The PAN Team Ponders: If We Weren’t in PR, What Would We Do?

PAN Communications


Image by Joe Kunzler used under CC license.

As I approach my PAN-niversary, there’s no question in my mind that I made the right choice joining the agency in 2014. In the time I’ve been at PAN, I’ve had the opportunity to work with exciting and innovative brands and even more exciting and innovative (and extremely talented) colleagues. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings! I know I’m not alone in this sentiment either – it’s clear that my fellow PAN colleagues all have a true passion for PR (and for PAN). I’m in great company!

So, with all that said….we thought it would be fun to ask ourselves, if we were not in PR, what would we be doing? I decided to pose the question to my PAN colleagues and the dynamic bunch got back to me with a ton of interesting (and surprising!) responses. The not-so-surprising part? All the alternative professions we listed have major overlap with our current roles as PR-pros. Intrigued? Check out what PAN employees would be doing, if they weren’t in PR:

I’ll go first - flight attendant. Just as I do in my current job, I would have to wear many different hats. From being responsible for the safety of the passengers, to providing first-class food and beverage service, flight attendants are required to pivot their role at any point during a flight. What’s more, flight attendants, like PR pros, are always on and always representing their airline (essentially, their brand). Even if they’re taking a break in the galley at the back of the plane, they have to be ready to jump up and answer any needs the passengers or pilot may have, doing what they can to make for a positive and in-flight experience that represents their airline. Take this down about 40,000 feet and it’s not so different from the many hats I wear each day. From social media manager to crisis PR advisor, we are always on when it comes to pivoting our focus to meet the needs of clients or the needs of a journalist looking for a unique angle. Now, if only I could show up to work in a snappy looking uniform each day!

Next up, Account Executive Rebecca Gatesman:

App Developer. This position is all about creating a great experience, as well as solving problems before the end user has a chance to find them. Both of these skills are also important in PR – you need to anticipate your client’s needs and anticipate what reporters will need for upcoming stories, and find the middle ground where they can meet and happily work together. 

Senior Account Executive Stephanie Kanaan:

Children’s Book Author. You have to over-communicate and keep the story simple so all audiences can understand and be super creative using out-of-the-box thinking. You also have to know your audience. You wouldn’t write about something dull; kids like fun and excitement! And most of all, you have to tell a complete story which is something we all have a hand in when working in PR.

Senior Account Executive Shelly Runyon:

Journalist. You get to talk to interesting people that are passionate about what they do (like the executives that we work with in PR), you identify a newsworthy topic and share testimonials of people who are currently experiencing this or have in the past (like writing a byline), you manage deadlines, managers' expectations and mentor those who start after you. The job is full of moving parts and sometimes the story changes right before you submit it – not unlike our client’s campaigns.

Account Executive Alyssa Miron:

DJ. DJ’ing is like PR in that you take content (a song/press release/you name it) and then mix and mash it up to give it flair and appeal to a whole new audience. Plus I love research, both in my PR life, as well as in daily discovery of new songs/artists.

Account Director Megan Kessler:

HR practitioner. I love the people development side of the PR experience, helping my teams to grow their skills by getting to know their passions and challenges – I could see devoting myself to this full time being extremely rewarding.

VP PANdigital David Saggio:

Formula 1 Race Driver. It’s not just the adrenaline rush; there are similarities to my role leading PANdigital. PR and racing are both high tech environments that change extremely quickly, but success is brought on by excellent fundamentals. Data plays a key role in strategizing and optimization of what you’re doing in real-time. Besides I look really cool in a Nomex racing suit. 

Account Executive Gaby Berkman

Innkeeper. Like in PR, you have to have good people skills – nobody wants to go to an inn where the staffers are not attentive, nice and able to anticipate needs before you bring them to their attention. There’s also a level of promotion in inn keeping – you have to be innovative and offer something to guests that another cannot, much like going into pitches to win new PR clients.

 And last, we asked our President and Founder Phil Nardone:

Child or Adolescent Psychologist. When I went to college it’s what I studied until I learned what PR was.  Trust me, there are days at PAN that I wonder if I am a psychologist after all?!?!?


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