Duck Finds Her Wings
Megan Bauer is a former University of Oregon SOJC student finding success after college in Portland, Ore. Bauer works for Liaison Public Relations, a public relations agency specializing in consumer and 3D technology. After getting her feet wet in the profession at Waggener-Edstrom working on Microsoft accounts, Bauer made the switch to the smaller agency, Liaison, where she enjoys the increased level of responsibility and independence as an account coordinator.
“At Waggener-Edstrom I had to get approval through a longer management chain, but at Liaison I have a little more freedom to work on my own and deal with duties like talking directly with the media on my own,” says Bauer.
Bauer’s duties include pitching media for trade shows, working on client strategies for both consumer and tech, creating yearlong plans for clients, and tracking news releases. Bauer’s duties change depending on the time of year – one of her clients was recently doing a series of trade shows, meaning Bauer was spending 60 hours a week working on those accounts. Transitioning from a very active lifestyle at school to one where she stays at work for 60 hours a week, much of that time at a desk, has “been the hardest part about transitioning to professional life.”
Success in Tech Public Relations
Bauer has learned a thing or two about succeeding in tech public relations. Tech public relations takes creativity and curiosity. When promoting what some people may see as non-glamorous products to both consumers and businesses, it takes a bit of creativity. The desire to learn is essential, as the ever-changing tech environment requires professionals to always be learning and soaking up new product information like a sponge.
“Curiosity is essential. You need to be so interested in a product that you can eventually learn enough be able to boil it down and explain it to someone in one sentence.”
Bauer hopes that in the future she can be a “cool hunter” – someone that researches upcoming trends to see what is going to be the next big thing in public relations. Bauer is constantly keeping up with industry trends to stay ahead of the competition. Not only is having knowledge or product essential but also knowing the audiences well is crucial to success. Knowing what is going on in the industry helps her craft messages for various public relations audiences.
Most Important Things to Take From the SOJC
Bauer took lessons from school and applied them immediately to her work at Waggener-Edstrom and Liaison.
1. Never underestimate the importance of grammar – although it may seem ridiculous and obsessive to worry so heavily about grammar, being a grammar expert will take you far in the profession.
2. PR plans always change – Change isn’t always accounted for when taking PR planning courses, but in the real world, PR plans are simply a framework that almost never go completely as planned.
3. Learn how to use media databases – Bauer wishes she had learned how to use media databases while in school. Media databases are essential tools that every public relations professional uses. Learn how to use them.
Megan has been a great interviewee and I want to thank her for being so helpful in learning about tech public relations.