I’ve ran into a handful of linchpins since my last segment of Unlocking Potential, and I am ecstatic to be sharing these interviews with you again. Remember, linchpins are people who are essential to business success.
One of the easiest ways to check if you are doing work that matters, if you’re a linchpin is to ask yourself if your business and the people you work with can continue without you around? Are you essential?
Dana Arnold is a linchpin at Hiebing, an integrated marketing and brand development firm in Madison, Wisconsin. She is remarkable. While typically we start by giving some background, I’ve jumped the gun and wrote a profile feature on her already.
In short, she’s a Public Relations guru, mentor, and a woman who started her first PR business at 25. Without further ado, welcome Dana Arnold.
Q: What are three main skills you need to do what you do?
Dana: Strong communication – writing, listening, speaking; empathy helps on two fronts – understanding a target market and counseling clients; creativity – I’m in the idea business and finding new angles and opportunities moves the brands I represent forward.
Q: I have my own reasons, but what do you think makes you indispensable, a true linchpin?
Dana: This is a tough one! On my best days, I hope that it’s my constant pursuit for what’s possible. I think that any team (including mine) wants to be inspired and pushed. I think I do that on a pretty consistent basis. It makes the individual better, the team better, the work better and ultimately our clients better.
Q: Where do you find inspiration to test new waters and walk past boundaries?
Dana: I can’t help but want to push past boundaries… fiercely independent and really curious (just ask my mom!) Daily inspiration I find most often in reading, which I do constantly – mostly digital reading at this point of articles, blogs, tweets. There are some people I read who are in the business – but most of what I find inspiring is reading things on leadership.
Q: What are a few habits that are critical to becoming a remarkable PR pro?
Dana: Reading, daily. Getting out from behind the computer to TALK to people: co-workers, clients, media, vendors.
Q: In one sentence, what is your life calling?
Dana: In every interaction, live positively.
Q: What are four life lessons you have learned from following your calling?
Dana: 1. You can just go with what surrounds you – or influence it. I choose to influence it. 2. Perseverance. 3. Everything matters – every word, every gesture, every piece of interaction has an impact. 4. LAUGH – a lot – and surround yourself with people who want to laugh along with you.
Q: How do you push your client’s or your team’s imagination and motivation?
Dana: With clients, I regularly share new ideas, opportunities and approaches to what we’re doing – and being sure to connect those items to why their target audience cares about it (and how it can move the needle for their business). I hope that I inspire my team’s motivation and imagination by leading by example… and asking a lot of questions (not giving them the answers)
Q: What do you do to continue your growth as a PR pro?
Dana: I’m a member of PRSA and Counselor’s Academy (a sector of PRSA for PR agency leaders); I read voraciously; I surround myself with a really smart team that pushes me; I attend key conferences such as SXSW
Q: What motto do you live by?
Dana: As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. (An excerpt of a full quote that I LOVE from Marianne Williamson)
Q: If you got to write a test for those who want to go into heaven, what is one question that would be on the test?
Dana: How much did you love?
Q: What couldn’t you live without?
Dana: Coffee (you’ve got this!) + Wine (hey, you gave it your best shot!)
Q: What is a project you’ve wanted to create, but haven’t had the time to do?
Dana: Something that helps set up young, professional women to succeed in the workplace.
Q: Where can people find you and your art?
Dana: @BigKitchen and www.hiebing.com/blogworthy
Stay Positive & Let Your Light Shine