Like many of you, I have had some great PR jobs, and some really terrible ones. Looking back, the career opportunities that drove me to perform at my best, demonstrate incredible loyalty to a company (like, willing to work for less even, just because I loved it so much) and become an advocate for that company (name-dropping on panels, helping to recruit new talent) all come down to two things: the quality of the leadership and opportunities for recognition.
My experience is consistent with the research. The Aon Hewitt, 2012 Trends in Global Employee Engagement study found that career opportunities, recognition, and organization reputation are consistently top engagement drivers. A Gallup poll conducted in 2016 found that it’s not uncommon for employees to feel that their best efforts are routinely ignored. And that experience increases turnover. Employees who do not feel adequately recognized are twice as likely to say they’ll quit in the next year.
Just like the marketing adage that its easier to keep a customer than go out and get a new one, it’s is often much better for business to keep a great employee than to have to scramble to fill an unexpected opening. Constantly hiring replacements is costly and keeps us all from being able to focus and complete the work in front of us. And yet the Aberdeen Group found that only 14% of organizations provide managers with the necessary tools for rewards and recognition.
So let me make it easy on you.
Recognition can happen through small, yet meaningful acts – giving credit where credit is due in a meeting, a Zappos gift card as thanks for a particularly harrowing networking event (I still smile when I think of that one), a hand-written thank you note. But those small acts are also a bit small time; a bigger means to truly celebrate your team, one with lifetime career value, is through industry awards.
As BCA Judge Dara Elliott put it so eloquently, “We work so hard dreaming up incredible campaigns and bringing them to life. Oftentimes we’re moving so fast, we forget to step back and appreciate not only what we’ve built, but how far we’ve come as an industry!”
46% of senior managers view recognition programs as an investment rather than an expense, and we agree. But we also know a good deal when we see one.
I’d love for PR Couture to be a part of how you differentiate yourself from the rest, attract bigger and better opportunities and ensure long-term loyalty from employees and partners.
To celebrate the incredible minds that are part of your organization, consider applying for one of the following awards:
- Agency of the Year or Startup Agency of the Year
- Best Digital/Social Team
- The Bloom Award – Top Communicator of the Year
- The Blush Award – Emerging Communicator of the Year
Hello my lovely PR Couture reader,
I'm not sure if you noticed, but this week we went dark on the blog for the first time in TEN YEARS. As in, no posts published, at all.
While the decision was necessary for the team to gear up for some BIG announcements coming your way in the next few weeks, it gave me one of those "holy shit" moments.
As in, holy shit: I have been publishing articles on PR Couture, often five days a week, for TEN YEARS.
In December 2006 I spent a weekend teaching myself the basics of WordPress, enlisted a friend to help with a logo and published my first blog post.
It used to be that most of you knew our origin story. It used to be that my own name was synonymous with PR Couture.
So, please indulge me a bit as I take this opportunity to quickly share a bit about where we've been, where we are, and where we are headed.
PR Couture 2006-2016
I discovered public relations in graduate school and was immediately drawn to the intersection of business strategy, writing and creativity required. After combining this newfound discovery with a copywriting job that had quickly turned into running a PR and marketing department (along with a lifelong love of clothing and fashion), I wrote the very first academic thesis on the subject of fashion public relations.
After graduating, I started PR Couture as a means to both share what I had learned and as a platform to learn more.
Back then, fashion blogging was just getting started, most PR agencies had nothing more than a phone number on a splash page (if you were lucky). There was no Instagram (gasp!), there wasn't even Twitter. The whole Girl Boss/Boss Babe/Digital Entrepreneur "build your brand online" thing was years away.
As that all changed, my own career grew alongside PR Couture for years in a sort of symbiosis. PR Couture became the oh so necessary creative outlet for a girl who hadn't quite figured out that she was a Boss at heart.
PR Couture became the oh so necessary creative outlet for a girl who hadn't quite figured out that she was a Boss at heart.
