Brandy Whalen - The PR Wine Down
7:42PM Mar 28, 2022
Are you ready? Okay, Laura. Happy anniversary.
Did you buy me roses?
Well, April. It's been just about a year since we first sat down in the recording booth here. So I think we're gonna have to shake things up with a special anniversary episode to kick off season two. All right of the PR wind down podcast.
Okay, so we're gonna we're gonna do take a walk down memory lane today revisit some favorite moments. Talk about some elephants in the room, podcasting and PR
Are you calling me fat? I think it would. Everybody else to do is grab a glass and relax. As we celebrate the past year. And welcome the new one.
We're bringing the new PR one down year.
Yes, it's like Chinese New Year, Jewish new year and the PR wind down.
I love it. We're right on schedule. You're listening to the PR wine down podcast, the show for public relations professionals who are ready to see real change in the PR industry. We are your hosts April Margulies and Laura scoober. Let's get ready to wind down alright, Laura, are you ready to rock? I'm ready to rock. Wait, there's some kind of crowd response to that. We're ready to rock I don't know. I feel like I remember sports games which I don't have done. Like, are you ready to rock rock? I don't know. I mean, I made that. Oh,
I want to rock rock. Are you talking about Twisted Sister?
I don't know maybe this is me.
The chances are we will rock you now they play white stripes.
Da da bop bop.
That's like a big jock rock song. Which is so funny because yeah, really but a jock? Yeah.
Okay, I'm letting Brandon I think I think maybe
you know that's Do you?
Yeah, she's a good friend of mine is not going
to know so from like the 70s. I'll find it. Yeah, by looking glass.
Hey, Brandy. How are you?
I'm doing really well. How are you doing? Good.
Your name just inspired Laura to look up the song brandy.
we're fine girl.
Oh, yes. Yes.
You have to know it because of your day because it's like, waiting for you to time. Oh, well,
definitely. In college. I think a couple gentlemen. Actually. I was a waitress in college. So they thought they were really hilarious and would sing the whole song to me.
Song, the whole thing.
stuff over either ridiculous songs or talks about baseball. So stuff and let us
know No, this is great. It's a great way to start a podcast. I love it.
So our guest today is Brandy Whalen. She's a seasoned entrepreneur, having founded several companies, including kick caster, which is a unique agency with a singular focus on podcasts. So she is here for a podcast about podcasts today to discuss storytelling as a powerful marketing tool and how brands can leverage it. So welcome, Brandy.
Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. This is great. I'm excited.
It's great to have you. Yeah, we're excited. So this is our anniversary podcast. And we thought it would be interesting to talk about all things podcast related since this is I can't believe we've been doing this for a full year now, Laura. I know. It's crazy. It feels like just yesterday, I was making you her fit to Guitar Center to get a stand for you. I
know. And there was only like eight people in like Midtown Manhattan, in
a way like 80 pounds.
Congratulations on a year.
Thank you. Pretty exciting. That's exciting. So yeah, I'm imagining that a lot of people you saw during the pandemic. Okay, this is our moment to do a podcast. We're all Yes, Zoom now and suddenly we're all stuck at home and this is a way to connect and communicate with other people. Is that true?
That is 100% true. And even from a business perspective, you think about Companies who would send their executives to events to speak, that opportunity no longer existed. So right trying to find other ways to have their voice heard without traveling, and podcasting created this beautiful vehicle for that. And not to mention connection, which is the really cool part of our job is that we get to connect people who are complete strangers. That's our job every day, and we get to coordinate a beautiful conversation. Special. How
many things have we already done on the don't do list on our podcast since you joined us? Four minutes?
That's the thing with podcasts, there are no rules. There's no rules.
That's why I like freeform radio doesn't exist anymore. This is it.
The conversational nature of what the two of you do is it makes people settle right in and get comfortable.
From a very young age. I was a humongous Howard Stern fan. Yeah. One of my life's desires to be on the radio. So this is it. We are here we are.
Amazing. So what are some of the things that you tell people that are thinking about whether they want to start a podcast, in terms of how much does it cost? How much effort that goes into it? How do you know if the market is oversaturated? How do you pick a topic? Like just talk us through some of the
and what everybody also wants to know is like, how do I make money? Right?
Laura wants to know that for us?
That's probably a separate?
