriving to the office. If you can plan your time wisely, choosing to do something like parking at the less expensive parking garage a few blocks away really can make a difference.

Being conscious of your cash flow during an unpaid internship is important, and so is knowing that your internship is an irreplaceable experience. Properly budgeting can help to alleviate stress during the duration of your internship so that you can show up excited and committed to making the most of the opportunity.

About Nicole Biscardi

Nicole  is an emerging fashion communications professional who has completed fashion internships for Harper’s Bazaar and Caravan Stylist Studio. This motivated New Yorker has attended Fashion PR Confidential and is a graduate of the PR Couture PRISM Course. She loves to express herself through fashion and is currently pursuing a blog and her next professional opportunity.

 

3 Reasons to Rethink Your Relationship with Tracking Time

Time Tracking Timer Apps Public Relations

Time sucker, task stalker, that little timer sitting in the corner of your desktop that you constantly forget to turn on until you’re 40 minutes into a certain task…how do you refer to your time tracker? If you ask most PR professionals, they’ll tell you that tracking time (i.e. marking and assigning your day into 15 or 30-minute increments in order to keep track of hours spent against client retainer dollars) is one of the most laborious and irritating of all agency admin tasks.

However, whether you are running your own PR agency, a freelancer or an employee, it is possible to feel differently – and even become a champion of – the value of time tracking for both you and your clients. After all, it’s crucial to be able to both quantify your time in order to ensure that current budgets are keeping efforts profitable (and that clients understand what you are doing on their behalf each day!).

The truth is, as a freelancer, I would be terribly lost without my timesheets.

1. Time Tracking Makes Invoicing and Reporting Easier (Which Means Getting Paid Faster)

By having a running log of all your efforts from any given month, providing clients with a record of efforts made on their behalf becomes a cinch. Even more so, if you are an independent contractor operating on an hourly rate, your time tracking becomes an instant invoice. Whether you choose a simple time tracker app or something like Harvest, which integrates with software like Freshbooks, a time tracker is a time saver when it comes time to getting paid.

2. Time Tracking Helps You Build a More Realistic Budget (Which Means Getting Paid More)

We all want to work with clients that we love, and especially in fashion & lifestyle PR, this can mean a bit of flexibility and compromise on budget. However, if you are repeatedly underselling and over-working, time tracking will reveal exactly what your hourly rate looks like at the end of the month. You may be surprised to note that your actual time spent is way above what was budgeted for.

This awareness allows you to negotiate for higher retainers, as well as gives you a handle on what you should be realistically charging when new clients come a knocking.

3. Time Tracking Makes You More Efficient (Which Means Better Results)

Time tracking doesn’t have to revolve around money, it can also help you visually see where your time is going during a work day. I use Toggl to track every project and task, even on monthly retainer work. I like to have something to look back at to see how I spent the work week as well as knowing I have a backup when evaluating and reporting results back to clients.

It’s easy to spend the day moving in and out of different client priorities, as well as getting sucked into the rabbit hole of research, or the robotics of pitching against your media list. By tracking your time, you’ll quickly find out if you’re spending too much time brainstorming or not enough on follow-up. When you have a clear sense of where your time is going, you can adjust your efforts according to client priorities and budget.

As PR pros, each and every day on the job is different—and it’s one of the many reasons why we love what we do! And, in order to run successful, profitable businesses, it’s crucial that everyone – from CEO to Intern – track their time. With so many great programs to help automate this effort, there’s no need to feel like this is just another thing to add to your endless to-do list. Instead, look at time-tracking as an essential part of demonstrating your value and ensuring your best work.

PR Agency News: Beach House NYC, LER PR, Liquid Communications

PR Agency LER PR Beach House PR NYC PR

Much & House Public Relations, a full-service boutique agency founded by Elizabeth Much and Sharon House is now East 2 West Collective.

L.E.R. PR announces representation of New York-based luxury menswear label Rideau.

