Her Campus Media at SFU is excited to introduce you to two of the Co-Founders of one of Canada’s fastest-growing PR firms, Talk Shop Media Inc. They are also two of our inspiring panellists for the HC SFU’s annual networking event: Vancouver Women Shattering the Glass Ceiling… Meet Katie Dunsworth-Reiach and Sara Padidar. Last week, I was able to sit down with Katie for a brief Q&A discussion over coffee:
K A T I E:
Hometown: Lantzville, BC
Hobbies: Working out, spending time in Whistler
Education: Journalism – Broadcast Communications, BCIT
First gig straight out of college: Marketing Assistant at small Vancouver boutique agency
Current gig: Co-Founder of Talk Shop Media Inc., Co-Founder at Smart Cookies money Mentoring Inc.
S A R A:
Hometown: Kitimat, BC
Hobbies: Cooking, interior design, Netflix
Education: BA Arts, UBC
First gig straight out of college: Circulation at NUVO Magazine
Current gig: Co-Founder of Talk Shop Media Inc.
Q: How did you get into this field?
A: I actually kind of built my own job in media by simply saying, “hey I can do media for you”, and that grew into leading a PR team, as well as starting at 1-800-GOT-JUNK, and founding Smart Cookies.
Q: What are the future prospects in this field? What trends do you see developing over the next few years?
A: PR is in a really good place, especially agencies of our size because we are big enough to service big clients; we are agile, but we can also work with smaller brands. Visual storytelling and storytelling among different platforms is key. A trend that we are currently seeing, is that the media isn’t going away. That is really valuable. Being a good writer is never going to fail you. It is essential to be able to navigate new forms of media more in a strategic sense and understand how they all come together.
Q: What does a typical day/week in your job look like?
A: there isn’t really a typical week. I spend most of my time meeting new business, new clients, and the other twenty-ish percent is spent at the strategic end, or a someone needing work on an account, and then maybe another 30% on the operations like rebranding, revamping websites, SEO strategy, as well as the running of the business, finances, and email servers.
Q: What do you enjoy the most about your job? The least?
A: The most and least sometimes aren’t that dissimilar. I love people. I love my team and our clients, but its mixed bag, because when there is an issue with clients and the team, I take it really personally.
Q: What skills have you found essential for success in this occupation?
A: I would say that the biggest would be always thinking three steps ahead and being able to foresee problems and trends. It is essential to be a creative thinker.
Q: How many hours do you work in a typical week?
A: Vancouver can be a good work climate. For example, sometimes you see people in Toronto working 12-14 hours per day, whereas I am able to work about 10 hours a day on my own terms. This includes work in evenings at home… I am never not on my phone.
Q: Could you tell me a bit more about your experience becoming a successful woman in this business?
A: There are definitely pros and cons to being a woman in the industry. There are times when there are scenarios sometimes when we don’t always feel heard, especially with certain clients sometimes. I am very direct, but I can see how that could affect others, whereas I don’t feel that I have a problem being heard. Overall, we have to work a bit harder.
Q: Last question… Do you have any final piece of advice for aspiring professionals in this field?
A: Always put your best foot forward and put yourself out there, build your social media following, really show us that you do love to write if you say you do, contribute articles, show community contribution; are you a good well-rounded human being? Make sure to take time to give back, and as for the tends, make sure that what you are saying is consistent to what you are doing. Finding mentor is important, but make it worth their time; you need to impress them. It is great to pick someone’s brain a bit, but make sure you are giving back and they are benefiting from it as well.