Texas Is the Nexus Where Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

What did you most recently get recognized for as embodying our tenet of TAFFI (Teamwork, Accountability, Fun, Fascination and Integrity)?

I think most recently I was called out by Laura for jumping in to help her out when she had a rough week a while back. Another time Sophia called me out for continuing to work on a byline that a client has been reviewing for 6 months with 5 or so review cycles already done.

What is something you have learned while working at 10Fold that has aided your success?

10Fold has a focus on its people. Recently, our whole agency read Radical Candor as a group exercise to improve our collaboration across all levels of the company totem pole. A lot of the book focuses on how to effectively communicate with employees above and below you in the food chain, especially in situations that could be uncomfortable to address or could negatively impact work results.

Fortunately, a lot of what’s addressed in the book was already in place as standard policy at 10Fold. I learned from 10Fold pretty soon after I started that managing up is just as important as managing down. Work relationships are just like personal relationships in their mechanisms. You have to get in front of any issues before they can become an ongoing problem or impact the trust in your workplace relationships. Being “radically candid” with your team means telling your manager when you think there’s a better way of doing things.

My managers at 10Fold have always been supportive of that “managing up” style and welcome criticism and suggestions so long as they’re respectfully presented. Often, my ideas get shot full of holes – respectfully, of course – and my managers explain their thought process to me and explain why my idea isn’t the best option. Sometimes I get a good idea in though.

This type of back and forth and comfortability with sending criticism up the food chain has also made me more cognizant of the way I handle feedback I send back down the food chain, as well as the feedback I receive from the AA’s on my teams. It’s a culture of collaboration across all titles and company levels at 10Fold. 

What advice would you give someone who is just starting out in their career?

PR is a lot like law or medicine. Not because we need to have a bunch of schooling or specific licenses to practice, but because your day-to-day worklife can change drastically depending on what type of PR you practice. If you’re a neurosurgeon, your day-to-day life is going to be very different from a podiatrist. If you’re a family law attorney, your day-to-day life is going to be very different from a federal prosecutor.

I started out in consumer-focused event and hospitality PR. When I joined 10Fold and switched to B2B tech PR, the change in my day-to-day and the type of work that I was doing now had a huge impact on my job satisfaction and happiness.

I’m not saying that B2B tech is where every publicist should end up being satisfied and fulfilled at work; but if you’re an entry-level PR employee at an industry – or market-specific agency who is unhappy with their daily work lives and thinking about a career change, consider taking the skills you’ve learned at your current agency and applying them to an agency with a different client base, mission and/or expertise before starting your career over again in an entirely new industry. There are a lot of different ways to do PR.

Do you have a favorite hobby?

Honestly, listening to music. I probably spend about 4-5 hours each day listening to music and am usually reading some kind of music magazine or blog in the evenings to keep up to date. Talk to me about death metal, disco, black metal, hardcore, Texas rap, southern rap, Appalachian country, East Coast rap, Texas/Red Dirt country, glitch hop, R&B, Motown, outlaw country, LoFi, doom metal, thrash metal, Texicana, country trap, trapcore, and my most controversial musical genre love: rap rock/metal.

I like to pick things up and put them down at the gym. I try to do that every morning when I wake up. Currently, my favorite lift is the overhead press because its hard and I need to get better at it.

I also love riding my motorcycle – I ride a 2020 Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster. It’s a boomer cruiser for sure. But I love the chromed-out old school cruiser aesthetic (and so do the boomers I guess).

What is one thing that 10Fold does that you love that stands out from other agencies?

I’ve only ever worked at one other agency outside of 10Fold, but from my conversations with other 10Folders and my own experience, I can say that 10Fold puts significant effort into the satisfaction of its employees. Every company wants their employees to be happy. I’ve never worked at a company where my boss was totally fine with the fact that I was unhappy. But I’ve never worked at a company aside from 10Fold where I felt like the majority of my boss’ job was making sure that I not only have what I need/want to succeed, but that success wasn’t just something assigned and defined for me. Our managers make sure, to the best of their ability, that what we’re working on is what we want to work on and what we feel passionate about.

While managers at 10Fold do control client accounts and oversee client PR operations, they also have a significant responsibility to take care of their teams. A large portion of our managers’ time is spent in 1:1 meetings with their direct reports, management meetings to discuss strategy regarding team assignments and time allocations, and ongoing education to improve their management style. Nobody’s perfect. But seeing the amount of effort 10Fold puts into employee satisfaction makes me feel comfortable putting in equal effort to ensure the company succeeds – that way I can keep doing what I want.

Why did you decide to join 10Fold?

Susan. Back in 2019 I was considering a job change. I had been contacted by a bunch of different recruiters and agencies over LinkedIn. One of those people who reached out to was Bre from 10Fold. We exchanged a couple messages and she said “Great! Our CEO is available to chat with you this Friday.”

No other agency I had reached out to or who had reached out to me had offered a conversation with the CEO as the first non-email touchpoint with the company. I immediately realized that if 10Fold’s CEO was talking to every prospect as a first point of contact, this company takes hiring seriously and wants to find the best people to fill its ranks. I had dealt with shoddy hires in the past at previous jobs, and I knew that a poor hiring protocol lead to poor work. I knew I wanted to join a team that knew what they were doing, and most importantly worked well together.

The fact that Susan, 10Fold’s CEO, was so directly involved in the hiring process (especially for an employee coming in at an entry-level position) immediately convinced me that this would be a solid place to continue my PR career.

What’s your favorite thing to do in Austin?

Austin has a lot of really great greenspaces. I spend a lot of time at the river in the summer just hanging out on the banks with friends and swimming and fishing. I also spend a fair amount of time mountain biking in the spring and fall. Austin is about the only place in Texas worth a damn for mountain biking haha.

Austin also has a great downtown scene. I like a good dive bar and a cramped place to jump into a mosh pit. Austin has plenty holes in the walls to satisfy my needs.

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