In 2013, PR Couture + consulting became my full-time gig. In 2016 I launched our most comprehensive redesign to-date, added two amazing women to help me out, taught two sections of JMS-0496 Fashion Public Relations at San Diego State University, one Fashion PR Confidential workshop in NYC and two live PRISM courses online (surrounded by palm trees in my San Diego backyard - heaven!). Oh, and had a baby. It was kind of a big year.
My goal has always been for PR Couture to be a shared platform and brand that facilitates community and a sense belonging that can be sorely lacking in our industry. I am proud that we focus on subjects relevant to those of us just starting out in the industry, like our Getting IN series, as well as those of us with several years of experience, like our PR Girls We Love series.
Today, PR Couture has evolved from a blog into your go-to industry sourcebook, and we are just getting started.
Before we head into a year's worth of anniversary celebrations, however, I invite you to join me in not simply reflecting on the evolution above, but on your own growth in the last decade. It's been amazing to participate alongside you as digital communications has altered our industry so significantly. How lucky we are to live in a time where incredible connections can be facilitated with the swipe of a finger, where an idea and an online presence can be the start of something huge.
I've been re-watching a lot of Parks & Rec lately. In addition to wishing Leslie Knope was my best friend (or business partner!), one quote from the show sticks out:
None of us achieves anything alone.
So thank you.
You keep me inspired, motivated and you help me to support my family. That is some serious stuff, kitten. More than myself however, you have indirectly helped your fellow readers find dream jobs, connected agencies with clients who are perfect for one another, helped women launch freelance careers, and so many others experience life-changing moments, friendships and opportunities.
Yup, you did that.
So thank you, thank you for being a part of my team.
PS: If you have a PR Couture-related memory I'd love to hear it! Email me using the envelope link in my bio below, or share on social media with the hashtag PRCx10
Securing charity partnerships for brands opens up fosters goodwill and has the added benefit of providing a unique story angle that can lead media outreach. As you begin planning for next year, consider if a cause marketing approach should be part of your communication strategy and if yes, follow these steps to begin to explore opportunities.
Plan Charitable Partnerships Early
Developing a relationship with a non-profit takes time, so start by identifying the cause you’d like to align your brand with, how you would like to partner and when. Popular options for fashion and lifestyle brands include Breast Cancer Awareness month in April, and American Heart Month in February. Keep in mind that you not only need to have the specifics of your cause-based endeavor squared away to have time to effectively develop and promote the event or specific product but if you plan to secure any print media mentions, you’ll also need to factor in those deadlines. For a breast cancer tie-in, for example, editors generally begin sourcing products in June and July.
Don’t just partner with any charity
When evaluating different charitable opportunities, make sure there is an obvious connection between the brand and the non-profit. For example, if you work with a beauty line that doesn’t use natural ingredients or sustainable production methods, an environmental charity might raise a few eyebrows and lead to more crisis management than cause marketing. On the other hand, if the founder of said beauty brand has an inspiring story as a woman in business, then an organization that offers grants to female-owned companies makes total sense.
The most successful partnerships are the ones where the brand truly believes in the cause of the charity, whether from personal experience or because it reflects brand values. Make sure you and your brand are well-versed in the concepts of pink-washing and greenwashing to avoid negative press.
Vet potential non-profit organizations
Make sure that the charity you are working with is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and actually gives back to where it says it does. Some great resources include Charity Navigator (which does in-depth analysis of charities and their allocation of money) as well as GuideStar or Charity Watch. Kayla Logan, Owner of Kayla Logan PR suggests that “when meeting with different organizations, ask to meet in their headquarters so that you get a feel for operations and always ask for examples of previous partnerships before agreeing to anything.”
Think beyond the “Percentage of Product” idea
Encourage your client to agree to something a bit more creative than the standard 10% of proceeds will be donated (this will go further toward media coverage as well).
When evaluating different charitable opportunities, make sure there is an obvious connection between the brand and the non-profit.