Yeah, no, I think that it kind of all kind of blends in with to each other. But as Laura mentioned, podcasting is a lot of work, it is hard work. And regardless of whether you have a gigantic budget, or a small budget, it takes time, and depending on what what format you want your show to be, do you want it to be interview format, is it going to be? Just you monologuing the show, you know, it's, it's, it doesn't matter. It's all so much work, doing research on your guests, you know, researching the topic that you're going to be discussing. And so I always tell people really think it through, know what you want to talk about. There are 2.6 million podcasts. So what are you going to say that's different than what is already being said? Or how it's being delivered? So thinking about all of that, and then what's your goal? Is it is it to fill a something avoiding you to the this is something you've always wanted to do and dreamed of hosting a show? Is it to get leads for your business? Like decide what the end goal, what is the agenda? What are you What is it that you are trying to achieve? And then kind of work your way back from that and determine how much time you're willing to invest? I think that a lot of people jump into it without fully thinking through what they want to say how they want to position themselves, and how much time they have to commit to it. Mm hmm.
Just like PR,
just like PR.
So I same issues.
I did a podcast in 2013. And it was really hard because you had to have recording software, and editing software, and it sounded like crap, and none of this stuff like that we have now that we just didn't even like realize all of a sudden we went from nowheresville to like oh, just click this and put record and there you go. It was so hard. And it took a long time, right. It's crazy how much it has evolved. And it's also crazy how cutting edge I was April. I know.
That is really impressive. That was like you really had to know what you're doing muted yourself. You know
what I did? This is because I don't like to learn new things. I'm much kidding. I don't like to work that hard. So I figured out not true. And I and I had a or have a good friend who was a radio producer, who was only working part time. So he knew how to like run a show and edit stuff. And he didn't do it live and you couldn't really do it live back then unless you had major equipment. Yeah, so yeah. So that's how I brought him in and he took care of all that stuff.
It's amazing. Yeah, it is hard. And it's not easy. It takes time. So I think you know what we always recommend because we're we're basically the conduit, right for between people who want to be on a podcast and podcast host or producers. And so I always tell people before you jump in with both feet into starting your own podcasts, try going on some podcasts, you know some people, I think believe that Talking is their medium. But sometimes it's not. Maybe they're maybe they're a stronger writer, you know, I mean, it's just like, it's, it's one of those,
they're more behind the scenes. Yeah,
they could be more of a behind the scenes type of a person. So it there's just a lot. There's a lot to learn. And I think before you kind of jump right in to the world of podcasting, just to dip your toe in, try to go on a few shows before you before you start your own.
That's good advice. The other thing people always ask me about is how do you know what kind of microphone and headphones and recording equipment and lighting and but I'm just curious what advice you would give or offer from having seen it done poorly? And well, um,
yeah, we actually do have a resource guide that we give to all of our clients, and it lives on our website, and it points you to all of the things that are from like the necessity, like, yes, you absolutely need a microphone. And you absolutely need a headset, and you should have good lighting, because you are likely going to be on video. And then all the other things that are nice to haves, we have a list. And we have, we have products that range from you know, entry level, mid to high end, so you can kind of get in wherever it's comfortable for you.
So if you want it to sound professional, especially if it's a professional podcast, I think it's important to invest a little bit of money in that too. I think it's easy to be fooled by today's zoom calls where everyone's talking on Zoom. And there's no fancy equipment that you can pull that off with a podcast. But then the problem is you have the levels of people talking are completely different if you don't have certain things in place. And so we've we've even had to discover how to do a little bit of finagling with, you know, if our guests don't have a microphone or whatever, right. All kinds of things like that, to figure out.
Yeah, absolutely. And just going back to the number of podcasts that there are, and people are listening, and they're listening for the material, but also quality of the audio. So, you know, just to really stand out and to keep people listening. It's really important
grid than editing to if you're not doing it live.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I would say that the majority of people are recording and then editing. And that's a really important aspect. And that's a whole other skill set that you either have to do or unless somebody to do that for you.
Right, right. We enlisted somebody to do it.
Excellent. Laura's just proving her point. She gets somebody else to do things for her.
Yes. Very good to have
April, I do listen to them. And suggests edits were either we think it went on too long or off topic or we said something that we decided that we didn't want the world to potentially hear
married to having way too many likes.
That's, that's usually me not if
we are talking to people for an hour. That's a long time and you get a little loose sometimes. And then you forget that your microphones on and you know, that's when editing comes comes in very nicely.
Well, in my opinion, I feel like it makes it more organic when you know that it's not live. My concern, if we were doing it live is that I would watch everything I said so carefully that I might be a little stiffer and less
you would be one of the people that you're ultimately complaining about them. Right? Yeah, yeah, we would be the monsters that we're trying to.
