We are back for Season 2 of our series This Is How I Get It DONE, where we take a moment to interview members of the PR In Canada community to find out more about the person behind the desk, how they got their start, their current role (and everything in between). For our first episode of Season 2 we talked to Shauna MacDonald (BIO) of Brookline Public Relations.
Current Gig: President and Founder, Brookline Public Relations Inc.
One word to describe your work style: Bold.
How I got here: What made you start your own agency? Easy question! I knew I always wanted to start my own business. I come from a family of entrepreneurs so it is in my genes. I was Vice President of a large multi-national public relations agency at a young age and learned a substantial amount in a short period of time under the guidance of incredible mentors. However, I also saw a gap in process that could be quickly minimized if I could make decisions faster. Those who know me know I don’t deliberate very long!
When did you know you had a viable business: I launched Brookline Public Relations in October 2004. We just celebrated 14 years!
I realized it was a viable business very early on as I was lucky to have a few blue-chip brands approach me for significant business. One being a national airline in Canada, another being a major bank in Alberta and one being a large technology company based in Toronto. From there, the company was able to grow and continue to garner business.
Today, we have 15 incredible employees and service a variety of clients from different industries across Canada. I am so proud of how the agency has grown and am excited to see what we accomplish in the future!
What is a typical work day like for you?
My day can start literally at any hour – from a client call at 9 a.m. to a crisis that hits in the middle of the night. As an entrepreneur, I am all too familiar with the old university concept of “all-nighters” as finding time to invoice, do business planning or new business outreach sometimes falls into the wee hours of the night. However, I wouldn’t change any of it! I love the unexpected – having to jump into a client meeting at the last second, pitch a piece of new business and manage a crisis -often all in the same day fuels my need for variety and challenges me and my team to always perform at our best! The word “typical” is not a part of my vocabulary.
How do you balance family-work? Being an entrepreneur, a wife and mother to two adventurous young boys, I am ruthlessly organized. There is never an even balance on any given day and I have grown to be ok with that.
Some days, work will take priority for whatever reason, but the next day my son’s hockey game or school concert takes centre stage. It comes down to surrounding yourself with great team members who will support you when you need them to and them knowing you will have their back when they need your help as well.
9-5 is LONG gone, what is one shortcut or life hack that works for you? The typical 9-5 work day is definitely a thing of the past. One life hack that I instill is to always, ALWAYS be flexible! The days are never predictable, but as long as you strive for excellence in all situations it works out.