Kiok: I don’t think that I’m completely undefinable, but no one thing can define me. I’m a culmination of many different traits.
How did you seek mentorship when starting out in this industry?
My career wouldn’t have blossomed the way it has without the strong leadership I’ve witnessed from my former managers and peers. When I initially delved into PR, I reached out to everyone in my network and asked if I could help them in any way. From there, it was important to ask the right questions, be observant, and always be quick on my feet. I preemptively prepared for any requests that my boss could request of me, learned how to pack a PR mailer more efficiently, and reorganized the product cabinets. For me, it was all about being proactive.
For those that are interested in pursuing a career in PR, what is the most important thing to keep in mind when representing your clients?
Whether you’re in-house at a brand or at an agency where you manage multiple clients, it’s crucial to listen to your client’s goals and stay on-brand on their behalf. For example, if a brand maintains a certain aesthetic, I’ll try to dress the part when I take meetings or help them host an event. Also, it’s essential to drive any conversation back to the brand so that it stays top-of-mind.
What would you say to those out there that want to follow in your footsteps and start a company?
My advice is to create a company because of an actual need or a void that you’ve identified in the market. I wouldn’t start a company haphazardly, since there will be many unforeseen challenges along the way. However, if you’re convinced that your company could solve a problem with the correct solution, then you’ll have the convictions to lead fearlessly and to also stand out amongst a sea of potential competitors. From there, build your team with people who are smarter than you, but are just as driven. I believe that you can only grow from honestly knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and allowing yourself to learn from others, too. Personally speaking, I hired a financial advisor who keeps our business in-check because I’m not naturally great with numbers.