May 12, 2017 / by Julia Rabin

A few months ago, Flackable, a national financial public relations and digital marketing agency, promoted Kaitlyn Smith to account executive. Smith joined the organization as an account  coordinator in November 2016, and quickly advanced through her ability to craft successful campaigns and land national coverage for clients. In her new role, Smith will continue to execute results- driven campaigns, while also taking a leadership role in the organization.

This week, Kaitlyn and I touched base about her career thus far, the importance of building strong relationships in the industry and the benefit of early adoption in digital trends!

Congratulations on your recent promotion with Flackable! What are you most excited for in your new role?

I’m excited to continue reaching new heights on the campaigns that I lead and to take on a larger leadership role within the company. My promotion is coinciding with Flackable’s move to Center City Philadelphia, so I am also looking forward being a part of the company’s next stage of growth.

What are the biggest PR and marketing mistakes brands make?

One of the biggest mistakes that I commonly see brands make is assuming that they don’t need PR and marketing when business is going well or, conversely, cutting it when their budget gets tight. That kind of approach can lead to dramatic ups and downs in business and can kill a campaign’s momentum. PR and marketing is one of the last things to cut if your business is suffering, because a successful campaign can help you turn business around. And, once business is going well, PR and marketing will help you maintain that momentum.

What is your secret to media relations success?

It’s not much of a secret that you have to work well with journalists to succeed! I spend a lot of time researching a reporter’s coverage before making an introduction or pitching them. My goal is to build relationships so that the reporters I work with come to me when they are looking for a source.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing brands today?

Standing out amongst competitors in the online realm can be a huge challenge for brands. Companies can now win business over their competitors just by having a stronger online presence. Staying relevant and building a media presence can be especially difficult for companies that are stuck in the past or don’t prioritize public relations and marketing.

How can brands overcome this challenge?

Traditional media coverage is still great, but a strong online presence and SEO optimization are necessary. Brands can no longer rely on good business practices and word of mouth to win new clients. They have to take a proactive approach. In addition to website optimization, earning and creating steady media coverage helps brands stay relevant and stand out.

How do you envision the future of marketing and communications?

We have seen so many technological advances over the past decade alone and it looks like we will be continuing on that path. Marketing and communications are now very much tied to various forms of digital media so, to be successful in this field, you have to be an early adopter and keep up with the trends.

What advice do you have for those looking to begin a career in this field?

Be adaptable, build relationships and have a keen understanding of the media landscape.

Rapid Fire Round:

  1. My guiltiest pleasure is… getting takeout and catching up on Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder.
  2. If I won the lottery, I would… travel the world and come up with a comprehensive financial plan so I don’t lose it all at once (working with financial advisers has taught me something!).
  3. I laugh most at… Portlandia.
  4. My hero is… Shonda Rhimes for making amazing television and changing the media landscape. She has made serious strides in on-screen representation of women and people of color.
  5. If I could live anywhere, it would be… Barcelona.
  6. After work you’ll find me… at the yoga studio.

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About Julia Rabin

Julia Rabin is a former Media Researcher for Cision. With a background in organizational communications, public speaking and international relations, she has a passion for social justice advocacy and loves keeping up to date with the latest global news. In her free time, you will find Julia traveling, playing with puppies, baking dairy free treats or reading.