Solara when you asked about just how do you how can you monetize? Right, the podcast? I think it's tricky. And I think that it is harder now I guess, because there are so many podcasts where the advertisers going to place their dollars. And then being able to collect all the information, maybe you're streaming on 10 different platforms, and collecting and gathering all the analytics, so that you can come with a compelling case of, you know, these are the folks who are tuning into our show. Do you have demographics on them? Because that is what advertisers are ultimately going to want to know. It takes a lot of work for podcasters to pull that information together and really make a compelling argument of why should you pay money to advertise on our show? And I also think that there's all different types of ways that people can advertise. Is it A, is it a mid roll? Is it a pre roll? Are you just going to organically slide a product into the conversation that people don't really know if it's an advertisement or if it's just part of the dialogue? I've been listening to a few shows that have been sponsored by brands, which I think is really interesting and not necessarily aligned like Salesforce. is sponsoring a murder mystery podcast. So I think that brands are going to get really sophisticated and how they're advertising, especially big brands and wanting to kind of sponsor the content maybe versus having the content talked about during an episode. But I think that more people are starting to see the value of advertising on podcasts. But we're also seeing that there are more podcasts and then then just trying to figure out the analytics behind everything. It kind of reminds me what I've heard brands that we work with, what I've heard them talk about is that there's just this kind of like, almost like an influencer trend where it's, do you want to get a little bit more niche niche and find like, the people who are truly going to connect with your brand, so maybe it's a smaller podcast audience, but they're all about what you do, versus a giant podcast that has a huge following, and also is going to be very expensive to advertise on. So I think that there's a place to play for everyone. Yeah.
You know, it's between like, can you get people to pay to listen? Or do you get advertisers? And or can you get both? And asking people to pay to listen is like the worst idea ever? Lay agree. Unless you're like, hugely, hugely famous.
Yeah. I mean, we expect our content to be free. We're past that That ship has sailed, we'll pay subscription fees for things, but we are not going to pay for gated content. The reason
why APR and I do it is because it's really for marketing purposes and self, you know, branding purposes, etc. And to meet new people and get new ideas and things like that, you know,
yeah, I was just gonna say, I think there's a lot of value just to having a conversation we buy from people that we relate to typically mean yes, of course, we'll buy things just scrolling through Instagram, and oh, that looks really cool. And I'll buy that, but, but we like to buy things from people that we respect. And interviews provide such an awesome opportunity to really get to know somebody, get to know their values, get to know their story, what's their background, maybe they had been in finance and decided to launch a beauty brands. All of that is really interesting. And it brings people along, you're selling a story, you're selling the story of why you're doing what you're doing. And I think that that's one of the really cool things about podcasts and versus like, an advertisement, you know, and it's just like public relations is the same thing. Earned Media, right?
For sure. When we set out to do this, the primary audience actually was other publicists that might have had similar experiences, and maybe eventually want to work with us. So it was really more of a sort of an HR focus than it was a focus for getting new leads. And it's worked beautifully for that. I mean, the last full time person we hired said, she listened to the podcast before the interview, just to get a sense of who I was. And you know what I was about, and the more she listened, the more she got excited about the interview. So it sort of set her up for success. And then boy, when she came in to the interviewer, she also her tone was right on. I mean, she knew exactly how to talk to me. And she acted like she already knew me. Of course, she kind of did. Right. Yeah, so worked really well for that. But then, recently, also, I've noticed that, you know, there had been a couple of prospects who ended up either listening or becoming guests. There's a relationship there, and you never know where that'll blossom. So I feel like the bigger we've gotten, the more that we've actually become more relevant to the communications people at bigger brands and bigger companies that might want to work with somebody that, you know, they just relate to. So
yeah, absolutely. And that HRPS is really smart. And that is something that I feel, is just this beautiful byproduct of the podcast interviews. And something that's often overlooked is we are in this place where it's the great resignation, and people are not necessarily looking for more money, they're looking for better connection and feeling like they're a part of something that they believe in. And this allows that to open up like they're able to see who you are, hear who you are before you even meet them. That's amazing. And I think that that's often overlooked when people are they yes, they want to get their brand out. But it's also like you're selling a culture and getting people to to come and work for you. And when they come then they have a really good understanding of what you're about.
Right? Definitely. So in terms of how you come up with a narrative or theme for the show, talk to us a little bit about advice around coming up with that theme and even just the power of storytelling and How you can take that theme and pull it through talk to us a little bit about finding that narrative finding that story or that theme.
So we actually talked to all of our clients about this, because I think, a lot like public relations, sometimes people have a, they just don't quite understand how to tell their story. And what it is that their intention is, and they go on a show, oftentimes, it's to get brand exposure, but nobody wants to hear about your product, they want to hear about you. They want to hear about what you've done, where you've been, why you decided to start this company. And then like, what does the future look like for you? So that is really kind of the core of, of what we do. And we just walk our clients through that, you know, what is like, why are you doing what you're doing today? What did you see? Like, what problems are you solving with the solution that you're bringing to the marketplace? You know, what is it that that brought you here today, and really starting to build this kind of common thread. And also, like, everyone looks like a humble beginnings story. And not all of us come from humble beginnings. But maybe there's something like this pivotal moment for you when you were young, or when you were in college, something that is that can maybe attach to to your story and also pull other people and that they might be able to relate to you. And also just having a really clear call to action at the end of a podcast. And a lot of times that's just opening yourself up for conversation. No, maybe they're not going to be an immediate client. But maybe they have a question. Or maybe they're going to give you feedback about a product that you're bringing to the marketplace, and they see some flaws in it. Or maybe you could do it better. So I think that there is a lot I think when people often try to figure out how they're going to tell their brand story. And it's like, how are you going to tell your story and then figure out a creative way to weave your brand into it?
