Maxine joins us with previous agency experience and a post-graduate certificate from Humber College’s Public Relations program. With a passion for learning more about the industry and all its possibilities, we are excited to get to know her better:
What do you love the most about PR?
We influence the influencers. PR pros influence the people that consumers of media perceive as the movers and shakers (influencers and journalists). I’m not much for being the center of attention. I prefer the mystery and allure of operating in the background to help others – spokespeople or brands at large – step into the limelight in meaningful and impactful ways. It’s exciting to be on the inside track.
What course at Humber had the most influence on you and your study of PR?
Public Affairs. The main takeaway from the course was that everything is political, and everyone has an opinion. Communicators must accept the range of perspectives out there and be open enough to recognize the opportunities that they bring you. Whether ally or opposition, they all have the potential to be of value to your communication efforts and goals—all you have to do is convince them.
Either that or PR Writing—I dream in CP style now.
As someone who is just starting her career in the industry, what do you see as the biggest opportunities in PR in the future?
Social media has given everyone the capacity to contribute to the conversation. This isn’t a revolutionary thought, but it has made PR more important. Because of the volume of content out there, brands need to be particularly meticulous and methodical about what they say to cut through the noise. As they say, it’s about quality not quantity.
Also, in this hyper-polarized climate, PR is becoming increasingly valuable. Brands are expected to be clear about where they stand on issues and PR serves to safeguard the brand. Today, any one individual has the power to coopt your brand, requiring the brand itself to be particularly astute about how they navigate a complex and volatile media environment.
What are you looking forward to in your new role at K&P?
Taking a deep dive into industries I have never explored or never occurred to me. In a weird way, I feel like it has already widened and enhanced my experience of the world. The more I learn, the more I come to realize how little I know. I love this feeling and because there’s so much to learn at Kaiser & Partners, I know it will last.
What might people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a card shark and master backgammon player. My dad and I made our own version of crazy eights and changed some of the rules to create more opportunities for strategizing and bluffing.
What TV series are you into right now?
I’m a big fan of documentaries, whether a movie or a TV series, especially in the sports genre. I dabbled in sports growing up, but for some reason I really romanticize competitive and professional athletics. The Olympics always makes me cry. 14 Peaks, Cheer, Athlete A, The Dawn Wall and Moneyball are all excellent.
What’s the last book you read?
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. Very light and easy read. Otherwise, I am an avid reader of Malcolm Gladwell – I’ve read all his books. If you’re looking for a sentimental tear-jerker, a weekly pleasure of mine is the New York Times Modern Love column
We are excited to have you on the team, Maxine, and look forward to making a difference with you across a wide array of industries.