Color Bars

The Path to Success

PR Week Nuffer, Smith, Tucker’s annual staff retreat features one-and-a-half days of strategic thinking, team bonding and maybe a cocktail or two. Last weekend we gathered in Coronado to shut out the rest of the world and focus on our business and our team. One of the key topics of discussion was growth. How does each individual staff member – from administrator to creative director to account coordinator and yes, even the president – plan to hone his or her skills over the next year to benefit personal skillsets, our company and our clients?

This lively discussion made me realize that I work with a lot of really smart, really driven people. There’s no more eloquent way to put it – these folks have got it going on. My assessment was validated when flipping through PR Week’s Career Guide 2014. Here’s some of the 14 marks of excellence the magazine stated all stand-out PR professionals must master, and my personal shout out to a few of my fellow team members who possess these attributes:

Critical Thinking – Data crunching and problem solving are at the core of Kerry Tucker. Just take a look at our agency’s Food Foresight work and you’ll see that he doesn’t shy away from issues, and more importantly, finding solutions to those issues. Bill Trumpfheller cultivates this mindset in all of our staff and applies it to every client through our Compass process.

Collaborative Leadership – Each of our account team leads – Teresa Siles, Price Adams, Bryan Spevak and Derek Danziger – make listening, advising and collaborating part of their daily routine at NST. The concept of a horizontal organizational structure omitting barriers to management was discussed at our retreat – we truly are a team here and our account leaders commit to making that true.

Presence/Gravitas – We have a little saying in CubeVille – “What would Becky do?” Rebecca Howe Schmidt gets things done and she’s our go-to gal for advice on how to deal with a difficult vendor. Mary Correia-Moreno’s take-no-prisoners approach to account management and billing also means her presence is felt throughout the office – especially at the end of the month!

Intellectual Curiosity – I was told early in my career that asking questions is a good thing, and the 13 members of PR Week’s advisory group agreed this characteristic is necessary for growth. Melissa Rubbelke, Krystin Williamson, Greg Kershaw, Natalie Haack and Paul Worlie have that drive to find innovative ways to deliver results, and their fresh thinking doesn’t go unnoticed.

Creativity – In the ever-changing worlds of digital and design, creativity can sometimes be difficult to muster. Thankfully, NST’s Michelle Livermore and Aaron Blomberg keep us all moving forward and staying up with the latest web and print trends. I never could have imagined I would know so much about the importance of font selection, pixels and operating systems.

As we sat around a conference table at the retreat and discussed each NSTer’s path to personal and professional growth, I couldn’t help but think “we’re already there.” Thanks, NST, for establishing a culture of progress – I look forward to what’s to come.

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