It's funny how you end up at different places. I'm consistently baffled on how fast time flies. When I was graduating and starting to pack up to move to Chicago to take a gamble on the job hunt (signing a lease with no guaranteed source of income), one of my college roommates and track teammates handed me a book his dad gave him called The Little Red Book of Wisdom written by Mark DeMoss, a guy who ran some small PR firm in Atlanta. While I had family in Atlanta, my head was in Chicago. I still read the book and found it interesting. I remember Ben (my roommate) laughing and saying "hey maybe you'll get tired of Chicago and work for him one day."
Turns out he was prophetic. After moving to Atlanta to work for the awesome folks at Engauge, an opportunity fell in my lap with The DeMoss Group. One year later, what have I learned so far?
Attention To Details Matter
Attention to detail is an important piece in any job you ever take. It comes very natural to some people. I don't happen to be one of those people. Our office has the highest concentration of detail-oriented folks I think I've ever seen. Every I is dotted and every T is crossed. It honestly annoyed me at first but it was mainly because I sucked at it. Details matter tremendously when you're helping someone define their brand in every way. In public relations, especially in crisis situations, that detail oriented mindset could make or break a client's reputation. Though it still doesn't come completely naturally to me, it's an area that I have been forced to improve in - and that's a good thing.
Thinking is Terribly Underrated
A lot of what we are judged by as marketers (or any job really) is the amount of output we have. We are judged a lot by the quantity of our work and not the quality. Taking time to think is something very much encouraged by Mark. While some situations or projects may not provide such a time luxury to kick back and think, it's definitely welcomed. I have a lot of days where I'll be drawing on my office white board for a bit and then just sit back on my desk and stare at it for a while. I get some funny looks from time to time but using slower periods at work to sit back and think about "why am I recommending we do X or run a campaign on Y platform?" That mindset helped me with @chadatl and I's last SoCon presentation "Why are we on social media again?" I feel like as marketers, it's easy to run to a tactic without taking a step back and thinking about the strategy behind it. Working with nonprofit clients who are more often very strapped with resources, asking that "why" question is extremely critical. They have to get the most bang for their buck.
Building Takes Time
I came into this job tasked with building out a digital practice at the firm. Part optimism and part delusion, I thought it was something where in a couple of months, I'd already have to be hiring a few community managers and we'd have a full-fledged department. I was somewhat wrong there. While we have accomplished quite a bit in the last year, building a new part of a business takes time to really get going. At a year later, I feel like we're just now gaining great momentum at being the go-to resource for digital knowledge with our clients. I've been fortunate that our agency leadership has been patient on that process; I imagine because they were much more aware than I was about how long something like that takes.
It's been a fun year working with all the people up in our 10th floor office of the Atlanta Financial Center. I can't wait for some of the new projects that are ahead.