What are the some of the big do's and don'ts that you've coached them through during media training for podcasts? What are some of the really big common pitfalls and errors that people make?
Well, I think that a lot of people stumble over each other, you know, when you're used to talking and you're on a podcast, you're being interviewed, and you don't create time for the people that are interviewing you to ask questions or kind of move the conversation along in a direction that they perhaps had in mind. So just making sure that you're pausing, taking a step back and allowing that time so that the interviewer can interject and ask additional questions. But also a do is if you've said something that is just like, mind exploding, and the interviewer moves off into a completely different direction, like have a very creative way of pulling them back into the conversation. Like yes, I would love to answer that question. I think that that's really important. But I think you know, right now we need to focus on X y&z like bringing bringing back the conversation to your, to your point, and then adding more to it. I also think statistics are great. People love statistics. They love numbers, you know, especially if you're if you're talking about solving a problem, and you can attach some some numbers to that problem. So that's a big do. Something you don't want to do is to attach a time to your podcast interview. Because these are evergreen and timeless. So if you're if you're launching a product, like, Hey, we're launching this next week, what is that? What does that mean? When was this conversation? When did this take place? Right? So providing some context to that.
Interesting. Yeah. So three years later, they don't like wait next week, next week or what what?
Exactly, exactly. You know, it has the date on the on the release, but even that, like sometimes there's a delay, and a lot of
times I don't see dates on podcasts. It drives me crazy. Have you started any podcast personal personally,
you know, I did. I started a podcast here in Colorado called Civic syrup. And this was when Trump was elected. It was my way of coping. I just wanted people to get more involved with local politics. So I would have people on the show both sides of the aisle. In between, it didn't matter. It was like I just want to find some common ground. So I did start that and then my co founder got him a podcast for quite some time to what was that podcast?
So that was the Denver business podcast.
Cool. That's awesome. Well, we're we all got the podcast bug.
It's a fun bug to have.
So anything else that you think everyone One should know about podcasting or anything you want to plug.
I mean, I just think podcasting is amazing. It's an amazing medium. I think it's fun for out of all the things you have to do when you're marketing your company, yourself, your brand. A lot of it can be draining. I know we're all just exhausted. Social media is exhausting. And this is something that is just enjoyable. You're conversating with people. So I mean, like I said before, if you are considering starting a podcast, go on some podcasts first. Sell a conversation, not your brand, not your product, but a conversation. What are you going to bring to the interview? So that's kind of my that's my takeaway. That's great. We work with PR firms too. So we kind of come in as the podcast arm. So if you have a client that was Yeah, yeah. So we just we kind of stay behind the scenes as a as a silent podcast, Booker's. And once we get like, hey, yes, we want this. We want this person on our podcast, we just send the link right over to our clients, which would be you. Nice. Yeah. So we just we're invisible. If any of your listeners want to connect with me, my email is Brandy B, Ra nd y at Kitt caster Kitc, A S T. R, and I'm happy to, to chat podcasts all day, all day, every day.
Amazing. Thank you so much for your time. This has been really fun. Yeah,
thank you both. It was great. Cool.
Thanks, Randy. So to kick things off. For Season Two, we're gonna introduce something new, it's a fresh segment called things I should have been trained on. In this segment, we're going to cover things we now know, and wish somebody would have told us when we first started our careers. So this week's topic is how to manage a team.
That's I feel like everybody's question in any industry, because people are usually not at all either prepared nor learned on how to manage anything, let alone people. It's almost like to me something that you're born with, or like anything else, something that you'd have to really, really work at a lot. And I don't know, anybody who has the time to work on it that much. People get distracted so much by the contents of the job, are the demands of the job. The thing that falls to the bottom of the list is managing people, often. You really have to be proactive and empathetic and sympathetic, and all of those things that are very hard to do, especially because so many of us are just wrapped up in our own nonsense, right?
Yeah, I think the bulk of how we learn how to manage people is how we were manage which, right and I wasn't always positive, right? Because it's like, so you have to then be an introspective person who says, Okay, I'm gonna learn from, like, how I didn't appreciate being managed. And I'm going to try to do it differently with the people I'm managing. So you can learn both positive and negative. But I've also seen people inadvertently, learn bad behaviors that they themselves hated, and then start to use when managing people, which is a bummer. But it's a little bit like when people say, you know, oh, my God, my mom. I said, I would never be my mom, and I'm being my mom, you know, so there's always this, you do get things ingrained in you that you learn along the way. Obviously, it's a lot more difficult to be different than your parents than it is to be different than a boss. But that said, you know, that is still your role model that you had, for better or worse.
