“Love what you do and you will not work a day in your life,” is something I have heard for as long as I can remember, but being told something is much different than actually experiencing it for yourself. As my last week as an intern for Anchor comes to an end, I find myself thinking back to three months ago when I first started this amazing internship. This opportunity has provided me not only with knowledge and experience and relationships that I value, but also has shown me what passion and love for a job actually feels like.
From attending PR events and news segments with shows such as GMT and CW’s Eye Opener, to writing press releases and helping social media campaigns flourish, I have had the opportunity to learn what PR in the real world is all about, not just what a text book or professor says about public relations. I have learned that the key to any PR, marketing, or advertising strategy is to know your audience and how to engage with said audience. I have learned that in order to be successful in this profession you must build personal, mutually beneficial relationships and be the type of person that when people think of you they say, “I can count on [her or him] to be there when I need them.” My boss’s actions showed me how important these qualities are and she receives many opportunities because of her dedication to be readily available, flexible and willing to find other help if she was not able.
I enjoyed coming into work every day knowing that I was going to be greeted by cheerful good mornings, energetic music, people who love working as much as they love laughing, a dog who would do just about anything for a belly rub, and of course the guarantee that if I sneezed, I would receive a thoughtful “bless you!” I was always excited to be at work and was eager to know what the next day had in store for me, what I would learn and get to experience next. I know I am lucky for that. What I take away from my Summer at Anchor is 100% more valuable and relevant than any textbook could teach me.
“The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can’t do.” – Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Jack wasn’t referring to Public Relations, but this idea easily applies. I recently spoke with a Career Services professional at a local university who was surprised that I do not require applicants in my department to have a related degree.
Why? I have a Bachelor of Arts in German, not Ad / PR. From what I have learned, most universities teach press release templates and that’s about it. They don’t stress the importance of being responsive, creative, helpful, and a good writer. In my opinion, personality beats out experience every day of the week. If I interviewed Applicant A, who has a degree in Public Relations but isn’t personable or a good writer, and Applicant B, a Theatre major with a sparkly personality who happens to be a great writer, Applicant B would get the job, hands down.
We are seeking driven people who understand our brand and have the vision to take Anchor far. Experience and a portfolio certainly won’t hurt, but it’s not the only thing that matters to us. We recognize that spark, that something special in individuals that makes them outstanding creatives. It doesn’t matter what you have done. It matters what you can do. So the question is: What can you do?
Okay, Stop doing all that email, texting, listening to music, and looking at Facebook. Just read this. Focus for just a second. You’ll thank me later.
Several recent studies have come to the conclusion that multi-tasking makes you worse at whatever tasks you are doing. If you are performing two tasks you actually achieve less than 50% productivity on each. On top of that, multi-tasking can cause short term memory loss, make you gain weight, and will even make you worse at multi-tasking. The studies also found that people who claim to be really great multi-taskers actually performed worse than people who did not make that claim.
Although it is not as scientific as the studies that were done, just looking around I found a similar idea to be true with businesses. Companies that focus on one thing, tend to be better than those that try to be all things to all people. The guys at the local bike shop down the street were able to answer so many more questions about bikes than the employee of the giant box store who had been pulled over from housewares to help me. The produce store I like to go to has amazingly better squash than the place that sells squash, and jeans, and tires, and furniture… who knew? And the companies that focus on one thing, and put in place strategies that keep that one thing in mind, tend to do what they do better. Seek out those companies to partner with. The investment in that quality relationship will payoff in the long run.
So,one final example: Say there is a marketing company. A company that only focuses on clients’ brand and image across all platforms. A company that is able to tie everything together to increase the value of their partners . All they do is this. It is so focused on this. That might be a company you want to work with. Just sayin’.