All posts by lpowell1

Find your creativity

There is the work place and everything else. Growing up, I often found myself thinking your job was all about completing tasks and being professional. Fi-Plan Partners employee Chris Davis shed some light on the idea that one’s career can also follow the “work hard, play hard” mentality that many of us college students know too well.

Creativity. This was and is Davis’ passion. Beginning his career in music, Davis led a band and recorded albums. Sounds like the life, doesn’t it? Soon enough, Davis realized life on the road was not worth the success. Coming home to his family, finding a job that allowed originality and creativity was the goal. After opening his own recording studio and a coffee house, Davis could finally call fi-Plan Partners his new home.

fi-Plan Partners is an independent financial company trying to raise one’s “quality of life” through investment. Davis does a variety of PR tasks such as video editing, graphic design and marketing campaigns. Davis even helped the company develop their own coffee blend at O’Henry’s coffee house. With his position, director of integrated communications, there is plenty of room for that creativity Davis was looking for.

Some advice:

  • You must have goals—don’t do “spaghetti marketing” where nothing sticks.
  • Know your call to action (CTA)—for example it might be “come to our office” or “come see us.” Either way, one must be bold and specific.
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial. There are SEO tactics one must follow in order to get your website at the top of the list. For example, a good website has the majority of its information “above the fold.” Additionally, search engines, like Google, look for key words and how often you use these key words within your website.
  • Use social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to advertise your company. These sites allow others to be more aware of what your company has to offer.
  • BE TEACHABLE. Davis could not stress enough the importance of always being able to learn.

So if you learn anything from Chris Davis’ lecture last Friday, remember the importance of loving what you do. I’m sure Davis never intended to work at an investment company, let alone wear a tie most days to work. But, he still gets to do what he loves—use the right side of his brain. Be good at what you do, but more importantly, love what you do.

Read more about Chris Davis and his family here.

How Luckie.

Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Lori Merrick’s visit to Samford’s PR class this past Friday. However, last year I had the opportunity to have a personal interview with Lori at Luckie & Co. The agency’s ambiance gave off a very artistic vibe. I still remember the intricate metal designs that hung from the ceiling and the bright colors throughout the building. Public relations and advertising is all about presentation. From the moment I walked through the door, Luckie & Co. did just that.

Feeling relaxed and welcomed, I began to ask Lori questions about her career. The duties of her position, account director, vary on a daily basis. Her first piece of advice was this:

  • Be ready for a flexible schedule. Lori started giving a description of her typical day. She honestly does a little of everything—she deals with the media, writes PR programs, creates power points, and helps with event planning.

Luckie & Co. is the 5th ranked ad agency in the U.S., which was started by Mr. Luckie in 1953. After learning some of Luckie’s history, Lori talked more about her job.

  • To prepare, find an internship program. Your background and experience is more important than your degree. She said it is very helpful to work in a newspaper or any media environment to help prepare oneself for a job in PR.
  • Next, PR is all about conveying a message. Overall, you are generating media coverage for clients all over the country. To do so, one must be an effective communicator.
  • If you think only journalists write, you are wrong. Lori could not stress enough how important one’s writing skills are for a job in PR. The job is all about how you come across through writing. Practice. You need as much experience as you can get.
  • Lori continuously commented on the flexibility of her job, and how much she enjoyed this aspect of PR. However, her least favorite thing about her job was the stress level, which can get rough. You have to be dependable to your clients. The media will ask you questions, and you must represent your clients to the best of your ability.

All in all, Luckie & Co. is an establish ad agency with many PR elements. I plan to remember and apply Lori’s tips and suggestions while developing my PR career.