Yes, I blame every thing on my mother. So we know that to
laugh, I laugh.
I don't know. Hey, but yeah, so you learn these things, you know, like most things from your family, and then from examples at work, and most of us, especially in PR have not had people who were in business school or were formally trained or are very like empathetic people just like add go getters, and those are not the greatest kinds of people to be managing people, right?
No. And then you add into the mix. The fact that you know, PR is a hard business to be profitable in any way. Yeah, the margins serve as a services industry. So
that's an hour by the hour and it's not lawyer numbers, so no.
So I also understand as a business owner, it's not an easy thing to open overhead. Yeah, it's all overhead, which is valuable. But I think then you have to have the pull through of the culture that makes it worth it that makes the people stay. Because if you start investing in management of junior people that leave every seven months or a year, you're in a losing game, and how are you ever gonna win to that. So you'd have to actually, it has to work well enough that those people stick around, because it's a nice environment where people want to stay, and they're well compensated, and they like what they're doing. And they're respected. I mean, all of those things, right.
So as a business owner, you really need to build that in like you're saying to what your mid to senior level people do, it really needs to be a part of their job, their role needs to be part of what they get reviewed on, it needs to be part of senior level, you know, meeting needs to be on the agenda all the time. Yeah. And when you're younger, you don't realize all of that that goes on. And it's not easy. But if you are at least even an average manager, you're probably way ahead of the game in PR, and you're going to be able to keep keep employees longer than other places, then that will rub off on your client service. And so hopefully be able to be more successful with your clients, you will just build up goodwill in your career, because people will remember you as being a decent human being and carrying boss or whatever, to some extent. Isn't that just sort of paying it forward and making the world a little bit of a better place?
I think so. So what are some of the key traits that you see, the best managers embody?
They listen, they have suggestions that are actually actionable, they are willing to do some of the grunt work to help the people that they're managing out, but not to the extent where they're like doing somebody else's job, it's more of a, I will save you in this instance, because I know you're drowning. Or I will do this, and then you will, you know, learn for me and be able to do it for yourself. It's like you don't want as a manager to be sort of like as a parent, you don't want to be your kid's best friend, you don't really want to be your employees best friend. Now, I know that that happens a lot. But it probably needs to happen less, because there's some hard conversations you need to have. And you do have to sort of maintain a professional relationship. So and maybe some people are will do this, you're able to sort of compartmentalize that it's hard thing to do. So most of the time, you do have to sort of keep a manager manager he sort of relationship.
Yeah, it's a lot more difficult to give hard feedback to somebody that's become your gossiping translator. Yeah, I think just to add to that, I think that it's always good to give people stretch goals and tasks that you think are a little bit beyond where they are. But do it gracefully, so that they have a safety net if they fall, and you're not giving them that stretch assignment under pressure. So it's not the biggest account the biggest clients, not due tomorrow, you know, but sort of start testing them out. Because I think that part of being good manager, it's just helping people grow into what their best self is, right? How can they best perform? And what are some things that you see that they don't do? Well, that they could do better? What are some things that you see that they do really well, but maybe they need to round out their ability, so I think some of it is just paying attention to where they are. And then seeing those moments where it's like, oh, this person's ready to lead a client call, even though title wise, they shouldn't be right,
or they've never done a PR client plan before. Or they've never hosted the media interview with the reporter in the client before but like, Do you got to do it sometimes. So
then ease them into it. Because I think the other thing that often happens in PR is you go from one level to suddenly, congrats, you got a promotion. And suddenly, you're expected to be able to do all of these other things that you haven't even gotten the bridge to. Right, you're in the deep end, like swim in a combination of giving them enough structure, but then also giving them enough creativity and agency that they feel like they can make their own decisions and carve their own path because that's also going to make them better, more autonomous professionals down the road, the more that you give them some of that front. I mean, think of the other thing is it's important to be a manager that's consistent with your personality. So if you're super detail oriented person, that's how you operate. I think it's okay to be a little bit more detail oriented with people and not fight your own nature but also Just keep yourself in check to make sure you don't become too much of a micromanager. Or I think if you're a more sort of fluid person that lets everybody you know, do their own thing, I think that's important. But you still have to keep yourself in check and say, Oh, let me not just let everyone fly off on their own and hope that they returned to the nest, you got to make sure that you're tracking their flight patterns, at least, I think it's okay to lean into your natural tendencies. But yeah, don't get carried away in them and think that they in and of themselves are the end goal, right?
