Meet Our Team: Q&A with Becky Olson
What types of projects did you work on before joining the team?
I had the opportunity to oversee national and global programming for many well-known brands, including Unilever (I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Bertolli, Lipton, Klondike and Breyers), the Florida Department of Citrus, Subway, Werther’s, Motel 6, the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism and Kohler, to name a few. This work included everything from enlisting and managing celebrity spokespeople to media events in New York City and media relations. What I love so much about PR is that every industry needs it and I’ve been fortunate to gain experience in many of them. I’ve had a truly diverse career in this field.
What makes you great at your job?
I’m known for paying attention to the details. But, I enjoy being creative and thinking about new and big ways our clients can do things differently. I also love being a partner to our clients by immersing myself in all aspects of their businesses.
How would you describe your ideal client?
What I’ve seen work best is open and honest communication and a desire to work as partners. The more information that is shared between us, the better. I also like talking outside of planned status calls so that we truly get to know each other as people and share updates in real time. Coupling my professional experience with my personal interests has led to some fantastic client relationships. I’m particularly passionate about the food and beverage industry, travel & leisure and products or services that benefit kids and families.
What do you love about working with the consultants on the Approach team?
I love that we’re all of the same mindset of opting out of the traditional agency model for a variety of reasons. We’re challenging the way PR has always been done. Everyone is enthusiastic about helping each other—brainstorming projects, helping with research, attending each others’ events. We’re a friendly, open, warm group that works really hard and applies lot of our past agency experience to Approach but we put our own touch on it, which makes it fun.
What are a few words you would use to describe the Approach Marketing culture?
Supportive and collaborative. Even though we work independently all over the country, we’re a close team and thrive as a unit. This is also a smart bunch – we’re always thinking of ways to improve upon our work or break through the clutter.
How does the virtual agency model benefit your career and personal life?
One thing I really appreciate is getting my commuting time back. By working from home, I’m able to save a good two hours by not commuting. I would also say that I like how I can work any time. While I typically focus on traditional working hours, it’s nice to have the option to attend a school function when needed and pick back up at night. This model has allowed me more time with my kids while still working in the career field I love.
Where do you live and what do you love about your city?
I live in the city of Chicago. I love the diversity as well as the abundance of restaurants and activities that are available. I always say that if you can think of it, it exists here. (Did you know there’s such a thing as an indoor play space with an attached bird sanctuary?)
What accomplishment (career or personal) are you most proud of?
Taking the leap and going out on my own as a consultant and finding this ideal work-life balance we all try so hard to achieve.
What is the most memorable compliment you ever received?
That my hard work is noticed and appreciated and that I’m clearly passionate about making a difference.
What industry trend or technology are you excited about?
The emergence of live streaming and consumer journalism. Being able to see unfiltered access to events and stories that traditional media has not previously provided. I think there are more opportunities to partner with these influencers in new ways and provide the public with an authentic behind the scenes look.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in PR and marketing?
When beginning a job search, be as proactive and resourceful as you can in seeking opportunities that would be a good fit. Reach out to alumni and past colleagues. Research recruiting or HR managers at your companies of interest and find a way to connect with them. But, in doing so, demonstrate how hard you’re trying. Don’t just ask if there’s an open position; review the listings at their company and point out why you’d be a great candidate for it. It’s also essential to maintain a LinkedIn page.
What is your favorite quote?
"If you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen." Conan O'Brien
My approach to life is...
Every day provides a fresh start.