Steering the Squad | Three Tips in Account Leadership

Share the spotlight with your team!

Because I had such an enriching experience during my chat with Matt Friedman of Tanner Friedman Strategic Communications (see my last post), I decided to write another post that covers the topics we discussed more broadly.

To refresh your memories, Matt Friedman came to speak with students at my school, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communcations, a few weeks ago to discuss how to successfully lead an account in the crazy business that is PR. My last post focused particularly on different styles of firm management. Take a look here.

Aside from great advice concerning leadership, Friedman was able to give us some quick takeaways on how best to lead an account and what us students can prepare ourselves for as we enter the field. I have selected a few of my favorites here:

1) Be the chief strategy officer. As a leader, it is your job to inspire account members to innovate and think creatively. But how can you motivate your team to think strategically when you are stuck using the same old tactics? Lead the way by encouraging the flow of ideas but also by making your own contributions.

2) Always stay in front of the client’s agenda. With every client account, the first thing you do is asses its needs. Don’t stop there. Be in a state of constant reassessment. “Don’t wait to be asked to do something,” said Friedman. He adds that being a step ahead of your client’s needs makes their job easier, a feat that they will be forever appreciative of.

3) Share the spotlight with you team. This one is a no-brainier. Give credit where credit is due, especially when it comes to major successes. This will keep the morale of the team high and encourage productivity. Be proactive by going out of your way to acknowledge hard work and credit not only the team for successes, but specific individuals as well.

In sum, Matt Friedman encouraged us to think logically and take advantage of difficult situations we face by learning from them — each experience is an opportunity to learn and become better public relations professionals. Thanks Mr.Friedman!<

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