I mean, I feel like I'm, too, maybe laid back, then I feel like I need to start overcompensating. I tried to like, let the rope go. And then I'm like, oh, no, bring it back. If I, if I had kids, they'd probably be serial killers. That's all I'm saying.
Oh, man, yeah, I'm definitely more hands off, I have to work on remembering to jump in with the details and things.
Well, the other thing that I was well aware of quickly, when I started consulting with PR firms, and you know, working back inside of firms, again, gotta be more explanatory than you ever imagined the jargon or the basics. And sometimes it's so basic that you probably would never think of it when you realize that somebody doesn't understand what a sponsorship of a conference is, for example, like,
we have to go all the way back to the beginning. And why would you ever think
of like, oh, I have to explain to somebody what that means. But some people are not exposed to these things.
Once again, I think it goes back to kind of seeing where they're meeting them where they're at.
Yeah, that's why making smart hiring decisions is so important. Yes, if all of a sudden you realize your account manager knows less than your assistant Account Manager. Now, how do you manage around that? Because the assistant account manager is going to realize this, and it's going to get annoyed that the account manager is senior to them and paid more than them, it said. So making very informed and why is hiring decisions is like the first thing to do is to avoid some of those inter office title, challenges that come in that you've actually kind of helped create. That's a
good point. We've talked a lot about the sort of over promoting people to keep them in toxic agencies, which then leads them to be less hireable or less capable when they are hired at the next firm. Right?
It does the new favor. Yeah.
Yeah. Do we put a fork in that one?
Yes. Work in it. It's done.
Okay. All right. So should we move on to our anonymous PR horror story? Sure. So Laura, this is our very first ever horror story submitted by a friend of a friend for I don't remember what the very first podcast this is our very, very, very first horror story. Okay. My time at this agency span just under a year and a half. I was so excited to get into an agency right out of college, so I accepted a low paying position, no questions asked. I am in a smaller market, so no New York PayScale for me. During my time there, my department had experienced a lot of resignations. This left me working under a manager who was not always in the office daily. So at about seven months in, I was left to my own devices and a pretty technical position. Luckily, I was now able to train a male employee who would cross train to help in my department. I still had quote assistant in my title, even with no direct manager above me. And all in all, my trainee was great with helping with day to day tasks. But when I approached superiors for help, or at least an update on getting me a manager, exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point, I was often directed to make sure that I was, quote, using my trainee correctly. The issue was needing broader strategic guidance. Not a helper, nine months before I was in college, if you're doing the math, I was there for almost eight months without a manager. The day I resigned, I chatted with my male quote trainee, only to find out what I suspected all along was true. Do you remember what this is? No, but I'm reading it here. So the day I resigned, I chatted with my male trainee only to find out what I suspected all along was true. He made more than I did. The entire time at the agency. Post res pay included. And I was training him. That is crazy. I don't even really remember that. I don't really either. It's funny like wow, you years ago wasn't that long ago, but
oh, so frustrating, though, on so many levels. So frustrating. I can't imagine that any agency worth its salt would let somebody just flounder without any senior guidance. Oh, I
Oh my God, that's crazy, I can see that definitely paying lower people more. Hopefully it happens less and less as the years go by, especially between the male and female thing. I guess somebody negotiates a better salary for themselves, you know, more power to them. But I think in this case, I'm willing to guess that it was because they were going to pay women less than men, which I've told you about happened to me. And even though I didn't know the exact number I just knew, based on lifestyles, that I was getting paid much less than somebody who I had gotten hired at a company at the same level as me, and he was making way more money than I was.
Well, it's funny, because it's like, who is just talking about how women tend to not take a job unless they think they can tick off all the boxes, right? It was Lee Kara her. Whereas men typically think, Oh, I get 40% of this down, I can do the rest of it. No problem. Right. And so then they're able to go in and negotiate for these things, right. Otherwise,
what's on the other side of that? This is sort of like a Sheryl Sandberg leaning thing. That may be true that women don't apply to jobs unless they feel like they could do every part of the job. And men are like, I could do three of those 20 things, I'm fine. But also, if a woman comes in and can't do a vast majority of the job, are people likely to hire her?
Well. Okay, so I'm pretty masculine in this way. And I had a track record of being like, I'm sure I can figure the rest of it out. It's fine. So I was definitely more male like in my career, right, in that regard, because I was pretty confident. And I know, I'm resourceful. And I know I'm smart. So I'm like, Yeah, I can figure it out. I'll be fine. And
so people hired you, even though you may not have had like, legit experience, because you just like walked in like, Yeah,
but admit it, but yes.
But what if somebody said to you, like, have you done this before? Did you lie? Or would it how did you like answer those kinds of questions?
