A Note From Hanna

In college, I had the dictionary definition of “public relations” memorized. Whenever anyone asked what I studied, I recited that definition—because quite frankly, without working experience, I wasn’t sure what public relations really was. I understood my coursework. I received high accolades and great feedback from my professors. For some reason, though, whenever I tried to explain the PR industry to an outsider, I was at a loss.

I don’t need the dictionary definition anymore. In a little over a month of working at Caster, I have learned more about the field than in four years of school. And – plot twist – I’m taking a different path.

Here’s what I discovered about PR in my first few weeks: public relations is a technical expertise. Not only are you tasked with learning about what your clients do, it is also important to realize how they fit into the overall industry they serve. It’s about understanding what audiences make up those industries, the concepts that are important to them, and what your client can uniquely contribute. I’ve learned that an effective PR team is deeply immersed in their clients’ worlds – so much so that the agency itself requires dedicated support to ensure that ideas and opportunities are shared cross-team. This includes maintaining clear, accessible, up-to-date policies and workflows, to create an organization that runs as efficiently as possible. I was hired at Caster as a Public Relations Assistant with full intentions of diving deep into the world of PR. However, within my first few weeks I realized that being a PR professional wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. Helping the agency run smoothly, however, was a lot more up my alley.

I’m joining Caster Communications as an Administrative Assistant. In my new role, I am acting as a personal and professional assistant to Caster’s executives, as well as providing cross-agency support to the entire Caster Crew. My day-to-day responsibilities include general office upkeep, managing incoming/outgoing communications and working on a range of activities that assist the organization’s leadership. In this role, I am still able to put my PR skills to use through monitoring and reporting daily news and media research as it relates to Caster and supporting team tools to keep lists, files, and platforms organized and updated. Another pertinent part of my position focuses on the coordination and support of Caster’s HR needs, largely including onboarding and training. One of the responsibilities that I am really looking forward to is the management of our internship program.

With my PR degree and my background, I have exactly the right experience to keep Caster running like a well-oiled machine. Prior to working for Caster, I completed numerous internships in the world of PR and communications. As a Digital Marketing and Social Media intern at Simplified Impact, a Wedding Event Planning Assistant at Em Devaud Events, and a Communications and Marketing intern at Clean Ocean Access, I learned the importance of social media, content creation, and client management. Right after graduation, I completed a quick stint in the Human Resources industry as a recruiter, where I found a love for cultivating relationships and administrative tasks, but ultimately really disliked the sales aspect of the job.

Only months after accepting my first job, I found myself yet again searching LinkedIn, Indeed and every other job board out there for a new opportunity. I felt extremely lost and wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue doing HR or take the PR route. After four years as a model student of PR, I was really surprised to discover how well HR fit. My new role at Caster is the best of both worlds: it will allow me to bring together my love for organization and administrative tasks with my knack for communicating and research and my understanding of our clients’ needs. I am so excited to continue to grow and learn as a member of the amazing Caster team!

Do you want a behind-the-scenes look at life in a tech PR agency? Connect with me on Twitter @hannamaynardpr.

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