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  • zurinabryant

Being chatty helped!

Updated: Aug 15, 2020

I have always been a bit of a chatty person. I’m far from shy and love making connections with people. Which is a good thing because I moved around a bit in my early life. My high school years were divided between 6 different schools with various amounts of time spent at each. Finding a spot in the crowd and making friends was important to me for retaining some sense of sanity. I didn’t mind being an outlier, but I most certainly didn’t want to be an outsider.

Communication was obviously the key, but how do you talk to strangers and make it mean something. How do you make them like you and want to include you? Most people can spot insincerity right away and real relationships take time to build. When time isn’t on your side you have to speed up the process. Finding common ground, making big talk, and listening with purpose became invaluable tools. I joined everything, talked to everyone, and made sure to reciprocate every positive gesture tossed my way as best I could. It worked. I made great friends everywhere I went, and I am still in contact with a lot of them even now.

I had no idea that I was laying the groundwork and learning the skills that would play a huge role in the career I would ultimately land in. Public Relations.

Oddly enough, Public Relations was not ever on my radar as a career choice. I had worked in retail, customer service, and sales, which eventually led to marketing. But then I moved overseas and became a housewife and mother and spent my free time volunteering.

When I wanted to venture out into the workforce again, none of my previous jobs were viable anymore. But I needed a job. Time to activate those chatty superpowers again. It worked. A connection through a friend enabled me to be a partner in planning and executing VIP events for a concert promotion company, which sort of rolled into a small job on the promotions side. A competitor company took notice of me and approached me about a Public Relations job in their company. Despite my complete and utter lack of “know how” I was keen to give it a go.

It would be trial by fire. I told them up front I didn’t have any real previous experience. They said they understood and knew they were in essence, throwing me into the deep end of the pool, but they were also confident I could do it.

As fate would have it, the job would only be available a few months down the road, so I had time to dive headfirst into this new adventure. I read, researched, started online classes and became an intern. Another fruit from my networking, I was invited to join a brand new boutique PR company, and I jumped at the chance. They needed the help as much as I did. Crappy hours and no pay in exchange for experience? Bring it. I did get my own email address though and I was so proud I emailed everyone I knew to show it off…I mean, announce my new role. It’s all about the spin right?

It was a crazy few months with a huge learning curve and a million baby steps. I asked all the questions, watched intently, took notes, and paid attention to what was working for each client and what wasn’t. I had fun and I learned a lot. In hindsight, probably a lot more “what not to do’s” but those are often the most valuable lessons. More importantly, I not only learned that I could do it, but even better? I liked it.

I loved my new job in the aforementioned company despite still being a baby in the industry and it kicked off what would become my new career. I eventually went on to start my own boutique company. Over the years, I have worked in various facets of the industry from music and fashion to lifestyle and F&B to name a few. Each one is different and required me to adjust and learn new things. But that’s all part of the fun. I look forward to chatting to you more about it!

Marie Hinsley

Public Relations Consultant

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