Welcome Season 4 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 third episode of Season 4 we talked to Erin Manning, Associate Managing Director at Ketchum Canada [TCO].
Strategist, leader, admin assistant, teacher, therapist, IT support, interior designer.
One word to describe your work style:
How did you get to where you are today:
I’d love to say PR was my calling, but it didn’t really happen that way. I did my undergrad in Philosophy (that’s a whole other story) and followed-up with a post-grad in PR. The idea of PR was appealing to me because there didn’t seem to be any limitations. You could work in any industry you wanted.
After graduating I got my first job at CHUM Television where I had done my internship. The entertainment industry wasn’t as glamourous as I had imagined so I moved to the auto industry where I worked for AJAC and the Canadian International AutoShow. I eventually landed in the agency world where I get to work with amazing clients across a variety of industries. The rest, as they say, is history.
What is a typical work day like for you?
Anyone who’s in agency knows there’s no such thing as a typical day. It’s what’s so appealing about this job. It’s hard to have control over when and how these things happen, but every day usually has a mix of admin tasks, strategy or brainstorm meetings with clients and team, reviewing materials, counselling, reporting, and right now, sharing a virtual drink with colleagues.
What was a moment in your career that really helped define how you work today?
It’s not so much a moment as an experience that taught me about the leader I wanted to be (or not be, in this case). The respect you earn, the energy you inspire, and the quality of work you get out of your team, is directly linked to the level of support, empathy, and constructive feedback you’re willing to provide.
How do you balance family-work?
I keep a very organized calendar of what needs to be prioritized and by when. But I also think it’s a mindset. Every aspect of our life needs equal attention, but if you try and create a hard line between the two, or try and create equal balance on a daily basis, you’ll drive yourself nuts. It’s about being purposeful, but adaptable.
9-5 is LONG gone, what is one shortcut or life hack that works for you?
This is new for me: I try and focus on the things I can control in the moment and not worry too much about what I can’t. It doesn’t mean those things won’t need attention at some point, but it helps me prioritize. And keeps me Zen.