When I started JMPR, even though I was in business by myself, I knew that I definitely needed a team. I was passionate about teaching people everything that my mentors have poured into me and showing them why public relations is just a fun industry. I immediately began accepting interns.
People ask me all the time, "what are some tips to building a team?" Here's my advice:
1. Make sure you are extremely specific about what exactly you need from your team. Being able to identify your strengths and weaknesses as a professional is a good start to acknowledging where you may need help in your business and how to go about filling that void.
2. Don't shy away from college interns that are not majoring in your career interest. I have accepted many interns who were not exactly on a public relations path during their educational college careers, however I was actually impressed by the fact that they still were interested in learning about the career that I love. As long as your team members are as dedicated as you are, this is most important.
3. Remember this: character is more important than skill. Now this is simply MY philosophy. I have learned that I can teach people skills at any time. I can teach you how to construct a press release, how to build a media kit, or how to reach out to journalist and bloggers and secure media for our clients. What I CANNOT teach is integrity, responsibility, initiative, and exceptional work ethic. You have to naturally possess those talents and character traits. So when I am searching for a team, I look for people with good character, good work ethic, and a simple desire to learn and be an asset to my team.
4. Show an interest in your team members as actual people. I go out of my way to build my interns as professionals, even outside of their work with JMPR. I work with them on building their resume. If they have non-profit organizations they are building, or brands or blogs that they are working on, I always try to help them enhance that vision. It's so important to show your team members that they are not only valuable to you, but that you are valuable to them. Caring about their hobbies, interests, and career goals and going the extra mile to see how you can help them with that, really matters. This makes your team just that much more dedicated and loyal to you and your business.
5. Last but not least, make your team's work enjoyable. I ultimately want for my team to love working with me. We are one entity. They are just as important to JMPR as I am, and I try to show them that. I care just as much about my intern's testimonials as I do about my client testimonials. My goal is to make this a working EXPERIENCE, rather than just any regular internship. I like to bond with my team and get to know them outside of our team work and weekly responsibilities. I show them that I am a real person. I hate being called "Miss Jasmine" or "Miss Murray." Of course there is still a sense of respect and boundaries, but I want for my team to feel comfortable enough to reach out to me and know that from this day forward, I am a part of their network and I will always vouch for their PR skill.
Basically, your team is essential and should be treated as such. When you are not able to tend to all the small things every day, your team is going to fill that gap. They work on your behalf and are always a representation of you and your business. So be sure you choose the right team to represent you.
-Your Most Dependable PR Girl