Trust the Algorithm, or how I got into Advertising
If someone had asked me when I was a kid what I wanted to be, the answer couldn’t have been more different from what I ended up with. But I suppose the Universe has its own sense of humor and knows best what suits each person.
Books have been a steady presence in my life ever since I could barely make out the first letters. Thus, the inclination towards writing developed naturally and imagination became my most important skill. But making a career out of it is a bit hard, almost impossible. However, all the tiny steps I’ve taken in that direction have led me to where I am today.
But before we get to the present, let me take you back to the moment that laid the foundation for the future profession in Advertising. You’ve probably heard of them before, because they are that good, and I was no exception when the opportunity arose to join them: PRIME Romania.
I discovered them in my first year of university. In fact, they came with their iconic energy into the auditorium and announced that they had opened recruitment and were looking forward to new freshmen. I was a Journalism major and thought I didn’t really belong in a PR and Communications organization, but I figured I had nothing to lose by applying. At the time I was looking for any reason to expand my vision and wanted new skills to help me further. Or, if you like, you could say I was on the verge of becoming a workaholic.
I then combined all my knowledge of how to be a good journalist and part-time PR, which I then applied to various projects that in turn came with other highly professionally contextualised ramifications. Magazine launches, event organisation, interviews, articles, features, occasional cameraman, reporter sent out for interviews and wanna be project co-ordinator – I did it all. At the end of the day, though, when you come home late after an eventful day, all you can think about is people. Who made you laugh during a brainstorm, who encouraged you to take another double, who came up with that great idea in a pitch and who you hunted down the most sensational topics with.
Being a #humanofprime is more than just a hashtag in a copy to a post, it’s an identification that stays with you long, long after you leave the association. The team is there with you at every deadline, the coordinators are a perfect mix between your friendly boss & the strict one, and the board is the one that teaches you how to react to “no”. But I think the most important thing I was able to form during that time was professional relationships. Having the opportunity to work with people in the industry, to meet influencers and integrate them into the projects I was developing – a trend that had just emerged – was perhaps the biggest advantage I was able to enjoy.
Between two meetings and a couple of features, my work experience in the newsrooms of media trusts helped me to strengthen my ability to give professional and tailored answers to each situation. And if you work in Communications, you know you’ll need a range of responses and one specifically designed for PR crises.
Then followed two years of Master’s degree in Publishing Theory and Practice at the Faculty of Letters in Bucharest. The change of studies came from a desire to explore other fields, but also to return to the passion from which it all started. And thanks to the practice in publishing houses I sharpened my critical sense and honed my editor’s eye. I’m something of a grammar-nazi, what can I say.
What the Romanian educational system doesn’t teach you is what to do once you finish it, how to resist the professional rejections that come one after the other, and how to deal with the frustration caused by a lack of the necessary background. For me, the strategy that worked was: turn a “no” into a “not now”, although you can also call it stubbornness. The algorithm works the same everywhere, whether we’re talking about Social Media or life, because otherwise I wouldn’t have ended up being part of the wonderful team that is Minio Studio.
I believe that things have a way of happening, and as much as we would like to speed them up, they will slam on the brakes if they feel the time is not right. Plans change from one day to the next and so does our perception of the future. If a few years ago I knew exactly what I wanted to be and what I wanted to do, recently I have experienced a period of adrift. I don’t recommend it, it’s not a particularly pleasant experience, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s a necessary one. It gives you time to think, introspect and make decisions.
So I came to the conclusion that what I want and what I need are not the same, so the healthy choice in this case was to change my perspective. I went back into Advertising and joined an agency that teaches me every day how challenging this field is. The team constantly offers support and confidence, patience and loads of fun. Everyone has their role, and in the end all the pieces come together into a dynamic and creative whole.
The component I work on incorporates a relatively new approach that still has a long way to go before it reaches its potential. The idea of collaborating with influencers is as appealing as it is sensitive. Choices need to be made following rigorous research and based on both client feedback and the needs & wants of the target audience. Then it’s all about the relationship you build with them and what you need to deliver together. Respect and a friendly attitude are key points in approaching public individuals, but you should always have a professional, media-centric mindset between influencer and client. Of course, don’t forget to update your crisis responses and do regular speed reviews.
A good PR & Influencer Executive needs to be organised, attentive to detail, always ready to engage with all kinds of people, adaptable to every situation and creative. People often forget how important imagination is in Advertising, besides strategy and budgets. However, you have to make the most of every moment, because absolutely no day is like any other. I know it may seem like an exaggeration, but it’s a fact that has been tested and experienced for months now. Today I can work from home, tomorrow I can go to the office, the next one can be dedicated to a photoshoot or an event, then there can be quiet days when everyone works in silence or days when you have real laugh sessions with colleagues.
The future sounds good for employers looking to the new generation, but also for those trying to revitalise the pace for existing employees. The hybrid system and a shared workspace can significantly improve people’s mood, but so can episodes of fun with colleagues or an environment where you can feel safe to make mistakes and ask questions when you feel the need. Your professional relationship with other colleagues only benefits and you’ll feel less pressure.
Being at the beginning of your career and having to deal with real adult life is a similar mental test to the Hunger Games. However, just as social media trends change from week to week, so can your career path. Everything will be fine once you find the balance between your priorities and understand that you can try any career option until you find the right one.
Until next time, remember to stay curious. See yaa!
Source: PR România