Maria Todaro, Territorial Corporate Relations Manager at The Salvation Army says, “when you are working to develop a meaningful campaign, think about how you can deepen relationships with customers, boost employee retention through engagement opportunities, and create a positive social impact story you can share and be proud of. These are some of the key components of a successful and sustainable cause marketing partnership.”
Discuss promotional language ahead of time
Draft a partnership agreement that outlines all of these specifics of the activation. This will help manage expectations and protect both parties. You’ll want to include some language around approvals for logo and name use. Pay special attention to language use; some give free reign while others are very specific on the terminology that can be used. To avoid headaches down the line discuss language specifics, disclosure, and any confidentiality requirements, before reaching out to the media or speaking publically about the relationship.
While it’s understandable that smaller brands cannot donate a large percentage of sales to charity, if the amount you’re giving is so small that it hardly benefits the charity it can appear to be self-serving. You don’t need to give away all of your profits, but make sure it’s enough to truly impact the nonprofit. Think beyond money as well and consider what expertise or services you might be able to provide.
Kayla often offers her own PR and social media expertise to smaller non-profits who struggle in this area. “Many charities don’t have a strong dedicated PR or marketing team to develop eye-catching creative or social media campaigns. As part of the partnership, I will develop social media templates and extend introductions to my own network to help them succeed beyond the specific client event.”
Charitable giving can boost brand perception and foster positive relationships among customers and media while having a measurable impact on a population in need. There are many great ways to reach out to and work with charities when you choose the right organization that aligns with the values shared between a brand and its audiences.
Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News
...for the week of June 19, 2017
The first day of any new job is sure to come with a bundle of nerves. Here are tips on how to make a lasting impression on your new team (via Career Contessa)
Small fashion brands are beating out bigger brands by keeping up with market changes, faster than before (via Business of Fashion)
Jesse Thorn, founder of MaximumFun.org and podcast The Turnaround, explains what makes a great interview (via Poynter)
3 essential tips for prepping for your new PR job (via Allyson Conklin PR)
Nicole Giordano, founder of StartUp Fashion is "a big proponent of the concept of building a business around the life you want" (via Filippa K Circle)
Prabal Gurung's collaboration with Lane Bryant revealed fashion still has a ways to go with embracing plus-size clothing (via The Muse)
Amazon Prime Wardrobe will let you buy and return with ease (via TechCrunch)
J Crew's own Millard "Mickey" Drexler admits he misdiagnosed the impact of digital (via The Wall Street Journal)
The boom in young people turning to cosmetic surgery is linked to social media pressure (via BBC News)
Always good to take notes from the big kids; Coca-Cola, Dell and PayPal share influencer marketing tips (via Entrepreneur)
Position: Junior Publicist
Company: Style House PR
Social media has evolved to become an integral part of our daily lives. Commercially, social media has also become one of the main tools companies use to directly target and reach consumers with measurable return. For PR firms, it is important to develop and maintain a consistent style for all client social media accounts in order to ensure effective and consistent social media outreach, and it’s smart to develop a template you can use with all clients – a style and resource guide that will make it easy for anyone on the team to hop in and build out ideation and content that is aligned with social goals.
1. Social Media Access
There’s nothing worse than to find that a password has been changed. Start your guide with all email addresses, passwords and password hints that may be necessary.
2. Clarify the brand requirements
In this section, identify the profile photos, taglines, bio copy and any social-media specific logo usage. Provide an overview of voice and tone and target audience; who are you speaking to primarily through your social outreach?
Identify key hashtags, general hashtag usage, emojis and how each should and shouldn’t be used across different platforms. If there are certain products that need to be referred to in a specific way, hashtags or words to never use, this is the area to list out brand requirements. When sourcing found content, what was the source/crediting requirements?
3. Plan for measurement
When it comes to links, is there a preferred link shortener used to track clicks? Do links need to be appended with a Google tracking code? Identify how you will track and report on results (and where prior KPI reports are located to anyone new to the account can easily see past performance).
4. Develop daily/weekly themes
How will you identify, develop, produce and publish content? What types of content will you use most often – images, videos, infographics etc. What are approved places to source unoriginal content and how often can those be used in lieu of brand images?
