Life After PR Series – “Vicky”, Part 3 – How did Vicky respond to the challenge of bringing in new accounts as she began a new role as Vice President for a global PR firm?

Judith Cushman All Posts by Date, Life After PR - Vicky 0 Comments

judith cushman associates human resources consulting life after public relations prAnswer: Ready for a major challenge, she had 8-years with her corporate employer and 5 were remote. Vicky was recruited to team up with a General Manager of a global Public Relations firm where she now lived. The GM had a reputation as a charismatic leader with values that were compatible with hers. Vicky’s initial title was Vice President. The office had a history of supporting one major client that accounted for its success. When that relationship changed, the agency began a major initiative to win new accounts. The role was appealing due to that challenge, the support of the GM and the latitude to do what she thought was best.

Vicky was responsible for bringing in the first consumer product accounts. She also developed an approach to source high quality technology accounts and more effectively present proposals. In one year, she participated in adding 17 accounts/projects to the roster. She said it was fun to bring in new business and learn about new companies. “I always liked small to mid-sized companies. I could go either way though (to very major organizations). I would always do my best and would rarely decline to work on an account, but instead I would try to determine the best team for a specific business,” she commented.

Vicky built relationships and mentored junior level professionals (roughly at the Senior Account level) which led to reducing turnover by 30%. She was innately drawn to that role and set an example at the agency. She said, “Mentoring is not valued as it should be in an agency. What happens at agencies is they burn people out at the A/E, Sr. A/E and Supervisor level. The junior staff become unhappy, feel unappreciated and search for another credential for their resume that offers a different workplace culture. A corporate job looks good by comparison.”

“I made it a point to connect with the younger staff. I’m approachable. They can ask me anything. If you think, as a supervisor that there is no time to answer questions, that is wrong. Answer a question first so the work comes out right and it does not have to be done twice. The effort is correct from the beginning and the employee is happier. Many people recognized what I was doing (although it sometimes took them a while to see how important it was.)”

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