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 eighth episode of Season 3 we talked to Jenn Duggan, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Citizen Relations [TCO].
What is your current gig?
Head Unicorn Wrangler. We have such a uniquely talented team I often say they are all part unicorn.
One Word to Describe your Work Style:
Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.
Like many people, I really fell into PR. I originally thought that I wanted to be a psychologist or therapist (ironically I think I play that role many days). I’ve spent my entire career on the agency side because I feed off the fast-paced environment, collaboration, creativity, continuous learning and the fun. Tasks and decisions come quickly but that’s what keeps things interesting and what I enjoy. I’ve had the pleasure of working with really smart and creative clients and colleagues along the way which has propelled me to where I am today. I am direct and honest (perhaps sometimes to a fault) and am always focused on outcomes.
What is a typical work day like for you?
As many people in this field say, there really is no typical day. But I think that’s what keeps me inspired and challenged. My day starts at home where I try to tackle my inbox early and catch up on industry and client news. I try to take our pup for a walk to clear my head before starting the day. If I am not at client meetings, I am in the office usually in many meetings that can be anything from client brainstorm and strategy sessions, global leadership calls, meetings with HR and finance and regular check-ins with the team.
What was a moment in your career that really helped define how you work today?
Becoming a mom and having two kids (13 months apart for context) changed absolutely everything. It changed my perspective – made me a more empathic leader which has helped tremendously in identifying great talent and cultivating teams , it made me more efficient and an expert at prioritization and made me more resilient to tackle challenges or setbacks that are thrown my way.
How do you balance family-work.
There is no perfect balance when it comes to family and work and inevitably the scales are going to tip more in one direction or the other depending on the day or week. I try to protect family time when I can and will pause anything if one of them needs me. Family vacations are critical to have dedicated time together (and I get notifications on my phone indicating my screen time was down 75% this week).
9-5 is LONG gone, what is one shortcut or life hack that works for you?
- Like many professional jobs we definitely run a longer day all while staying connected. I try to be deliberate about compartmentalizing my work as much as possible to reduce distractions and too much “context switching” which can really reduce productivity and effectiveness. Easier said than done in an agency environment but it’s important. We are so busy going from one task to the next that we are losing our ability to really sit and think on things. One other hack for me is that I try to curb my personal social media time. It obviously a necessary element of my job but from a personal perspective – I keep it pretty limited (ask anyone who follows me). I’m on a device so much for my job that I try to avoid the rabbit hole of social media whenever I can – and I am not much of an oversharer on my personal life (or that of my family) so that’s a key driver for me too.