An easy way to ensure consistent content creation is to develop daily, weekly, or even monthly themes that drive content decisions. A section for key quarterly themes, products to promote, events to align with or impending press can be easily swapped out as needed. Don’t forget official (and less official) holidays too!
5. Identify top publishing times
Once you have content guidelines set, it is important to decide when to schedule posts on various platforms. Check this infographic for a guide to the best and worst times to post on professional platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
In your style guide, note how often the brand intends to publish across each platform, keeping in mind the geographical locations of key audiences and making sure there is new content going out at ideal times for all followers.
Ultimately, social media marketing should be a very fun and creative process. By creating a strong social media voice and style guide, your social media posts will be sure to follow as well as strengthen your team’s ability to drive results through a robust social presence for your clients.
Remember the good ol’ days when we gathered all of our daily news from printed newspapers? In the digital age we live in today, media is constantly reforming, improving, and innovating into more exciting and effective ways of reaching consumers. Specifically, video platforms have become the new hottest means of reaching consumers as new platforms are introduced and integrated into our daily lives. Videos come in all shapes and forms, from social media-based platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to video streaming websites like YouTube, YouNow, and Periscope. Videos provide much more than merely entertainment purposes; they are able to market products in a personalized and interactive way.
Cisco predicts that in 2017, online video will account for 74 percent of all internet traffic. Already 55 percent of people watch videos online every day (500 million of those on are Facebook, and 150 million people are watching Instagram Stories daily).
If the idea that nearly three-quarters of all internet traffic will be video-based, here are three more reasons you need to add a video creation strategy to your promotional efforts – stat!
Watching videos requires minimal effort (this is good news)
Let’s be honest, our media consumption habits have changed. Your average consumer is not going to read article after article, or view ad after sponsored post, instead she is scrolling and searching for content to capture her interest. Unlike a commercial, a visually appealing, creative and entertaining or educational video is easily consumable and requires very little effort. With the rise of fake news and sponsored testimonials, consumers are more likely to question integrity and honesty of reviews. Brands can get ahead of this issue by developing rapport and loyalty through a video host or spokesperson, or simply by demonstrating values like transparency and honesty through the content itself.
Now, you’ve got about 3-seconds to capture interest and keep your viewer watching, so the faster you can communicate the value the better – from eye-catching visuals to an enticing headline. When developing videos for social media platforms, keep in mind how and when your target might be viewing your content. Including closed captions and subtitles on video improves engagement and SEO so consider the value on ensuring your video’s message is communicated during silent auto-play.
You can put customized videos into your emails
A company newsletter risks being mis-categorized as spam, or simply glossed over after the first few land in a consumer’s inbox. However, you can increase those open rates (which will help with deliverability) by inserting a lively video in anything from a product confirmation email to a shopping cart abandonment notice. Now, video embedding is not supported across major email clients, such as Gmail and Yahoo, but you can insert a screenshot image of your video and link to a landing page or YouTube page.
Video is a creative playground
One of the best features of social media is its immediacy. Especially with the introduction of live streaming through Facebook Live for example, businesses, media and influencers are able to directly interact with their audiences, forming more intimate relationships that ultimately translate into trust. The good news is that once you get started, you can take advantage of a single video shoot and utilize it for a multitude of platforms, resulting in a highly efficient content batching strategy.
Videos can be in a variety of different forms including the following:
- Instructional: Whiteboard and illustrated videos are a great way to break down a complicated product or concept
- About us: create an emotional connection with a brand welcome video
- Q&A Sessions: Q&As can either come from preselected questions or live interactions
- Product use: Invite employees or influencers to demonstrate how the brand fits into their day
- Timelapses and montages: Show process (great for beauty and wellness) or behind-the-scenes footage
- Live streaming: Connect with audience in real time and showcase personality
Videos are much more effective than traditional media because of the interactivity of the medium fosters a high level of engagement that can make brands more relatable and products in high demand while giving overall credibility a boost. Start investigating the role of video content in your overall marketing mix now to reap the rewards.
