Lessons From Harden_ What I’ve Learned In My First Year_Harden Partners Blog

Lessons From Harden: What I’ve Learned In My First Year

Time flies when you’re having fun! As I write this blog, I’m in my seventh month as an intern at Harden Communications Partners. As I reflect on my experience, it dawned on me that I have learned an immeasurable amount. I’ve learned about our clients and their sectors, how to write press releases, how to edit a website…I could go on forever.

I feel as though I have learned so much that I’m starting to get nostalgic. I look back to the beginning and can’t help but feel as though I’m already older and wiser. This made me think – if I could go back to my first day, what advice would I give myself? Stay organized? Be a team player? Write everything down?

In the grand scheme of public relations and the world at large, I still have a ways to go. But what I do know is that this office is full of seasoned professionals who have built their careers through the changing tides of public relations. Surely they have plenty of wisdom to impart! As someone still early in her career, I should take advantage of that.

So I posed some questions to the Harden Partners team:

If you could go back in time, what would you tell yourself on your first day?

  • Liam: Take a deep breath. All will be ok.
  • Cindi: Be yourself. This company hired you because you proved you were someone they wanted.
  • Adrianna: Don’t be so nervous! First days are so easy, paperwork and meet and greet. It’s the 3 month mark when you have a full plate of work and you’re finishing work at 8pm that you should watch out for!
  • Asia: Set personal deadlines due earlier than client deadlines. A lot of changes and suggested edits can happen to a project before it needs to be finalized internally and considered client-ready. Save yourself some stress and set your personal deadline a day or two before the client deadline so you can plan your work accordingly and prepare yourself for any last minute changes! Also, pack snacks. You’ll thank me later.
  • Ross: There’s always room to grow. Ask questions, attend a PR seminar, or research a new social media tool. There’s always something new to learn.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in public relations?

  • Liam: Be a sponge and absorb as much as you can from those you work with. Read as much as you can about PR, become a member of PRSA, and keep your thirst for PR knowledge alive by reading industry publications like PR Daily.
  • Cindi: You’re only young in your career once—learn constantly.
  • Adrianna: Always say yes. No matter how busy you are, if someone asks you to do something, always say yes I can help you.
  • Asia: Try to learn something from each person you meet—even the awful ones! You will find yourself much more successful and confident by learning how to deal with different people you come across.
  • Ross: Establishing and building relationships are the key to success in PR. Communication is the foundation of what we do, so it’s important to develop a bond with your client, peers and reporters.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve received throughout your career?

  • Liam: Pursue your dreams and the money will follow. Pursue money and you lose your dreams.
  • Cindi: Be flexible. You may think you know exactly how your career will play out, but it’s best to keep an open mind and be flexible to the inevitable changes, desires, and bumps in the road.
  • Adrianna: Be a team player. One of my favorite bosses said to me, no matter how tired you are or how busy you are, half an hour before you pack-up to leave each day, ask your co-workers if they need help with anything. Sometimes people are drowning in deadlines and just being able to share one job can be a game changer. So help your team mates out always!
  • Asia: Keep track of your success. A day in PR can move at a rapid pace and sometimes it’s difficult to see how you’re making a dent on a client project despite all the hours you spend on tasks. Keep a list of your responsibilities, especially when they change as you grow higher in rank, and favorite pieces of tangible success (e.g. media coverage secured, reports, media lists, etc.). Be proud of the work you’ve done and try not to forget the results of all your hours.
  • Ross: Never be afraid to fail.

After gathering my thoughts and reflections and hearing those of my colleagues, I think the most important thing I have taken away is that we all have the opportunity to be constantly learning and growing. No matter how long one has been in the field or at a company, there are always new people to learn from, new challenges to overcome, and new experiences to have. I hope to remember that and keep the eagerness to learn with me no matter what twists and turns my career may take.

By Nina Waysdorf, Assistant Account Coordinator