Reflection from a PR Newbie

At McKeeman, we have an annual retreat that is designed to educate, cultivate, and inspire our team members.

As a 22-year-old, going into my first company retreat, I wasn’t sure what to expect but, because this is my first job out of college, I was delighted when we went “back to basics”.  

As a company, we walked through business goals, revisited client service standards, defined social media best practices, and reviewed media relations 101. Our team was presented with engaging activities, stories of company hiccups, and team building that spoke volumes about the company culture. Each activity brought new knowledge to each team member, whether they had been with McKeeman for the long haul or just a short while. 

In between the work and the play, a lot of lessons were learned. A few of my takeaways I learned from these activities included:

  • When pitching a story, you have to have more than just a timely story. You need data, visuals, and an effective spokesperson to deliver the message. 
  • Storytelling in social media is the best way to resonate and connect with your audience. When it’s done correctly, the posts share the experience of the product, and highlight the brand’s values. 
  • Our client service standards are our secret to success. By being the best partners we can be, we foster trust and rapport with our clients.

Being new to PR, this retreat impacted me most in regard to helping me understand  what a great PR/Marketing professional embodies. Understanding the basics of good PR and building upon that strong foundation reaps many rewards. While I learned a lot about the company, the industry, and my fellow team members, my biggest takeaways from the retreat were far greater than something that could be taught 1-on-1 or in a classroom setting. 

I learned that: 

  • We all have something to learn.  No matter how far along you are in your professional career, anyone can teach us something or show us a different path to the same outcome. 
  • Teamwork is essential to success. Being a part of a team where everyone’s strengths are celebrated and weaknesses are developed is a recipe for not just professional success, but also personal success.
  • Discomfort is a positive.  We learn as much from our failures as we do from our successes.  Growing pains and being pushed out of your comfort zone is a challenge, but yields incredible learning.

With that, I thank you for reading. 

Signing off for now, 

Zoe, the 22-year- old PR newbie

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