3 Character Traits To Grow A Successful Career In PR with Lis Harper

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

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People trust products and services when they know the mission behind the company and see trusted sources using them.

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 Lis Harper.

Lis Harper is the Senior Client and Project Manager at Medley, with a decade of experience in digital marketing, message strategy, and project management. She previously served as the communications and marketing manager for nonprofits and supported the needs of business, government, and nonprofit clients as a consultant. Lis has a Bachelor of Arts in History from Indiana University and a Master of Arts in Public Policy with a Concentration in Women’s Studies from The George Washington University.

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 was always a curious child, and that attribute, combined with my extensive writing experience, propelled me into a development position with a think tank in Washington, D.C. Eager to learn more and be helpful, I dove into new projects including updating the organization’s website (in Dreamweaver, back in the day before streamlined content management systems were popular and accessible), overseeing report publications and press relations, and launching the organization’s brand on social media.

Through each new role, I continued to add experience in different areas, such as program development and special event management, but my curiosity and passion always collided around digital marketing and PR. When I discovered agency life, I knew I was home. It could be because my mom believed she had (undiagnosed) attention deficit disorder, but I was always most comfortable in an environment where a myriad of challenges and topics presented themselves each day, so agency life was a natural fit.

Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success thus far?

Organization — Having systems and processes in place to keep projects and teams running smoothly is key to success. Without structure, there is chaos, and it’s imperative that companies operate in a framework that allows for everyone to understand the goals they are individually and collectively trying to achieve.

Agility — As important as an organization is to success, the ability to pivot and adjust based on feedback, outcomes, and changes to ecosystems is a key ingredient to success as well. Businesses have to operate in faster and faster cycles, and if the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that everyone needs to adapt to certain levels of change and stay flexible in the face of unpredictable circumstances in order to thrive.

Grit — Having the tenacity to not only weather challenges but to celebrate wins is a core component of success for most. When people are ready and willing to put their heads down and do the hard work, they are generally rewarded for their efforts.

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 would do well to implement the same three strategies above, but to scale. Impact stories are just as important for brands regardless of market or reach.

Consumers are swayed by seeing the good their dollars are going toward, and not just telling them but showing them the social impact their purchases have will help entice audiences and lead to increases in purchases. Similarly, strong social media content with a robust advertising budget helps to bring greater awareness to the brand, and so doubling down on engaging social media content with paid advertising ensures greater visibility which will lead to an increase in sales.

While influencer marketing may be replaced with brand ambassadors — larger-than-life figures promoting products and services — the core principle is the same. People trust products and services when they know the mission behind the company and see trusted sources using them. The benefit for national brands comes from a bigger budget that provides for greater opportunities for reach.

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?

As a mother who loves her work outside the home, I recognize the incredible benefits of my privilege to be able to balance work and caregiving, but for far too many it is far too hard.

If we truly believe in investing in our future, by both supporting the existing talent of women and mothers in the workforce and the future potential of children, we need to get serious about the structural inequality that too often leaves women and mothers to fend for themselves when it comes to figuring out quality child care, education, and other caregiving needs for families.

Women shoulder far too much of the burden in this regard, and while we are strong and capable people, it simply should not be this difficult or impossible, and the benefits would have a significant ripple effect in the economy and on our future.

Thank you for sharing so many insights with us!

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