We members of the Wireside team rarely break focus on our clients’ needs and campaigns. Our busy workdays are filled with conversation and collaboration, but we seldom stop to share or reflect on the lives we lead outside the agency.
I’m Wireside’s resident newbie, and admittedly, I’m still getting to know the folks with whom I spend more than 40 hours of the week. So I’m going to shake it up by starting the round of team introductions in a more personal light.
Before “My Life in PR,” I was a performer, and lived for the exhilaration of being onstage. Through childhood to young adulthood, I was in and out of bands, plays and musicals, choirs, acting workshops, and lessons for voice, piano, guitar, and very briefly (thank goodness), drums. I wrote short plays during my summers, and turned every public appearance I could into an impromptu gig; I would have belted out a tune for a brick wall.
But with time and age comes “practical thinking,” and I chose to study communications instead of theatre or music when I went to college. The performance part of my life (and identity) dwindled to only a couple hours a week dabbling on the piano, singing to my plants on the windowsill. How did a real-girl-walking Glee character like me become so focused on press releases, social content and global conferences surrounding SDN, NFV, IPv6, IoT, and all those other techie acronyms?
The answer? When I realized that my longtime experiences in performance had well prepared me for a PR career behind the scenes, and here’s how:
- A PR pro is always there on the spot. We may not be in the spotlight like our clients, but we are daily called to improvise: to think on our feet and outside the box – like acting.
- A PR pro must epitomize, without breaking character, what it means to be a “people person” and a strong communicator, whether on the phone, in emails or face-to-face meetings. We are in the business of getting our clients’ stories and messages heard, and heard correctly – like play or songwriting.
- PR pros are expected by clients, media and even competition to never waste someone’s time and to always deliver an outstanding production – like any good show.
All that said, how can I claim to have “lost” a part of who I am or what I love to do? My talents may have taken on different styles of delivery and new directions (speaking of Glee…), but during Wireside workdays, I frequently find myself channeling the performer and composer I was during my formative years.
I’m certain my co-workers have their own hidden talents and passions, and that they too use them to “put on a show” every day. Together, our many gifts not only keep the machine that is the Wireside agency running, but also fulfill our innate, deeply human dreams to be showstoppers, divas and storytellers in our own rights. And for this, I’m very grateful.