PR Pros: Julia Voloshchenko Of Usetech On The 5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career As A Public Relations Pro

Have you seen the show Flack? Ever think of pursuing a real-life career in PR? What does it take to succeed in PR? What are the different forms of Public Relations? Do you have to have a college degree in PR? How can you create a highly lucrative career in PR? In this interview series, called “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career As A Public Relations Pro” we are talking to successful publicists and Public Relations pros, who can share stories and insights from their experiences.

As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Julia Voloshchenko.

Julia Voloshchenko is a PR manager at the international IT company Usetech. She has worked with major media such as TechCrunch, Techradar, The Wall Street Journal, Macworld, Search Engine Journal and others. For over 3 years, she has been conducting marketing research, writing articles and working with the company’s brand.

Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thank you for the opportunity to answer your questions 🙂

In fact, my career path in PR wasn’t planned: everything turned out by accident. I took a lot of training courses, read a lot of professional literature, watched the guru in the world of PR and learned from my mistakes. At some point, I realized it was incredibly interesting for me to do PR: you can grow and develop in this area.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began at your company?

To be honest, I can’t single out any exciting story 🙂 I love my job, every day differs from the previous one, probably this is an interesting story.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

It seems to me that every PR specialist has a funny story. I can’t remember anything hilarious, but I also had mistakes. For example, I wrote in a letter “attached a presentation to attachments”, but in fact I forgot to attach it. Unfortunately, such situations happen 🙂

Well, there are also situations when a letter arrives in which you are incorrectly addressed. I received letters calling me Kate 🙂

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

We work with a lot of projects in the company. I’ll tell you more. Usetech company is engaged in software development in various fields: these are retail, fintech, and government projects. We use modern technologies and approaches: artificial intelligence, Data Science, Machine Learning. Besides developing mobile and other applications, we are engaged in consulting clients, as well as UI/UX design.

If we talk about projects, I will highlight the project to create a WorldChess chess broadcast portal. Artificial intelligence was used in the system.

You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?

The first is sociability. There is nowhere in PR without this quality: you need to communicate a lot with people and love it. I like to make new acquaintances in my field and learn something interesting.

The second is the ability to work in a team. People are divided into 2 types: someone likes to work alone, and someone loves to work in a team. I can work both alone and in a team, and this is an important skill. This includes support in difficult moments and the ability to delegate a task when you don’t have time for something.

The third is responsibility. The work of a PR manager is associated with multitasking. There is nowhere here without burning deadlines and unforeseen situations. It is significant to take responsibility for your work, because you handle the brand and the face of the company or client.

Ok super. Thank you for all that. Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview. For the benefit of our readers, can you help articulate what the different forms of PR are?

First, PR can be internal and external. Internal PR (or corporate PR) is focused on the employees of the company in which you work.

Why do we need internal PR? This helps to increase employee loyalty, strengthen the employer’s brand in the market, and strengthen corporate culture.

External PR is building relationships with the media and working with the brand’s reputation.

Second, there is a color classification of PR. For example, white PR is only positive infopods, with truthful and transparent information. Black PR is when competitors seek to destroy each other’s reputation. There is also gray, yellow and green PR, but I’ve rarely heard of such a classification from anyone.

Third, there is anti-crisis PR — many people should have heard about it. It’s needed when there is a crisis in the company.

Where should a young person considering a career in PR start their education? Should they get a degree in communications? A degree in journalism? Can you explain what you mean?

Yes, a big plus to a career if a person has an education in communications, journalism, or marketing. Also, do not forget about specialized courses and webinars: the PR sphere does not stand still. Approaches to external and internal PR, approaches to communication with journalists, are changing. It is important for a PR person to be aware of changes and constantly learn: to improve communication skills, communicate a lot, attend thematic conferences and webinars, communicate with experts in the field. It’s great to

broaden your horizons, as well as the circle of acquaintances 🙂

You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?

Book by Keith Ferrazzi «Never Eat Alone» helped me in this. The advice is simple: don’t be afraid to communicate a lot and get acquainted with professionals in your field. Sometimes it’s scary to take the first step, but if you try, you’ll realize that it’s easy.

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

We work with all lead generation channels, both online and offline.

I would advise you to use the possibilities of online and offline communication: this includes advertising, social networks, and holding various events. Well, don’t forget about networking when you attend other events.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your opinion and experience, what are your “5 Things You Need To Create A Highly Successful Career As A Public Relations Pro” and why.

Rather, I will talk about 5 qualities that are important for a PR specialist.

The first thing I have already mentioned is sociability. You should like to communicate with many people: live, by video or by correspondence. For example, I met some people on the Internet, or when working together on any of the projects, and continue to maintain relationships with them.

The second is the desire to constantly learn. As I have already said, the PR sphere does not stand still. It is important to follow trends, constantly learn something new, and be a multidisciplinary specialist. Only in this case, you will grow up the career ladder.

Once a month I try to watch a thematic webinar or take a fresh course, or read a book about communications or PR.

The third thing is the ability to work in multitasking and uncertainty mode. Everyone has situations with burning deadlines, indefinite deadlines, incomprehensible KPIs, and so on. It is important for a PR specialist not to give in to panic and emotions.

The fourth thing is an excellent mentor. Every specialist has a guru from whom he takes an example or relies on, whose posts he follows, or who he reads on social networks. For example, I was inspired by Keith Ferrazzi’s book.

And the fifth is leadership skills. Of course, this is an important thing. The leader’s voice will be heard when making an important decision. And leadership skills will also help convince the client to choose a media outlet or event, as well as hold a public event.

Because of the role you play, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Interesting question! Honestly, in your workflow, when you have “burning” tasks and several calls a day, you don’t think about it. You made me stop and think hard 🙂

Maybe I’ll be corny, but this would be an idea for beautifying the surrounding area — near your own home, near your office, or near public areas. The problem of ecology is incredibly urgent right now, and this would be more appropriate than ever.

I think it’s much more comfortable to live in a pleasant environment, don’t you agree? I mean a well-maintained area around the house, cleanliness, no litter in squares or parks, nice places to walk. If everyone took the time to do that, the world would be a better place.

This was really meaningful! Thank you so much for your time.

Thank you for the interesting questions!