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Author: Andrew Ryan

Investing in professional development and continuing education is critical for professionals who want to enhance their skills. It’s also a necessity for better client service. This belief reminds me of a favorite and well-known quotation from poet William Butler Yeats: “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” To me, this quotation captures that education isn’t static. It’s not something that stops when school ends. Education is a life-long effort and one that requires ongoing work. As professionals, we have a variety of professional development and educational opportunities available to us, especially in the form of professional certifications. Whether working at an agency and serving clients externally or in-house and collaborating with internal stakeholders, professional certifications showcase your commitment to your profession and demonstrate that you continue to hone and refine your craft, which in turn benefits internal and external clients.

Interview opportunities can come in varying forms and subject matter experts, especially those at professional service firms, should be familiar with the most common types of media interviews. As with any situation, how you communicate with someone may change depending on the channel that you’re using (i.e., email versus phone or in-person versus a letter). The same is true for interviews. The tips covered in last month’s blog post provide a solid foundation to prepare for a media interview, but in this post we’ll take a deeper dive and review the two most common interview scenarios: phone interview and on-camera interview.

Commonwealth Partnerships is honored to have been recognized with a 2017 Virginia Public Relations Award. Along with Keiter and HHHunt, we we received an Award of Merit in the Media Relations category for a story we helped coordinate about the importance of adoption benefits in the workplace. The story was prominently featured on the front page of the Sunday Business section in the Richmond Times-Dispatch and highlighted the  leading adoption benefits at Keiter and HHHunt.

media trainingThe adage that it takes a lifetime to build a reputation but only seconds to destroy one or that you only make a first impression once can be applied to a wide array of scenarios, including your interactions with the media. It’s always surprising, then, why so many people think that can just “wing it” when it comes to media interviews. This approach is common across many industries, but especially true when it comes to professional service firms. Whether accountants, investment advisors, lawyers, financial planners, architects, or engineers, subject matter experts in complex fields too often miss the mark when provided with media opportunities. The reasons as to why so many professionals take this view could be the subject of an entire blog post. Rather than focus on the problem, I want a take a closer look at a reasonable solution that works: media training and interview prep.

Negotiation is a valuable business and communication skill for any professional. Negotiating with someone else doesn’t just happen in an office or a boardroom sitting across a table from someone else. We are constantly negotiating as we navigate our daily lives at work and home. Sure, different situations require distinct negotiation and communication tactics and the stakes vary widely from one negotiation to the next, but the core principles of the best negotiators stay the same. That’s one of the key lessons learned last week at the annual conference of the Society of Marketing Professional Services’ Virginia Chapter. There were a number of insightful presentations with great takeaways, but the one that stood out the most was “The Cartography of Negotiation” by Scott Wayne of The Frontier Project. Scott outlined tools and tips to enhance your negotiating skills. Here are my three biggest lessons:

It’s only February and 2017 has already been a wild year for marketing professionals! From fake news to ongoing disruptions in how people consume information, the communications landscape remains challenging. Despite the many hurdles, opportunities abound and there are exciting new ways to reach your target audience in an engaging manner. But, what really works and how do you manage it?

The multifamily market has been hot for a number of years and often the bright-spot in new home construction and development. However, prominent multifamily leaders expressed concern that a slowdown, albeit temporary, is on the horizon. Andrew attended several seminars with leading multifamily voices and here are some of the top highlights:

The residential construction and new home market continues its rebound from the housing crisis. There were a number of new home design trends, including the role of technology and ways in which it’s becoming integrated into more home functions. Although these trends are important, we wanted to focus on the most significant macro forces shaping the industry.