Pop Quiz, Monday with KJ Blattenbauer

KJ Blattenbauer

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
KJ Blattenbauer

KJ Blattenbauer
Photo credit: Alexa Vossler

What is your job role?
I’m a publicity strategist with more than 22 years of experience in Corporate America, the agency environment, and running my own PR firm. I also am a fashion designer and will be launching my dress line in 2019.

Tell us about your company?
My company, Calamity Jayne Enterprises, is composed of Hearsay (a PR firm for small businesses, influencers, and entrepreneurs), Name Droppers (a naming company), vieve and jo (a dress line launching in 2019), as well as a variety of publicity and business strategy courses and toolkits. You can learn more about them all at kjblattenbauer.com.

What do you love most about your job?
What I love most about my job is watching a client’s eyes light up the first time they see themselves in the media or hearing how one of my dress designs made another woman feel truly beautiful. There’s nothing like knowing you’re making a real difference in another person’s life.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Knowing that by coming from a place of service, I have the ability to change other people’s life. Sure, I’m not curing cancer or fighting crime, but I’m helping others promote their livelihoods, provide for their families, and live their dreams. It makes me jump out of bed every morning and work as hard as I can.

How do your co-workers inspire you?
By showing up, every day, and putting in long hours – often in stressful environments against unrealistic deadlines – and always putting the client first. No complaining, judgments, or “that’s not my job” talk. Just doing the work and making big things happen. It’s inspiring.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We have a lot of fun cracking jokes and keeping things light around the team. Our work is serious, and we take it seriously, but there’s always a healthy amount of ribbing amongst the team going on. I also have a 13-year old Chinook rescue we have lovingly nicknamed the Chief Operations Pawficer. She has a ton of attitude, but you can find her posing in the office and helping us create tons of memes on the regular.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
PR is regularly listed as one of the most stressful professions in the United States. With the deadlines, NDAs, client expectations, news cycle, and more, it can be a lot. You have to be on 24/7 and ready to be creative at the drop of a hat. Things are always changing as the news changes. It’s challenging but fun.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Always triple check your work and then have a fresh set of eyes proofread it. I once sent out an email to 55,000 about asses and not assets. Make sure you’re setting both your and your client’s expectations. This way, there won’t be any disappointments. Clearly, communicate what is going on at all times. Be ethical and truthful always in all ways. There’s no excuse for anything else. Promote yourself and be loud and proud. No one is going to cheer for you as much as you cheer for yourself.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Find a mentor you can trust and learn from. Soak up all the information they are willing to give you. There’s no one right way to do everything, but there is a ton of value that can be learned by those who have gone before us.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Website: www.kjblattenbauer.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/kjblattenbauer
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hearsaypublicrelations

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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