Well, my worst one, give believe I'm admitting this. When I got my first agency job in New York City. I was from Iowa. I was dying to go to New York City. I've never been I knew I had to be in New York. I just knew it. I didn't even know why I just had to live and move to New York. So they asked me during the interview, if you've been to New York before, there was no way I could say no, couldn't say no, they were hiring me for a job in New York.
I love the way even you say New York is like hilarious. I could never say that. I've never been to New York. What's where? Anyway, God.
Have you been to New York before you go? And I said yes. And I had not. And the first time I was in New York was when I was apartment hunting.
And you're like, Oh, God, no,
I was so happy. It was everything. I knew it would be in everything. I hoped it would be. But it was definitely probably the biggest lie of children.
Wow. Because you don't want to seem like such the local yokel. No, right. You want to seem a little more sophisticated? Yeah, I know. i It's funny. I've had people like I was in Paris several years ago, and I like was there for a month while we were there. The guy I went with said something like, you know, so when was the last time you were in Paris or whatever. And I was like, This is it. This is I never been to Paris. This is the first time I've ever been here. And I never heard from him again. And I swear. I think it was because he was like, Wait, what am I doing? You've never been to Paris? What? Yeah, no, yeah. And it wasn't a romantic thing. He was gay. You know, I wasn't sophisticated enough for her. I'd never been to Paris,
right. So I understand. I don't think I would have got it. I don't lie, bro. I'm not proud of this. And I am a much different person now than I was back then. As we
are you were in New York. I lived in New York. So now you don't even have
Well, no, but also, I've changed a lot of ways as I think we've revealed over several podcasts.
I'm exactly the same as I was when I was nine, but go on. I was much smarter.
So I know from having done it as a woman that it's half about confidence. Yeah. And selling yourself. Just be like yeah, I can do that. 100% I did this and this this. It does get you higher salaries. And then if you shopping around for other jobs and sold the game. It is a game. I mean, there's a downside to the game, which is that I've been one of those people that ended up over to myself through job hopping,
and then you were like, Oh, I didn't know what I'm doing.
I didn't even know that I didn't know what I was doing, right? Because you don't know,
right? That I'm older. And you're like running a business. You're like, oh my god, I would not have hired me. I would hire you. You're much smarter than me.
I probably wouldn't talk to you into it. But what a terrible thing to be left to die, bury yourself with no supervision, and then be training somebody paid more than you. Yeah, that sucks. Anyway. Well, on that sour note, we'll move on. Yes, what do we have next? Okay, so we have in place of this week's new story. We're offering a retrospective on what we've learned from a year of doing this show, what we love about it, and what we want for season two, and beyond.
What did we learn from doing this show?
I have learned an awful lot about different kinds of PR and different marketing disciplines. That interface with PR. And I'm actually interestingly, Hamish, who was one of our guests. A while back. Yeah, the Aussie. and I are now coming up with a way of integrating marketing and PR join forces. So we can basically become an outsourced marketing department. Oh, great. Yeah. And then integrating PR into SEO, SEM, digital advertising, marketing, and making sure that all of the KPIs are interrelated.
Wait is Hamish who, where's he?
He's in Australia.
Oh, he was the hot Australian guy. Oh, hey, Michelle. I hope you're listening. So what else? So what did I learn? I mean, I don't know that I can say anything specific. But I felt the same way. I learned a lot of little tidbits from people here and there. Hopefully, I like remembered them or integrated them into my brain. But there's been so many things that I bet if we went back and listened to everything, which obviously you can, there's not enough hours in the day, but you might be like, Oh my god, I forgot that that was so smart or interesting, or so hopefully, people who have listened have literally jotted stuff down. And most of those good points were probably not delivered by me.
I thought you're gonna say the opposite. I mean, one thing that I think I surprised myself with how much I do know, after all these years, right, and also just sort of how much there is still learn, you know, which is true of anything, you know, certain things I didn't know about influencer relations with celebrities that other people in PR know, but I don't, or things that I actually have thought deeply about and didn't even know that I
had, right. Well, I was listening to, I guess when the other day when maybe I was listening to it when we were editing. I was like, oh my god, I'm going on forever about this top guy. Actually, I guess people would think I at least based in some sort of knowledge. So I just you know, I get into it, though. It's interesting to me. So hopefully, what I have said has, I don't know help people in some way. Or maybe they just like, oh my god, she's so full of crap or she's wrong. And if somebody wants to come on and tell me I'm wrong about something I welcome it. That would be an interesting interview.
Okay, so we're putting a call out for anybody who wants to come on call out Laura.
Yeah, schooler what you said on whatever the episode in July was ridiculous.
It's a new segment. We're gonna introduce that this season. What about things that you love about the podcast?
