Focus on what matters, don’t get distracted by things that don’t matter
Listen to your clients, do more than hear what they are saying
Take a moment to pause, think and then react
Learn to collaborate, the power of multiple minds can’t be beat
Enjoy what you do, you only get to do it once
As part of my interview series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Valerie Christopherson. Valerie is the founder and CEO of Global Results Communications (GRC), an award-winning public relations firm trusted by both entrepreneurs on the cusp of new discoveries and multi-billion-dollar enterprises breaking new ground. Renowned for her expertise in high tech, she is the driving force behind GRC’s targeted communications strategies that dramatically enhance client market presence and performance on a global scale. Prior to founding GRC in 2005, Valerie held key positions at QUALCOMM, Porter Novelli Convergence Group, and other niche agencies in the mobile, telecom, and technology sectors. Over a span of 20 years, she provided unparalleled counsel and campaign management resulting in successful public relations and social media programs for Fortune 500 companies, major trade associations, and start-ups.
A current board member of Golden Rule Charity, Valerie has been involved with various nonprofit organizations including Make a Wish Foundation and Mobile Giving Foundation among others. An industry thought leader, she is frequently called upon to speak at regional and national events including PR News conferences, regional PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) conferences, and Comm Week at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF).
A graduate of CSUF, Valerie holds a bachelor’s degree in both English and communications with a public relations emphasis. She also completed a social media certification program at the University of California, Irvine.
Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My original goal was to be a defense attorney. While in college, as a political science major, I took a closer look at various career paths and determined to make a change into both English and Communications with an emphasis in PR. The educational side of PR was important, however, it really was my internships that lead me to the path of PR. I always say it’s an experienced base field as some things you can’t teach, you have to experience to fully grasp.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?
GRC was founded in 2005 so there are many interesting stories. I’d say, 2020 though is an interesting story still developing. The world changed and changed quickly with the pandemic making it interesting for PR professionals as it’s really the first time in modern history that we’ve seen a crisis of this magnitude, meaning there was no playbook. We scripted as we lived through it. I believe we will have many interesting stories coming out of 2020.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I believe that most PR professionals make the mistake, once and only once, of calling a reporter about a story that isn’t relevant to their beat and in return get blasted for doing so. I learned very early on, that when it comes to media relations, get your facts straight, don’t waste someone’s time, and ensure you have a story to tell or news to be told.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
GRC has a variety of clients in the tech sector. We’re working on several campaigns around diversity and inclusion, remote working, aging in place, autonomous cars, smart cities, digital transformation, and more.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
1. Focus on what matters, don’t get distracted by things that don’t matter
2. Listen to your clients, do more than hear what they are saying
3. Take a moment to pause, think and then react
4. Learn to collaborate, the power of multiple minds can’t be beat
5. Enjoy what you do, you only get to do it once
You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?
To me, networking is about relationships, not just the quick sale. You should get to know someone, what makes them tick, and what doesn’t. Be generous in your sharing and help others, as word of mouth spreads quickly.
Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?
Lead generation comes in many forms. For GRC it tends to be word of mouth based on our expertise and longevity in the marketplace.
Is there a particular book that you read, or podcast you listened to that really helped you in your career? Can you explain it?
I’ve become a fan of Podcasts over the last year and audiobooks. GRC has a podcast PR 360 in which we have really enjoyed hearing from communications and marketing professionals. As for my career, it’s helped to read the news and stay on top of the trends.
Because of the role you play, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I’d like to see a movement around humanity. Remove all factors and just believe that people are people and treat all people as part of the same human race. 😉