If you’re anything like me, you will most likely take the elevator when given the option between it and the staircase—at least when the elevator isn’t broken. Perhaps I can blame this aversion on the five flights my old high school made me climb to get from calculus to chemistry, but let’s be honest, it’s probably my lack of athleticism.
A few weeks ago, I was navigating 401 Hall on my way to meet Mary Ann and Brian in person for the first time. I was the all-too-familiar nervous and excited combination, ready to prove myself although a recent college graduate. Thankfully, I had successfully found the elevator and then resumed my chaotic thoughts of how and when I should highlight my qualifications and how they related to public relations.
It was in that moment I remembered something a previous supervisor told me when I was frustrated that a simple communications plan wasn’t going as expected: Not even professional athletes, after their long days of practice, weight training and who knows what else, head to the stairs to reach their top-floor penthouses—they take the elevator. They’re tired of doing what they’ve been doing all day and the last thought that comes to mind is more physical exercise.
Granted, I am not, nor have I ever been close to becoming a professional athlete, but I am familiar with putting my all in on a project just for it to not to work out, and then having to restart—aka taking the stairs right after practice.
I may not have used this exact metaphor in my interviews with Mary Ann, Brian and the team, (after all, I hadn’t rehearsed it in the mirror back at home) but I was able to discuss how in my previous communications experience I’ve been able to help make the trek a little easier for others. Whether through an email blast, a new website or a training guide, the goal was always to help the users of those tools find what they’re looking for quickly and intuitively.
Since starting at Sabo PR, I’ve come to understand that we, as public relations professionals, are also professional stair-takers. We’re here to connect our clients to the right people and media, give businesses refreshed branding, put out fires and pick clients back up. In other words, we’re here to help people get where they need to be to perform the best they can.
Some projects may take multiple flights with a needed breather here and there, and some are a simpler run up to the second floor. However, as stated in the social contract that first attracted me to SPR and inspired me to apply for the job, no task is too big and no assignment too small—and we treat them all with equal importance. While a physical staircase may be cold and lonely, the ladder to reaching effective communication is most definitely the preferred route.
Over these past few weeks at Sabo PR, I’ve seen how seriously my team takes the stairs, working through and through to fulfill clients’ needs from storytelling to internal communications to social media and back again. And as I continue to learn in this new position as well grow as a young professional, I know there is much experience around me that will help me along the way.
So if you’re ever questioning it, go ahead and take the elevator—after all, we’ve got the stairs covered.