PRSA Boston recently spoke with Tara Goodwin Frier, entrepreneur and founder of Goodwin Group PR, to learn more about her thoughts on today’s PR job market, the most important skills that agency or companies look for in prospective employees and common mistakes that job seekers regularly make.
Goodwin Frier is schedule to participate on a panel called “New Year, New Career” that will be held on Monday, January 29th. The panel is designed for any PR professional who wants to grow his or her career or take on new and exciting challenges in 2018. The event will offer an all-star panel including Goodwin Frier, Norine Shults, VP at Chaloner, and a special guest from MullenLowe.
Here is a Q&A from our conversation with Goodwin Frier.
Q: What prompted you to launch Goodwin, and what do you like about it?
A: It was accidental, and I owe the launch of Goodwin Group PR to Edelman CEO Richard Edelman. At the time, I was working as VP of Public Affairs, and after 9/11, the technology bubble burst sending us into a recession. Richard made the decision to close five of the smaller Edelman offices, Boston among them. I had the unenviable task of laying off all the Boston employees as our GM was conveniently out of the country when the news broke and I was second in command. Richard said he was not going to come back to Boston and that if I wanted to take the clients I worked with and start my own consultancy, he was fine with it. At the time I was pregnant with my youngest son, Will, who is now 15. I thought “why not?” so I did and couldn’t be happier that I took the risk. I love seeing our clients grow their companies as a result of our work—one client doubled his revenues from $3-6 million annually because of an offbeat idea we came up with at a meeting!
Q: What should PR people know about today’s job market?
A: As a CEO, I’m constantly seeking new talent, and it is highly competitive fighting for the limited positions that are available. Two of the people who have become permanent, trusted employees came to me as volunteers because they were so eager to learn the business and hone their skills. This gave me the opportunity to see them in action and both ended up making themselves indispensable to our team, and we had to hire them. I would advise PR job seekers to look for opportunities at a firm you love even if they don’t have any openings at the moment. You can make an impression either by being an intern, offering helpful suggestions, volunteering on a project or event or generally keeping in touch with suggestions or commenting on a recent article, etc. Our motto is “whatever it takes” and we expect job seekers to be willing to do whatever is needed for the team and our clients.
Q: What are the most common mistakes – and winning moves – job seekers make?
A: Winning moves—DO YOUR HOMEWORK. If you don’t know a lot about our company, we’re not convinced you want to be part of our team. ASK QUESTIONS—the worst thing you can do is show up for an interview and when we ask if you have questions, answer with a “nope.” RELATE YOUR EXPERIENCE/TALENTS TO OUR WORK—how does what you have done fit with the work you know we do? WRITE A HANDWRITTEN THANK-YOU NOTE—we love old school attention to detail!
Worst things you can do—SHOW UP LATE TO AN INTERVIEW—on-time is late for us. SEND US A RESUME OR WRITING SAMPLE WITH TYPOS—even one! BE A SUPERFAN—we work with several New England Patriots, and we can’t have people who are enamored with a player or coach. One prospective intern wrote on her Facebook page that she wanted to sleep with Gronk—Um….no thanks!
Q: What are the top three skills in demand by your clients and account teams?
A: Media relations, video production and blog/content writing.
Q: What’s changed the most since you began your career?
A: Having so many places to pitch and promote content as a result of the internet’s growth and the development multiple social mediums to get your news out there—it can get overwhelming and often, it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. My staff congratulates me if I correctly post/tag client news on our social channels!
Also, from a crisis perspective, I used to say “The first few hours of managing a crisis will determine the success or failure of your efforts.” Now, with citizen journalists and the immediacy of social media, it’s SECONDS not hours and people need to be better prepared to respond.
Goodwin Frier brings more than 30 years of media relations, public affairs and public policy experience to her firm. since founding Goodwin PR in 2001, Goodwin Frier has built a company that attracts, engages and sustains clients ranging from small startups and nonprofit organizations to high-profile CEOs, professional athletes and coaches. She is considered an expert in crisis communications, media relations, strategic events and effective content development and curation. Known for her open and honest counsel, Goodwin Frier helps clients develop communications programs that drive traffic, develop relationships and resonate with key audiences. She is a driven and focused leader who partners with her clients to deliver exceptional results.
About Fast 5
This is a feature of PRSA Boston’s Hot Topics blog page. The expert subject is someone who is clearly in demand, on the go, and nailing them down for a conversation is about as easy as … winning Powerball at $1.5 billion! But we know leaders like to share, so check back for insights, wisdom, author’s books about to hit the stands and other valuable tips. @prsaboston #prsabos
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