Getting to Know GRC: A Q&A with Patrick LeBeau
At Global Results Communications (GRC), our team is dedicated to enhancing the profiles of our clients worldwide. We also understand that in order to achieve excellence within the industry, excellence must first come from within. GRC takes pride in working with a diverse, creative and collaborative team of exceptional individuals, all with something unique to offer.
Meet Patrick LeBeau, an associate in his first year at GRC. We recently sat down with him to learn more about his first few months.
How long have you been at GRC and what has your experience been like so far?
I started at GRC in December 2016, so I am going on about six months with the firm. So far, my experience has been very positive and informative. This role has allowed me to be client-facing from early on, and provided me excellent opportunities to grow my client communication skills. Moreover, I find that the focus on technology clients is very interesting and innovative. This position has introduced me to new markets and industries that I was not previously familiar with. Additionally, all of my team members and supervisors have been very welcoming and extremely helpful since I came on board, and have helped me quickly adjust to GRC’s culture and “learn the lingo” fairly quickly.
What experience did you gain before joining GRC and how has it provided you the tools to succeed in your role as an Associate?
I most recently interned for a PR firm in LA for 3 months in the late summer and early fall. This internship helped refine critical skills that any PR pro needs to succeed, including:
- A comprehensive understanding of how an agency works
- Key insights into strategy, planning, and the media campaigns and metrics development process
- Key industry media monitoring and coverage reporting skills
- Understanding of corporate structure, operation and hierarchies
I previously spent a few months freelancing part-time for a boutique entertainment PR firm, and also interned in the communications department of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, a non-profit food bank serving Cook County and the City of Chicago.
I graduated in May 2016 from the University of Missouri (M-I-Z!) with my Bachelor of Journalism degree, with a focus in strategic communication and public relations.
What challenges have you faced in your first three months at GRC?
My biggest challenge so far has been getting up to speed with our clients’ messaging and key talking points. Because so many clients are focused in technically-advanced areas, I have found it has taken some time to get up to speed and understand their company, their market and their consumers.
Additionally, I have faced some difficulty translating the skills I learned in the classroom during college into my everyday to-do’s and deliverables at GRC. Even with extensive internship experience, I have found it takes time to adjust to each agency and each client’s preferred way of managing tasks. However, with each day at GRC, I feel like I develop a better grasp of how to succeed in the constantly-evolving world of PR and communications.
Is there a project, campaign or other activity that you’ve worked on that stands out?
I felt very accomplished when I helped secure an interview with CNN Tech for a client’s newly-announced board member in February. I still consider myself a novice at pitching and media interactions, so with the help of my more experienced team members, I was able to successfully secure an interview and front page coverage on CNN Tech’s homepage for our client. Call it beginner’s luck!
What advice would you give to someone looking for their first job in public relations?
1. The interview and job hunting process can be very tough, but you have to keep a positive attitude and have faith it will all work out. I have found that coming to an interview professionally dressed and with copies of your work and resume to be extremely beneficial and leave a lasting impression with potential employers. Additionally, thank you notes (either email or hand-written) go a very long way to help leave a positive impression following your interview.
2. Keep the time-honored phrase “time is money” in mind whenever you are dealing with coworkers, media and your clients. Keep all communications clear, simple and get straight to the point!
3. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions if you are ever unsure of anything. It is always better to take a little bit longer and confirm/clarify before you send something off to a client or supervisor. More often than not, the answer is there if you just dig a little deeper.
4. Be thorough, detailed, savvy and be sure to PROOFREAD!! Relevant and accurate research forms the basis of any good pitch, media list, campaign, recommendation, etc. Be sure to gather ALL the facts before you do anything else!
5. Don’t be afraid to feel a little confused or out of your league. There are some things that you will never be able to learn in the classroom, but will gain with experience and practice instead.