Learning to Break Through From a Summer Fellow’s Perspective

July 31, 2013

outside-the-box2Fresh out of college and still in denial that my scholastic experiences had come to an end, I found myself in pursuit of opportunity. I knew I wanted to gain experience in public relations, continue learning and discover how to stand out as a professional. It was during my search that Ketchum captured my attention with a brand promise to break through and, after a month in the Fellowship Program, I have seen how Ketchum does just that.  From creative brainstorming to leadership seminars, Ketchum encourages an innovative working environment that values everyone’s ideas (including those of the young Fellows).

Noise …Noise Noise Everywhere Noise

I first realized that there is an incredible need to break through and to engage the public on a personal level. There are so many portals and information targeting people, but it all seems to be the same thing repackaged. Within days of beginning my Fellowship, I immediately understood the value and importance of break through thinking if one is to communicate effectively.

Think Outside the Box

Now I am entrenched in the hustling, energetic and passionate working environment of Ketchum. A Fellow receives unparallelled public relations experience where break through thinking is encouraged, valued and most of all contagious. There is an open door policy, and Fellows have the opportunity to meet with the incredible talent that drives truly innovative work. With only a month at Ketchum, I have already gained some incredible insights… so allow me share just a few:

  • It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear. After one writing session with Bill Delaney, Senior Vice President of Communications Training, I reshaped my approach to how I write and communicate. In order to shape opinions you must first understand the audience. This session alone has had a huge impact on the way I write. For example, in discussions about news writing, the simple concept of “leading with your best picture” reframed the way I approached my work. To lead with your best picture, you are beginning your work with a gift to the audience that will capture their attention and continue to hold their attention through your explanation.
  • Wait …it is about me. Throughout my education, I became conditioned to consume information and opinions. Now, during my short time immersed in the Ketchum culture, I realize break through thinking is born out of your own experience and unique point of view. Self-awareness for your own brand is what drives you, and the courage to bring that to your work is an important step in being able to effectively communicate and shape others’ opinions.
  • No Limits, Just Edges. This is something I pulled from my first creative leadership session with the Fellows Program. I discovered the essence of a valuable idea. Ketchum focuses on the core of an idea in order to create actionable solutions. Whether you are a Fellow or a Chief Communications Officer, people take your ideas, thoughts, questions and insights seriously. This isn’t just to be said about the creative working environment here at Ketchum, but this also directly relates to the breadth of opportunities here at Ketchum. Opportunity is endless.

As I continue to find my own way to break through, I continue to be inspired by the environment, the incredible work and the astounding break through ideas that are executed in Ketchum’s client campaigns.

Image credit: lukeamiller.wordpress.com

I am a recent graduate of the University of Georgia and Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication where I obtained my degree in public relations and communication studies. I am working as a Summer Corporate Fellow at Ketchum’s New York Office. My interest are in corporate communications, creative strategy and social media.