Welcome Season 3 of our series This Is How I Get It DONE, where we take a moment to interview members of the PR In Canada & Profectio community members to find out more about the person behind the desk, how they got their start, their current role (and everything in between). For our sixth episode of Season 3 we talked to Nicole Amiel, Director of Eastern Canada for Beattie Tartan [TCO].
What is your current gig?
- I consider myself a Yente of sorts (maybe I watched Fiddler on the Roof too many times growing up). Whether as a publicist at boutique firms, an Internal Communications Specialist at the Aldo Group or as a project manager launching new brands, there’s one thing that I have always focused on: building culture and identity through information.
- As Director of Eastern Canada for Beattie Tartan, a global integrated communications agency, my goal is to help brands explore and optimize all of the platforms available to tell their story and help them stand out from the pack.
One Word to Describe your Work Style:
Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.
- I studied journalism because I loved to tell stories. As I saw the media landscape change in the mid 00s and I couldn’t see opportunities for myself in front of a camera, I explored other avenues to do just that. Right after graduating from J school at Concordia I had the opportunity to move to Miami for an internship in PR and I fell in love. I was telling stories but from the other side. Introducing media – and through them, their audiences – to amazing brands, products and people. Over the years, the industry has continued to change: newsrooms started consolidating (or worst, shutting down), social media was invented, digital marketing became a new avenue to reach consumers and I have continued look for new and interesting ways to tell stories.
What is a typical work day like for you?
- I’m a voracious consumer of news so I start every day reading as many newsletters and newspapers as I can get my hands on looking for industry trends, new business opportunities and, of course, just to stay in touch with the what’s going on in the world (to me, there is nothing worse than someone who doesn’t know what is happening beyond their bubble). I then answer emails from our UK team – they are 5 hours ahead so I make sure we get them outstanding deliverables and answer any questions they might have first thing so we can get in a few quality hours of working together before they hit quitting time. A few emails, a cup of tea and some chatting in our shared kitchen with officemates later… we have a daily 11:30 a.m. Skype huddle with all of our offices across Canada to touch base on our day’s priorities and offer help to other teams, when needed. My afternoons are filled with new business proposals, media pitching (I still love it), brainstorms and way too many meetings. At the end of the day I check in with the West Coast to let them know I’m taking off (hopefully heading to the gym) and can be reached by text, if needed – although they usually leave me alone (best work/life balance so far). That said, if I have a big writing project or need to get creative, I get my best work done from 9 p.m. – 2 a.m. in front of the TV (good thing I’m a night owl).
What was a moment in your career that really helped define how you work today?
- I’ve always been a bit of a social butterfly so immediately the event part of PR spoke to me but I think it was doing my first FAM trip for the Delano Hotel when I was working in Miami and getting to host a group of media from New York and LA. The energy I felt introducing them all of my favourite restaurants, nightlife, fashion brands and secret spots in the city, which just so happened to mostly be my clients, convinced me that I had found exactly what I should be doing. I loved helping other people fall in love with what I love. That’s still how I look at what I do today.
How do you balance family-work.
- I’m single so I haven’t quite gotten that far yet but I am starting to find more “me-work” balance. When I first moved here I worked so much that I had only gone out to a restaurant twice in eight months, and most of my weekends were spent in bed because I was exhausted. I knew that wasn’t going to work for me, both personally but equally from a professional standpoint. Networking and knowing what is going on in the city is so important, but you can’t just read about it, you need to experience it. So now I’m all about that life. Going to the city’s amazing restaurants, cultural and artistic events fills my cup. It also took me three years after moving here to get back in the gym. I’m up to 3 days a week. I used to be 5-6 but I’m happy that I’m making myself a priority again. And, since most of my family is still in Montreal, I make a point of seeing my sister who lives here at least once a week, even if it’s just to watch the new Star Trek together because just being in her presence helps me feel more grounded.
9-5 is LONG gone, what is one shortcut or life hack that works for you?
- HA! I don’t know if, in my 15 years in the industry, I’ve had more than a handful of actual 9-5 days.
I bring my dog Coco to the office with me a couple of times a week and that is the best trick I’ve got. She makes me take brain breaks, she makes everyone in the office smile a whole lot more and she’s a great icebreaker when meeting anyone new. Plus she gets a good walk going to and from the metro, so that helps cut down how often we have to go out otherwise – two birds, one stone.