In April I interviewed Shannelle Armstrong-Fowler who is a lifestyle blogger, lecturer at Columbia University Chicago, communications consultant, founder of a bridal boutique (Haute & Co., where she oversees all public relations, external communication and client communication), ex Manager of Communications for McDonald’s and ex PR Director at Sears Holdings Corporation. She has been interviewed by Oprah. Yes, Oprah Winfrey. To put it simply, this woman is a badass. She is humble, kindhearted and demands respect. What advice would someone so successful give to someone just getting their foot in the door?
Curiosity didn’t kill the cat: Never stop learning. If you wish to advance in the industry, you must constantly adapt to the ever-evolving technologies being used. Wanting to be better at your craft is one thing, but wanting to be better and putting forth the necessary effort is another.
People watch: Part of being in public relations is understanding people; how they think and act. Pay attention to how others communicate: verbally and nonverbally. Are people reacting because of what you said or the way it was said? The more you understand people, the better off you’ll be. Plus, the more you converse with people, the more stories you will have to tell (trust me; I’m the office storyteller).
No multitasking: Surrender to the fact that you can’t do it all so prioritization is a must. Don’t let the inevitable stress get to you because it can literally kill you. Make time for your personal life. At work try and focus solely on the task at hand. If you’re working on multiple projects at the same time, you’ll never be able to give 100 percent of your attention to anything.
Philosophies: “Be authentic. Shoot straight with others and try not to sugar coat anything,” Armstrong-Fowler said. “Honesty is always the best policy. Be confident, stay in your lane and be the best you can be every single day. Value clients and work hard to better them as best you can. Give more to the world than you take from it.”
Bonus: Lightning round with Shannelle
- Favorite TV show? Real Housewives of Atlanta
- Favorite pizza topping? pepperoni
- Celebrity crush? Ryan Gosling (shocker)
- Favorite social media platform? Facebook
- Coffee person? Yes
- Makeup of coffee cup?: 90 percent coffee, 10 percent creamer
- If you could live in any decade, which would you live in? 80s
- What song would be playing when you walk into a room? “I just want to celebrate” by Rare Earth