Life in The PR Industry Interview - 5 Things We Learnt
Boss Series is an online platform that we use to share the stories of influential people who are succeeding in their careers or business. We deep dive into their story via Instagram live which gives an opportunity for viewers to ask questions directly. Our 8th episode of Boss Series featured Frances Shondé. Frances is a travel PR agent who works closely with firms such as AirFrance KLM.
1) Languages open doors. During Frances time at university she worked at an events and catering company. Frances is fluent in English, French and German so when the company needed staff for an event in Monaco they could leverage Frances language abilities which gave her the opportunity to see that part of the world.
2) Tailor your approach. There is a second lesson we can learn from how Frances secured work at the event in Monaco. Frances found the pain of the decision maker and tailored her approach. When the manager was planning the event in Monaco through the appropriate questions Frances knew that manager did not want to hire a translator. This is is when Frances informed the manager that she is fluent in French and thus was selected to work the event. This is so important in life, too many people waste time listing off all their irrelevant benefits when interviewing for jobs, starting new relationships or trying to win new business; it is crucial that you listen and ask the appropriate questions before giving an answer.
3) Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then is not an act, but a habit.” Ever since Frances failed her A-levels she vowed to giver her all in everything she does no matter the circumstance. After graduating from university Frances got a job in admin at a company who’s culture was far from desirable. The company were exceptional at delivering their service however, their customer service was poor and there was a lot of tension internally. This is evident because they were so shocked that Frances returned after her first day at the role. The company was known to have a high churn rate for admin staff. By Frances sticking out and giving it her best she learnt how to manage working in a difficult environment a great lifeskill as well as patience. Experiences like this gave Frances the tools to succeed in future roles.
4) The role of a PR professional. It is all about building relationships. A PR professionals job is to promote a certain product or service through different mediums such as radio, tv and news articles. The PR person finds the appropriate news outlet which their target audience is engaged with the most and works to convince that particular news outlet to feature a story on their product or service. Once they have found the appropriate outlet they find the details of the journalist that would be most interested in their offering by researching their previous work. For example there is no use sending a press kit for a jewellery business to the Food network magazine. The PR professional can sweeten the deal by offering journalists free tasters and if done correctly journalists can build long term relationships with the PR rep and they can be a regular source for stories. This model has recently been disrupted by the rise of Influencers on social media now PR reps may favour individuals with large followings to write reviews of their service.
5) Find a partner that supports your vision. Frances is happily married to Fidelis one of the reasons she knew he was the right partner was because he supported her both professionally and personally. He uplifts her when she is down with positive words of affirmations and gives her ideas on how to overcome challenges. He uses his time to go over and beyond and takes time to listen to her. Frances suggested that this is a key indictor to see if someone is right for you.
A very big thank you to Frances for taking the time to feature on Boss Series and giving such an honest interview. To feature on Boss Series or to learn more about IAMedia check us out on www.iamedia.co.uk or on Instagram @IAMedia.uk.