Written by Rebekah Carter
The chances are that, by now, you’ve heard of the benefits of influencer marketing when it comes to growing businesses as a PR professional or marketing expert. A great thing about influencers is that they allow you to borrow authority and market impact of other people within an industry and use it to show the value of the brand you’re working with. For experts working with smaller businesses, this can be a great way to develop the trust that those startups have yet to create.
The statistics speak for themselves:
- 84% of customers trust peer recommendations more than brand advertising.
- The average ROI for every $1 spent on influencer marketing is between $6.85 and $11.33.
- Over 70% of customers go to social media before making a purchasing decision.
The problem is that growing businesses usually don’t have the budget to fork out hundreds of thousands of dollars for an influencer mention. Even if you could afford the price of a macro influencer, you might find it hard to get their attention in a crowded marketplace. So, what’s the alternative? Micro-influencers.
What defines a Micro-Influencer?
The simplest answer is that there is more than one type of influencer out there. Some work specifically in certain niches, whereas others are high-authority celebrities that are willing to support various products for the right price. While a “macro influencer” is someone like Kim Kardashian, micro-influencers are “everyday” people – usually those with fewer than 1 million followers on Instagram and Twitter.
Although reaching out to micro-influencers might seem counterintuitive to businesses desperate for growth and reach, studies indicate that micro-influencers may be more cost-effective and successful than their macro counterparts. According to Markerly, people with fewer than 1,000 followers get an 8% like ratio, while influencers with between 1-10 million followers have a ratio of only 1.7%.
Another study by Expertcity found that:
- Micro-influencers are considered to be 10% more knowledgeable than the public.
- 82% of customers are very likely to follow micro-influencer recommendations
- Micro-influencers have 22.2 times more buying conversations.
What Are the Benefits of Micro-Influencers?
Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits of micro-influencers is the fact that they’re easier to access than standard influencers. Micro-influencers are often far more affordable than their celebrity counterparts.
The more micro-influencers you can use for your marketing campaign, the more you’ll be able to access the interest of a larger yet more targeted group of people. Unlike big-name celebrities that charge hundreds of thousands of dollars per post, around 97% of micro-influencers charge less than $500.
The financial aspect of micro-influencers isn’t the only benefit they offer. Micro-influencers give your customers a chance to relate authentically to your brand. After all, it’s sometimes harder for celebrity influencers to be really convincing to their audience when sharing promotional posts. However, micro-influencers are just like their followers. Customers find them approachable and realistic, which means that their branded suggestions appear more like recommendations from friends then marketing stunts.
Engaging Micro Influencers
Micro-influencers are often easier for PR experts and marketing companies to reach out to than macro influencers. Many celebrity influencers are very selective about the companies they work with and the products they will endorse.
On the other hand, micro-influencers are often friendly and willing to work alongside any brand that fits with the online community they have already created. When reaching out to a micro-influencer, start with researching them and designing a persona for the campaign you want to create. Once you know your average consumer and where they are most likely to go for product advice, you’ll be able to start pinpointing influencers correct for your campaign.
Keep in mind the different types of incentives that appeal to different influencers. For instance, a food blogger might enjoy invitations to review specific restaurants, whereas beauty bloggers are more drawn to new releases and exclusives. Learn what you can about different micro-influencers in your industry before you reach out.
Always be authentic with your messages, and let your micro-influencers know not only what you’re willing to offer them for working with you, but also what their connection with you could do for their audience. Often, micro-influencers put their fans first, so make sure that you outline the value you can give their followers.
When you’re done, you’ll find that the right micro influencers boost your sales, enhance SEO, and develop much-needed trust for your budding brand!
Rebecca Carter is a professional copywriter and blogger with an interest in all things finance, business development, and health. Writing for a number of organizations such as Baggetta & Co., she has a number of years of experience in the lifestyle, financial, and business markets, and a keen eye for the latest industry news.
Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News
...for the week of June 12, 2017
So you started your own PR business. Now what? Lindsey Walker explains 3 steps to follow to secure your first 3 clients (via PR Girls Do it Better)
Aziz Ansari, creator and main character of the Netflix original series "Master of None," captivates his audience in a display of great journalism and creative storytelling (via Poynter)
A new version of Apple's podcast app is going to let podcast creators see who listens to their episodes (via Recode)
Condé Nast closed its first major experiment in retail fashion, Style.com, after numerous problems with the sites launch, rumors of poor sales and other problems that plagued the site (via NY Times)
L'Argus de la Presse media monitoring outfit has just been acquired by Cision. The deal will help both parties as expand market reach (via Odwyer PR)
A series of pink houses in Los Angeles, created by artist Matty Mo and Nomadica Wine, are a attempt to sell rosé (via Laist)
LVMH multi-brand e-commerce 24 Sèvres uses beautiful photography to make the sell, something Amazon lacks in its customer experience (via Glossy)
Instagram has just made it easier to disclose paid advertising content by letting bloggers and celebrities add a sponsored tag (via Mashable)
NYLON’s Global Editor-in-Chief Gabrielle Korn talks about what it is really like to be a magazine editor (via Simply Stylist)
Sara ElShafie, a UC Berkley graduate student, understands the importance of storytelling in any field. She is pioneering different ways to tell stories about science in a meaningful and understandable way (via Berkeley News)
Alexandra Drobysheva is a multilingual communications professional with a proven track record in developing and delivering strategic communications for leading international and Russian corporations. Based in Moscow, Alexandra opened up HINT after finishing her education in the United Kingdom where she works with clients like Crate & Barrel.
How did you get started in PR?
I moved from the UK to Moscow in 2009 after graduating from university and immediately dived into the local public relations environment. I started my career at the state nuclear corporation but left after couple of years due to bureaucracy. Afterward, I worked at local PR agencies and absolutely fell in love with the agency atmosphere. At some point I knew I want to launch my own agency where I could focus on lifestyle communications and create a unique work culture. This is how HINT was born.
How is your HINT structured?
We fully immerse ourselves in our client’s business and act as an extension of their team. Each project is run by the Hinter (project manager) who manages clients’ accounts on a daily basis and pushes campaign boundaries. We also have digital analysts, copywriters, assistants who help with the projects depending on the scope and set goals.
What is the mood like in the office? What are you working on right now?
Client service is my priority. I also oversee new business opportunities, manage our social media accounts and mentor the team. The mood is adventurous. Everyone takes an active part in forming our client list and nourishing corporate culture.
WHAT IS THE MEDIA LANDSCAPE LIKE RIGHT NOW IN RUSSIA – WHAT PUBLICATIONS, SHOULD WE KNOW ABOUT?
My favorite publication at the moment is The Village. It not only covers local cultural news but also tells stories through people living in the city.
What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?
We love to experiment with content. Just recently created a series of illustrations with a popular Russian artist for an international hotel chain about careers in hospitality. The reach and engagement on social media was absolutely fantastic!
Most meaningful moment in your career thus far?
Signing our first contract with a client. It made the dream feel very real.
Each project is run by the Hinter (project manager) who manages clients’ accounts on a daily basis and pushes campaign boundaries.
Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Attending a charity ball organized by the wives of ambassadors based in Moscow and supported by our client - Crate and Barrel. It was 1920s theme and took place at Metropol - is a historical hotel in the center of Moscow built in 1899 in Art Nouveau style.
Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Back in 2014 I was working at Olympic Games in Sochi. As part of the project I was responsible for organizing interviews with celebrities, including a British violinist Vanessa Mae. On the day the camera broke so we had to record and stream a live interview via iPad, which was not very professional.
PR can be stressful and full of rejection - how do you deal?
No one likes to fail. But failure is a normal part of a life and sometimes it is important to just let it go. At the end of a very stressful day I usually go to Sanduny Bath House in Moscow. It is a place of peace and relaxation where I can get my thoughts together and re-charge.
What are three current favorite tools that help you to do what you do?
