Speaker Recap - Brittany Harmon
On Tuesday, February 19, our chapter had the pleasure hosting Brittany Harmon, an account director for Weber Shandwick at their Philadelphia location. With almost 10 years of agency experience, Harmon discussed how her career in public relations started when she was in college.
A loyal Blue Hen (University of Delaware’s mascot), Harmon shared with our chapter that she originally wanted to be a magazine editor. However, with a cautious recommendation provided by a professor of hers, Harmon began to rethink a career in journalism and soon discovered public relations. Holding multiple leadership positions for industry-related school clubs, Harmon was able to gain hands-on experience in public relations and credited her leadership roles to much of her success.
Between her involvement in college, constant networking and endless handouts of her resume, Harmon secured an internship with Aloysius Butler & Clark upon graduation. Her drive and passion did not end there, as an intern, she continued to network and hand her resume to anyone who would take it which led her to earning a temp to perm position with Vault Communications. Within one month of her time with Vault, Harmon was offered a full time position. After four years with Vault, Harmon decided to join Tonic Life Communications where she discovered her love for healthcare communications. Moving from Tonic Life Communications to Ruder Finn, it did not take long for Harmon to get recruited by Weber Shandwick for their new Philadelphia offices.
As an account director for Weber Shandwick, Harmon works with celebrities and spokespeople to elevate disease awareness. One example she shared with us was her work for Excedrin - a leading medicine for headache and migraine pain relief. During the time of the 2018 NBA draft, when the biggest headache was fans wondering which city Lebron James would end up in, Harmon and the Excedrin team created a campaign to hand out samples of the medicine to alleviate fans headaches. This campaign is just one of many Harmon has had her hands on.
While the opportunities Harmon earned are invaluable experiences and allowed her to get to where she is now, she ended her presentation with eight tips we can begin adopting now to get to where we want to be one day.
Her tips include:
1. Rolling up your sleeves
Harmon emphasized the importance of being a team member and being there for your manager.
2. Ask questions
Asking questions will not only save time in the future for you and your manager, but it will allow you to grow your skills and gain knowledge you might not have acquired without asking.
3. Be proactive
Always think two steps ahead, it’s good for both your team and your client.
4. Be flexible
Things come up suddenly, be flexible and ready to handle your clients needs when they ask.
5. Read, read, read
Keeping up with industry trends and news is the best way to continue learning and keeping your client happy. Knowing the answers to questions they ask before they even ask them will only solidify client relationships.
6. Clean up your social
Employers see what you post online, so be smart about what you share. And in Harmon’s words, “Private is private, but only to an extent.”
7. Be creative
Positioning yourself in a creative way will not only help you stand out, but it will leave a lasting impression in an employer’s mind.
8. Have fun!
Yes the work we do is important but at the end of the day, we’re not curing cancer. Work hard and work smart, but be sure to live your life also.
This blog post was written by Allison Eckel, Director of Social Media