Pop Quiz, Monday with Allison Schroeder

Allison Schroeder

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?
Allison Schroeder

Allison Schroeder
Photo credit: Allison Schroeder

What is your job role?
Owner of Pomme Communications

Tell us about your company?
Pomme Communications is a boutique agency specializing in strategic public relations, reputation management, and special event promotion.

We work with our clients to uncover key messages, leverage partnerships and develop compelling calls to action that foster meaningful connections with target audiences.

Pomme boasts a diverse roster of clients that are interested in growing their brands through creative outreach opportunities.

What do you love most about your job?
Every day is a new adventure in the PR world. News cycles are continually changing, and new opportunities present themselves daily.

We must constantly be on our game and cognizant of how we can best represent our clients and their brands which is both challenging and exciting.

Additionally, several of our clients develop events that are making an impact within the community and fun to attend. Who doesn’t want to bring people together for a great cause?

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
Each client comes to us with a unique goal, and we work together to find innovative ways to engage and excite their customers. Watching a plan come together that meets all of our objectives and helps elevate a client’s brand is priceless. And a happy client means a happy agency!

How do your co-workers inspire you?
Passion for the profession brings us together to produce meaningful results. We’re a small team, but this gives everyone the opportunity to take meaningful ownership over projects. It’s amazing to see the creative ideas each individual can produce when provided with the right support.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
Having a virtual office with a number of part-time associates, it’s essential to be in touch frequently. Wine and coffee are always great ways to catch up in person and in a neutral setting. Additionally, we make a big deal of the annual awards for our local PRSA chapter, to celebrate the hard work we’ve put forth throughout the year.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
As a consultancy, it’s always a challenge when clients don’t want to take our recommendations. It’s important that we educate clients about the strategic planning process and how that impacts the resulting deliverables and timelines. We aren’t magicians. Great results are a result of great planning and tactics don’t exist well in a vacuum. Sometimes that is difficult to convey to a client with a narrow view of what’s truly possible.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
While it’s important that we’re communicating the correct messages on behalf of our clients, we can’t neglect to listen to what those key audiences are saying in return.

I once had a longtime client make some significant changes to a popular annual event they hosted. Unfortunately, those didn’t go over too well with people whom we had previously considered to be strong advocates on our behalf. We spent a great deal of time fielding these comments and making them feel heard to increase their likelihood of returning. It took a lot of extra time but provided us with the opportunity to strengthen the brand and connection with our followers. The lesson here is, ambassadors are worth the extra time. Listen to what they’re telling you!

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
My advice for a PR pro just starting out is to take in every experience. While the work that you’re being handed is likely very tactical in nature, take the time to understand the strategy behind what you’re doing.

Ask questions of your superiors and go to networking events. Volunteer to actually work the events that you’re promoting to see how things are being implemented from the ground up.

Finally, public relations isn’t how it appears on Instagram. There’s a lot of work, a lot of long hours and a lot of rejection. Don’t be fooled by someone with a nice manicure sitting at a laptop in a coffee shop. Real work is actually involved.

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:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/pommepr
Instagram: @PommePR or @ThePoodleLady (me)

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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