Adobe Scan makes my account management easier - it captures phone images and transforms them into versatile PDFs.
Also love Bear App and Telegram, a Russian messenger for its chat groups about the latest industry gossip and news.
What do you wish more people understood about your job?
Not everyone in our market really understands how important PR is for business growth; that it is much more than just media relations. I hope that this will change.
What are you excited about right now?
I'm excited by the increased speed of communications, new platforms and technologies.
What's the biggest challenge facing fashion/lifestyle communicators right now?
Customer behavior and needs are constantly changing, faster than ever before. The main challenge is to adapt to these changes, be ready to experiment with content and communications in general.
What advice do you have for your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, life is about learning.
Anything else we should know?
If you are planning to visit Moscow give us us a shout, we will be happy to show you around and tell more about specifics of doing PR in Russia – email@example.com
In the PR world, no two managers are the same. Some lead with an iron fist, others go the gentler route, and most fall somewhere in between. After 35 years leading PR teams, I can tell you with certainty the only right style of management is the style that works for you.
I never fully analyzed my managerial or leadership style until I was invited to speak at the Women Entrepreneurs Rock conference in Asbury Park, NJ, in 2015. After taking a multiple choice test, I learned that I’m an “emotional leader” who, over time, has become more of a leadership mentor than a day-to-day manager.
The only right style of management is the style that works for you.
While I was in the day-to-day of managing teams, though, I can say with certainty my style changed regularly. It typically correlated with who my direct reports were and how much of my input they needed in their day-to-day. These days, the most rewarding part of leadership for me is coaching – and celebrating – our agency’s managers as they perfect their own personal styles.
Whether you’re a long-time manager looking to improve your leadership or a newly promoted team leader looking for direction, here’s a step-by-step guide to uncover your perfect managerial style.
Assess your boss’ effective management tactics
Remember when I said everyone manages differently? Well, the more you assess your senior team’s management styles, the more you’ll realize the vast variations. Take a look at the supervisors in your firm or company and evaluate how they manage their teams. Some may be stricter, but they yield great (and on-time) results. Others may be laid back, but the team has utmost respect for them because of this trust, and therefore turns in great work on or ahead of deadlines.
This assessment isn’t meant for judgment; it’s to help you see the different styles you could adopt, and the pros and cons of each. Instead of mentally taking notes, jot these observations down. Listing the pros and cons will make the analysis much clearer.
What’s great about being surrounded by different management styles is that you can appreciate how they get things done and the way in which they do it. I’ve learned that you have to manage the whole person and not just their work – and managing by example puts you in a leadership role.
Review your past leadership experiences
Sure, you may not have led teams at your firm or company yet, but that doesn’t mean you’ve never been a leader. Were you captain of your basketball team? Did you lead a group project? These are all leadership experiences, and they’re an incredibly valuable tool to see what personally works for you.
Let’s say you were captain of your high school basketball team. How did you motivate people? How did you get them to listen to you? What worked and didn’t work when ultimately leading that team? Once you’ve analyzed the “wins” and “losses,” you’ll have a good idea of your own successful leadership tactics.
Be true to your personality
You know what your bosses do. You know what you’ve done in the past. Now it’s time to mesh the two and see what type of leadership works best for you and your personality.
Pull out the leadership tactics that feel most comfortable to you from your boss and former life. Your boss’ “iron fist” ruling may be effective, but if you’re not comfortable laying down the law aggressively, don’t set yourself up for failure. Instead, look at other bosses or leaders outside the industry to see how they manage issues, then come up with a system that works for you.
The same goes for project oversight. If your boss is the “anti micro manger” – but you just can’t let go of the reigns – find a happy medium, whether it’s weekly team touch bases or requesting to be CC’d on every email. Above all, you need to feel comfortable in order to be a confident manager.