LINEAPELLE NEW YORK will take place July 19/20. Registration is open.

Beach House announces the launch of their NYC office with Jordan Landes-Brenman, formerly Director of PR & Digital Strategy at Beach House’s West Coast Office, named Director of PR & Business Development at Beach House NYC.  The agency also announces its representation of Germany-based skincare brand BABOR for PR & Social Media in North America.

Canada’s lifestyle public relations agency Liquid Communications, continues to grow their client roster, as agency of record for Paris-based datingapp Happn.

How to Make the Most of Your First 90 Days in a New PR Job

Lifestyle PR, Entry Level, Employment Tips Public Relations

Part of being successful in the PR industry is building and maintaining quality and solid industry relationships, and this starts with demonstrating your value and building rapport among your coworkers. Because it’s normal for practitioners to move from agency to agency, particularly in niche verticals like fashion, beauty and lifestyle, being able to quickly immerse yourself into a new agency or brand culture is crucial; and there is no time quite like the first 3 months or so of a new position to set you up for success among your your boss and your peers.

Here are the top five things to keep in mind during your first few months at a new position.

1. Get to Know Your Team

Being able to integrate with the existing team in the first few weeks reinforces to your employer that you’re compatible with the other employees.  Taking the time to really get to know your coworkers will establish a strong foundation and sense of teamwork immediately, which will improve communication and collaboration down the line. Make it a point to build one-on-one rapport with everyone in the office; get to know their work or management style, key responsibilities, previous work experience, and hobbies. Your co-workers will be more open to sharing the inside scoop, tips, and tricks on succeeding at the job if they feel a connection with you, and you’ll feel at home at your new desk more quickly.

If you are coming in as a manager, it’s especially important to take the time to get to know the lay of the land, current attitudes, and expectations of your team.

2. Ask for feedback

The first 90 days are a magical window where you are adjusting, learning and able to make (at least a few) mistakes. While you are learning the ropes,  make it a point to ask questions and seeking out feedback. If your work has corrections made to it, see this as an opportunity to further hone your skills and ask for specific guidance so that you don’t make the same mistake twice. Asking for feedback also shows that you are invested in the business and in becoming the best employee possible.

3. Take Initiative

As a brand new employee, you have a fresh perspective on everything, which is highly valuable. If you see an opportunity to improve a process, bring in a new client or recommend a better tool or service, say something. Similarly, channel your enthusiasm for your new job into exceeding expectations; go above and beyond what you’ve been told to do. This doesn’t mean saying yes to every project or taking on extra work, but it does mean doing everything you can to ensure your tasks are completed at the highest quality possible. Taking initiative can be anything from updating a media list, writing pitches for the pipeline, or creating shot lists for images you may need down the line. Being ahead of the game, while continuing to kill it on the work you’re being given, is a great way to integrate yourself quickly into a new company, and position yourself for a promotion down the line.

4. Identify and Offer up Your Niche Skill

In the first week, you should figure out what everyone on your team is good at and what skills are needed to fill the void. If you have experience in this area, offer up yourself as a resource. If not, put together a professional development plan in your off time and fill that gap with new knowledge.  By becoming the go-to for a particular perspective or technical capability, you help differentiate yourself and define a clear value within the company structure.

5. Help to Drive Revenue

If you really want to make a positive impression in your first few months in a new position, figure out how to make your company more profitable. For PR agency professionals, this is often by bringing in new clients leads to the office. When new clients sign that retainer, you’ve added a clear, financial benefit to your presence. The best way to find new clients is to research businesses whose brands are similar to other types of businesses your firm represents and use your network and communication skills to put your agency on their radar.

If you are able to accomplish these 5 tasks within the first 90 days of your new position, you’ll be an invaluable asset to the company and will find yourself quickly rising through the ranks.

PS: In order to shine in your first 90 days, you first need to land the job! Grab your free copy of the PR Couture Ace Your Interview Guide  and turn your next opportunity into an offer letter!