PR Niblets

Sunday, September 20, 2009

There Is No "Steph" In Team

After Henry Feintuch and I worked together for the first time 12 years ago, I went on to have several other PR gigs. Most of my time was spent working from a home office for my financial services PR consultancy. I represented companies based all around the world but worked mostly on my own.

In the beginning, I felt like a crazy cat lady. I was convinced that clients would assume I was at yoga or having my nails done if I didn’t answer the phone and I would keep the occasional telemarketer on the line because I needed human (if merely telephonic) contact.

In a word, I had turned into a wacko.

Over time, I became more relaxed about my situation and after comparing notes with my buddies at traditional day jobs, I learned I often did more in a day than they did in a week - even with a noon yoga break – because I didn’t have the distractions or the chatty colleagues that come with a communal work environment.

When we started Feintuch Communications in January I had a "lone wolf "work style that needed to be modified if I was going to make an effective team member. Used to taking total responsibility for both my successes and my failures, it was a completely foreign concept to have people to bounce ideas off of or share my work.

In June, my industry’s largest trade show came around. I had two major clients with big announcements and way more work than one woman could handle. I was forced to delegate editor and analyst calls that my colleagues would have had to pry out of my cold dead hands in the past. And, I even relied on them for some sensitive strategy decisions.

As far as I was concerned, the end was upon us. I was positive we were going to be fired by everyone as soon as the show closed …

On the contrary - and typical of having dedicated and talented colleagues - everything went swimmingly. Clients were happy, editors and analysts didn’t hang up on the Steph Johnson imposters who called them and the world continued to spin on its axis.

Steph Johnson ... a team player?

Baby steps, my friends … but at least I’m making progress!

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