You Need to Lean In or Think About Getting Out (of PR)

sheryl-sandberg-lean-in-book-cover-240xaWe have been following all the attention paid to Marissa Mayer’s “no-more-work-from-home” policy and Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In pronouncements.  These topics hit particularly close to home for us because the team culture here is perhaps the most vital aspect of life at DiGennaro Communications — it’s fun, collegial and collaborative.

It’s no secret that practicing public relations, and in particular practicing the craft within a PR agency, is stressful.  In fact, PR is routinely ranked among the most stressful vocations around.  So, here at DGC it’s important we cultivate an environment that provides a supportive atmosphere for our team.

It’s also smart business: A major value-add for our clients is our routine delivery of experiences, media contacts, pitch ideas and other critical support that emanates from across our entire team.  We like to say that our clients work with a dedicated account team, but in truth, they actually are assigned a 35-member account team.  Unfortunately, delivering on that promise is quite rare in this industry.

But back to Ms. Mayer and Ms. Sandberg.  One could debate (and many, many are) the merits of a work-from-home policy.  We’re actually testing one ourselves at the moment.  But it’s Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In platform that we identify with even more closely.  As Drake Baer so aptly reported in his Fast Company piece yesterday, Why Everyone—Not Just Women—Needs to Lean In, we don’t apply it exclusively to women.

An essential part of the earned media business is earning trust and building strong and mutually respectful relationships with journalists, clients and colleagues and this just isn’t achieved by “leaning out.”

Living and breathing a Lean In quality – showing a passion for your job, exhibiting a genuine interest in your clients and their companies, putting forward your opinions, raising your hand, finding ways to deliver the unexpected. It’s not a quality we hope employees bring to the table; it’s a prerequisite.  We’d argue it’s a requirement for anyone who wants to succeed in PR.

Posted on March 14, 2013, in The Hit Board and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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