Oh, you know, like I said, for Howard Stern fan from when I was a kid like 10. And just to giving me the opportunity to slightly revel in my inner Howard Stern. Like the free form. I feel very comfortable. I feel not really limited. You know, I'd like to throw in my popular culture stuff for my stupid jokes. So I get to do everything that I'd wanted to on the radio.
Yeah, I like it. Do you have any favorite memories? Or? Yeah, I
was just thinking last night about the hilarious video outtake you know that video?
That's where you're crying laughing
right. And like, you know, dancing, whatever. It was such a great video
a year ago, right? I'd had such a bad day and I was having like an emotional release around it and I just got an uncontrollable laughing like, yeah, kid, the back of a school room that couldn't get it.
Yeah, that was mine. So what's your favorite memories are things about the podcast?
Well, that's definitely up there. And one of the bits what what are some of my other favorite moments? I mean, I think I'd have to say the horror stories are definitely some My favorite moments because of the shock that comes out of reading these things, it's just nice to feel like there's a shared experience of craziness that comes with this industry where you feel less alone by sharing all of it. I feel like so I really enjoy that. And I really enjoy learning from guests and finding out about their experience and their opinions on different things. I mean, that's a highlight for me. I mean, our interview with Allie that we did not long ago where she talked about affiliate marketing and affiliate PR was definitely a highlight for me. Why hearing her process of when she realized that this was happening, and how she started to ferret it out was fascinating to me. I knew she was good at it. But I hadn't ever even though we've talked about VR, I never heard the backstory, right. She ended up there. And she was teaching me the other day about how this was obviously it part of our interview, but, but if you're able to change affiliate offerings to match holidays that you're pitching and then pitch the special affiliate, you have this other integration that happens. So wow, something really interesting. There is my head would explode around that. She's amazing. She's amazing. But yeah, so I mean, our closing with the guinea pig also was when I did the weird guinea pig voice, I didn't even know I could do a guinea pig voice. Oh,
my God, that was so funny.
What about any horrific moments? Any tough memory a
couple of our guests that were not my favorite? I mean, whatever. Like that's part of doing something like this, too.
Well, no. And it's good to hear differing opinions on Right. Right. I just live in your own vacuum. But
yeah, everybody's not going to be your cup of tea. I get that. For sure. Yeah.
Yeah, I don't think we had any other really awkward moments. Let's see. What about what do you think it's changed? In terms of either the podcast or our approach?
I don't know. It's one of those things like it just has probably morphed more than we're even really aware.
Yeah, I think it feels a lot less stifled and a lot more organic now than it did at the beginning. I remember feeling a little bit self conscious and awkward at the beginning. Yeah. Yeah. Maybe we were trying to script ourselves. And then in terms of, do you have any big hopes or dreams for next year for this next season?
I hope that some of these things turn into business for you. Thank you. And I kind of view that we just get more interesting. I don't mean more interesting. I mean, even more interesting people on people come to us and I don't think we say no to anybody if they're like, hey,
has it transformed you personally in any way? Podcast?
Totally. Remember, I
had bangs when we started. Wait, did you get rid of your bangs because of the podcast?
No. Like the pandemic I just Oh my
god. I was like what those are related out.
So I decided my school just finally tried it. But um, I say yes. And it also I read 20 years ago. And I blame the podcast.
So it's tramped for you for the worse.
I went from a Willy Wonka. I went from violet. To when Violet when she turned into a giant blueberry. And look, I'm wearing this shirt to prove it. And only eating blueberries. Violet, you're turning violet. I do eat a lot of blueberries. So funny. So I don't think it changed me. But it was a happy because I was like oh my god, I have no podcast for you know, little while there are a radio show or whatever I was doing that I can do easily from home. This fits into my very busy, busy, important lifestyle.
Do you think it's changed me?
Yeah, you were a single woman when you started now you're married?
Because of the podcast. That's funny. That's true. Yeah, we did have to change the name. Fixing that intro recording was actually quite tricky. Oh,
right. I'm glad that I got to, you know, get some people that I know on the show, too. That was good.
Yeah, it was fun. We are being approached now. Which is cool.
Right. And that was so that's great. So that's a big difference, right? I mean, they starting out like nobody knows who you are. And now we're, we were already listed. We're booked until December. So
at least Yeah. It's crazy. Very cool. All right. Is that it? Okay. Thank you for tuning in for the PR wine down anniversary podcast. But thank you also for joining us every other week.
And thank you to brandy for joining us for today's interview.
We couldn't be here without you. So please remember to reach out with your own PR horror stories and questions to help us grow our audience. and also to make sure that we're connecting with passionate PR disruptors like you by sharing the show with all your friends and colleagues.
As always, we cannot wait to wind down with you again next time.
But if I did the lower part she always does that. My turn because it's our anniversary podcasts.
I got a salad now