As I watched the class of 2011 graduate last week, I realized how instrumental this group of young leaders has been in raising the bar for the underclassmen that will soon follow in their footsteps. These graduates have served as mentors for all of us, which is extremely important as young PR professionals.
In her recent post on PRSay, Barbara Whitman discusses the importance of having a mentor in a digital age. While much of the PR world relies on technology and social media, Whitman talks about the value of face-to-face communication and the younger generation benefits from this type of interaction. As a former mentor, she has seen how this program benefits both the mentee and the mentor. Mentees have someone to both celebrate their successes with and help guide them through difficult challenges, while mentors improve their listening skills. Whitman emphasized that mentoring is more than just mentioning someone in a tweet, but that it is a lifelong investment in that person. In the end, a mentoring program fosters professional growth for everyone involved.
Many companies also see the value in promoting a mentoring program internally. The PRSA Job Center offers members the option to have a career coach, which is essentially the same thing as a mentor. They provide several different professionals who are available to mentor members and provide advice when necessary. Similarly, many corporate organizations like Bank of America offer their employees the option of having a mentor within the company.
During my first semester with PRowl, I looked to all of the senior members for guidance and advice. Specifically, Trish Wyatt, an Account Executive at PRowl did become my unofficial mentor. The experience for me was invaluable, to have someone there to listen, read over press releases, or even to de-stress with at the gym. After such a positive experience this past semester, I hope I can do the same for another PRowl member in the future.
Do you think it is important to have a mentor? What can individuals gain from this experience?
To read the PRsay article on the value of mentoring, click here
This guest blog was written by PRowl Public Relations staff member Alex Crispino