3 Character Traits To Grow A Successful Career In PR with Gabrielle Gambrell

PR Strategy Series with Kage Spatz, Founder of Spacetwin.com

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Mental health awareness is something that should be spoken about frequently and openly to eliminate stigmas and in return can positively impact and save lives.

Welcome to another installment of our PR Strategy Series, where you can learn directly from top industry experts on how you can leverage media attention to grow your business.

Today we are talking about how you can grow your PR career by highlighting parts of a conversation I had over at Authority Magazine with Gabrielle Gambrell.

Gabrielle Gambrell is the Chief Communications Officer at Gift of Gabrielle. She’s a consultant, speaker, and faculty professor at NYU. Gambrell’s career spans many world-renowned media giants, including Comcast NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, and ABC, all by the age of 27. She was named to PRNEWS’ 2020 list of Top Women in PR. She also serves on the board of New York Women In Communications and is also a proud Board of Trustee member at her alma mater, Iona College.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I am a storyteller at heart with the “Gift of Gab.” I indeed have and naturally have always had the “Gift of Gab,” as my parents named me appropriately. I honestly have been telling stories my entire life from as early as I can remember. From my childhood to the present, people gravitate towards me for my strategic communication skills and my personal flare.

By the time I was 15 years old and named editor-in-chief of “The Tideline,” Pacific Palisades Charter High School’s newspaper, I knew that I wanted to work in or around journalism and tell stories. In addition to being the editor-in-chief of my high school’s journalism class, I also taught the class, assigning all assignments and determining final grades based on performance. This kicked off my desire to be a college professor.

In the fall of 2021, I will be teaching at Columbia University, as well as at my home base of New York University. I really enjoy bringing my day-to-day expertise into the classroom, as I vividly remember hearing stories from my college professors about “back in the day.” It makes a tremendous difference in the lives of my ambitious students that I am currently working in the industry and providing them up-to-the-minute industry expertise. In the same fashion, on the first day of all of my classes, as I teach many Gen Z students who are obtaining their master’s degrees, I challenge them to also teach me. I expect to learn as much from my students as I teach them.

The reason why I thrive with emerging technology and innovative strategies and providing that expertise to my diverse industry-leading clients is that I work with and learn from Generation Z on a daily basis. Serving as a professor tremendously helps me with my client work as it amplifies my expertise. I’m always learning and growing. I am absolutely blessed to operate in my true calling of storytelling and teaching.

Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success thus far? Can you please share a story or example for each?

Ambitious, innovative, creative, and out-of-the-box thinking are traits that are instrumental to my success. I am honest with my clients on goal setting, but yet always ambitious.

Everything that I do is done with an eye on innovation, creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking, which sets them apart from competition. I truly lean into what’s unique about my clients and it organically catapults success. In the same token, not everyone is ready for PR expertise. Before I take on any clients, I ensure that they’re ready to thrive.

Ambition is the character trait that has most helped me win and succeed both in my career and for my clients. My ambition challenges clients to think outside the box with me and it excites them about new possibilities. Once a brand, company, or influencer is ready for PR, that’s when the fun begins.

I have a client who was first nervous about spending a measurable budget amount on public relations services. Still, she was at a point where her business was rapidly growing. Her company was ready for more and better exposure and needed a strategy for connecting authentically with her key stakeholders. Inspired by the innovative and visionary approach I drafted for her company, she jumped in with both feet — recognizing the value in strategic communications. Three contract terms later, we’ve now been working together long enough that I’ve seen her business grow exponentially. It’s something that brings us both great pride.

Wonderful. Let’s now jump into the main part of our interview. What 3 media strategies are typically most effective in generating more business for a national brand?

National brands are usually in an excellent position to obtain media coverage with public interest on behalf of their consumers and fan base. Businesses whose stories can resonate nationally have a wider selection of publications and reporters who would be interested in interviews, stories, and coverage.

These three helpful media strategies for national brands include identifying and building working relationships with reporters and journalists with relevant beats. This networking should definitely include freelancers, who usually contribute to multiple outlets. These unaffiliated columnists are excellent to help expand your business’ reach beyond your headquarters or home region.

Secondly, be on the look for unique, unexpected angles that are tangential to your business. Be sure to pay attention to heritage and awareness months from Black History Month to Women’s History Month, Pride Month, and beyond.

Thirdly, when you read an article from a reporter, go ahead and reach out to them. Reporters love to hear that you read their piece and you can use that as an entry to pitch your client. To be successful, you must continuously touch base with reporters and strengthen your network of journalists. We need relationships with journalists to excel, there’s no way around that.

Also, keep in contact with reporters who have already covered your business. When major news comes out that affects or is related to your company, offer your business leader’s expert perspective on the topic proactively.

For example, many national news publications report on breaking news or legislation that might affect your region, business, clients, or customers. This is the time to reach out and offer your expert thoughts on the subject. This also keeps your business top-of-mind and could even result in reporters reaching out to you in the future.

One more before we go: If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I am happy with the increased communications and dynamic conversations around mental health in the Black community. It’s a critical topic that I want to see grow into an impactful collective movement. I truly believe it can have a tremendous positive impact on the wellbeing and success of my community.

Mental health awareness is something that should be spoken about frequently and openly to eliminate stigmas and in return can positively impact and save lives.

Thank you for sharing so many insights with us!

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