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8 Ideas to Grow Your Professional Value from NY Yankees and IBM PR Pros

Monday, May 8, 2017  
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By David Graubard

"I started with a wish list. On top was Disney. Then I made another list of places that fit me. Disney was not on it.” said Brandi Boatner, IBM’s Digital Experience Manager, as she kicked-off an April career workshop for young communications professionals and college students at Ketchum’s NYC headquarters.

The event was created to help PRSA-NY and PRSSA members better understand the communications industry landscape, and how they can thrive within it. This came as part of PRSA-NY’s larger effort to empower members’ career development, while bridging the gap between practitioners and the industry. The event also served as the announcement of PRSA-NY’s new Career Center, a place for any professionals or students to discover employment and internship opportunities in the metropolitan area.

A practical measure of a successful event is how long participants linger after it was scheduled to end. More than 90 minutes after the last presenter's remarks at 8:00 p.m., this small event had at least a dozen public relations professionals and students pressing the speakers on how to grow their value in the PR industry.

Here are highlights of the advice shared by Cedric Bess (Supervisor of Guest Relations, New York Yankees) and Brandi Boatner (Digital Experience Manager, IBM).

Cedric Bess:

(1) Be a transformer, the person that can switch projects or industries faster than most.  The best advice I ever received: ‘Be an inch deep and a mile wide.’ General knowledge is crucial in PR.  

(2) Find someone doing what you want to do, well. Go wide; it doesn't have to be a mentor. It may be someone who wrote you a LinkedIn recommendation.

(3) Build relationships while asking strategic questions. For example, “How did you get to where you are? Tell me about some of your success and failures.”

(4)  Do not let anyone outwork you. Always hustle.

Brandi Boatner:

(5)  Stop listening to the voice in your head that is telling you “no.”:

(6)  Embrace rejection and let it make you stronger - grow from it. Rejection is healthy and contributes to growth in your career.

(6)  Look for roles that are important, but unnoticed.

(7) Know your worth. There's (likely) nothing in the employee handbook saying you cannot create a job with a salary you research and propose it to your supervisor. You may get it. Maybe not now, but it could potentially happen.

(8) Find the company that fits you, not the other way around. Don’t try and make it work.


For more information about the Public Relations Society of America’s New York chapter (PRSA-NY) go to For more information on the Public Relations Student Society of America, visit

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