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Jumping Feet First into the New and Unknown

Last September I joined the PN family as a monitoring specialist in Porter Novelli Radar. Working in Radar isn’t your everyday PR job. We don’t pitch journalists and we don’t write press releases. Heck, we don’t even work on an account team! That begs the question…what do we do?

The best part about PN Radar is that we constantly answer that question in different ways, but this is how it usually works:

  • Client A calls one of our account teams. Crisis!
  • After a member of the account team briefs us on the situation, we analyze every relevant social media post, print article and broadcast hit about the client and current issue.
  • We use those data to glean insights and compile a comprehensive report for the client and account team.
  • The account team typically uses the report to brief the client on the current media environment and how they’re being discussed. Based on what’s out there, the account team advises the client to help them through the crisis.

 When I started working in Radar, I couldn’t have been more excited. I also couldn’t have been more nervous. Radar was an entirely new creation at Porter Novelli. No one was 100% sure whether it would be a success or not. I knew I was lucky to have this job but felt I could just as easily lose it. What do you do in this kind of situation? These tips can be applied to almost any position, but here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  •  It’s going to be a bumpy ride. It’s rare anything new will run smoothly the first few times. Learn from it. Refine the process. To this day we are still tweaking the way we do projects and format our reports. Rather than running from the obstacles, tackle them head on—they’re bound to come up no matter what. Make the best of those challenges!
  • Ask questions. If you aren’t sure what to do, don’t be afraid to ask. Remember: your company created this function to see it succeed, so they want to help you. Asking questions opens up a dialogue and can help define your role in the organization. Figure it out as a team – it’s a lot easier than trying to figure everything out on your own.
  • Challenge yourself. Always push to do more than you’re asked. Not only can it improve the way you’re viewed in the organization, but it can also boost the image of the entire company.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something new. You’re in a new position, so the doors for creativity are wide open. Have a great idea? Tell someone about it and try it out!
  • Be flexible. Embrace this one. You’re helping to define what your job is – be ready for that description to change every so often and adapt to those changes. Being flexible is the best way to take on those obstacles I mentioned before.

It all boils down to letting your excitement override any of your misgivings. Doing something completely new and out of the norm is scary, but it can be the best experience you’ve ever had. It certainly has been for me.

– Kaylea Notarthomas