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Perspectives Blog: Blog Posts

Take the Time to Mentor Someone

Wednesday, May 16, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Dan Hauser
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By Dan Hauser, APR

 

Thirty years ago, as a young pup fresh out of the University of Iowa journalism school, I moved to the Twin Cities to begin my full-time professional career. At that time, I had my eyes set on a writing position, having worked for my high school and college newspapers, and written several freelance stories as an unemployed graduate trying to build up a portfolio.

 

I scoured the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press’ classified sections (remember those?) for opportunities and sent off dozens of pithy cover letters trying to convince potential employers that I was the next Woodward or Bernstein. I supplemented these efforts by trying to set up a series of informational interviews. Most employers who didn’t have open positions wouldn’t take the time to see me, but a few did.

 

One interview sticks with me today, three decades later. It was with Brian Anderson, long-time editor at Mpls/St. Paul Magazine. Sadly, Brian is no longer with us. He died in 2010 at the age of 65, after a battle with leukemia.

 

Brian didn’t have an opening for me met with me, nonetheless. I don’t recall exactly what we discussed but I remember coming out of that meeting enthused and a little smarter. He had years of journalistic knowledge he could impart, stuff you wouldn’t find in the academic setting.

 

I greatly appreciated Brian taking the time out of his busy schedule to meet with a complete stranger. It meant a lot to me. And, I think it means a lot to students and recent grads out there looking to start their professional PR career. For that reason alone, I encourage all PR veterans to take the time to meet and mentor those just starting out in the field.

 

Have you made yourself available to speak with young PR professionals?

 

If you have, thanks. You’ve made a difference. If you haven’t, why not? This career is all about making and maintaining connections. You’d be helping future practitioners significantly if you share with them what you’ve learned in the trenches. It’s easy and it’s fulfilling.

 

Volunteer to talk with the local chapter of the PRSSA at one of its meetings. Introduce yourself to a student at the next PRSA event you attend. Let them know you’re available for 

coffee if they want to pick your brain.

 

Keep the golden rule in mind - treat others as you want to be treated. Think of 

when you were starting out and how much you benefited (or would have benefited) from sitting down for an informational interview with some sage professional. Your gift of time and knowledge will provide immense support and likely prove to be invaluable.

 

Dan Hauser, APR, is the 2018 Treasurer for the Minnesota chapter of PRSA, and director of communication, education and events with the Minnesota Medical Association. 




Minnesota PRSA
5353 Wayzata Blvd, Suite 350
Minneapolis MN 55416
Phone: 952-564-3046
Fax: 952-252.8096
Email: office@minnesotaprsa.org

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