Write a “mission statement” for the type of leader you want to be
Now comes the fun part: You know the type of manager you want to be, let’s get it down on paper! Prepare a mini mission statement about your managerial goals so you can stay true to yourself through thick and thin. For example, if you want to be a strict – yet approachable – manager who stays in the loop on all client correspondence, your statement could read:
I will set clear deadlines and expectations; when those expectations aren’t met the team will be asked to redo work – even if it means staying late. While strict in expectations, I will also bond with my team in and outside of work to create a strong camaraderie that helps our team work in tandem. I will not micro manage, but to ensure my clients’ needs are met, I will request to be on all emails and will jump in as needed. When there’s a problem, I will pull my team member aside quickly to discuss it. At the end of the day, I will be a manager who drives her team to deliver the best work they can – and have fun while doing so.
Once you’ve perfected this statement, print or write it out and keep it at your desk as a constant reminder. This is a promise to yourself; the more you read it, the more natural it becomes.
Ask for help from your team and your boss
You didn’t get to this management point alone, so you can’t expect to excel at it by yourself. Share your mission statement with your boss or mentor so they can keep an eye out and help you stick to your strategy. While you may not want to share your statement with your team, take them aside and give them the ‘Cliff Notes’ version so they understand how you plan to manage. Empower them to speak up if you’re swaying from this strategy. While you want to feel like the top boss, your team is your best asset and ally.
Whether it’s weekly or monthly, take 15 to 30 minutes to evaluate how your strategy is working. Do you need to get stricter on deadlines? Are you taking time to recognize your team for a job well done? Are you finding time to bond with your team beyond day-to-day work?
Perfecting your management style is a marathon, not a sprint. Consistent evaluation will help you fine-tune your strategy and will ultimately set you up for long-term management success.
Position: Account Executive
Company: The Eighth Floor
Fashion PR Fridays: Top Fashion, Public Relations, Marketing and Social Media News
...for the week of June 5, 2017
The newer generation of working millennial's are focusing on power: how to get it, how to keep it and how not to apologize for it (via Story)
Faith Xue talks about her experience ghost writing for the hottest bloggers and internet influencers right now (via Marie Claire)
If you are an avid Office watcher like us, you know all about Pam and Angela's party planning committee, but how do you survive the drama of office committees in real life? (via Bridget Forney on LinkedIn)
Airbnb made an ad calling out the gap in marriage equality in Australia (via Ad Week)
Apple made a list of 2017's best apps. The roundup includes great work apps like Bear, a slick note-taking tool (via Tech Crunch)
Brands are inventing roles in their company for A-list celebrities. We have seen this work successfully with Rihanna in the Feny X Puma collection (via Digiday)
Jen Rubio, co-founder and president of Away luggage company is on a mission to make travel streamlined and smart. Here are productivity tips she swears by, how she prevents burnout and more (via Entrepreneur)
"We Wear Art Culture" is a Google initiate launched by google programmer Kate Lauterbach which will work to digitize the fashion world for all the internet to view (via Business of Fashion)
It took 75 years to bring Wonder Woman to the big screen. Why does the world need Wonder Woman now? (via Time)
We all are our worst critic. 9 things you should stop saying immediately if you want to succeed (via Business Insider)
PR AGENCY AND INDUSTRY NEWS
NKPR celebrates 15 years with a special event on June 8, expecting close to 300 guests in attendance. The agency has partnered with Swarovski for their Crystal Anniversary. Watch PR Couture’s IG stories for behind-the-scenes access!
Krupp Kommunications has appointed Megan Wilson as Director of Public Relations.
4 IFDC designers will recieve the Luxury Award at Torino Fashion Week held June 29 to July 3 in Torino, Italy.
Riot Media Group will now handle influencer relations for the National Retail Federation’s Digital Conference, Shop.org, taking place at the LA Convention Center September 25 to 27.
Farfetch has appointed John Veichmanis to the role of Chief Marketing Officer. Veichmanis joined Farfetch in 2015 as Senior Vice President of Digital Marketing, bringing over 20 years’ experience from innovative tech and online companies including: Dell, Apple, Skype and Expedia.
Do you have agency or industry news to share?
We would love to feature employee news, new client announcements, awards, partnerships and more!
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