By: Jacob Hanson
An interview with Kristen Plemon, the New PR with Panache! Director of Strategic Storytelling & Client Success
Whenever anyone asks me what’s special about being a part of the edtech industry, my first thought is simple: the people. Dedication, passion, and the desire to help others pervade every corner of education. There are few other industries that could say the same thing.
A prime example of this sort of passion is Kristen Plemon, a 15-year veteran of education/edtech PR, who recently joined our leadership team as the Director of Strategic Storytelling & Client Success. I recently sat down with her to discuss what it means to be on the “industry” side of education.
Kristen, we couldn’t be more thrilled to have you join our team. What are some of the most important attributes that PR and marketing professionals in education need to have to be successful?
Well, to start, each of us should be humbled by the opportunity to help shape the lives of future generations. Just as it takes a special, unique individual to spend their days in the classroom, it takes special, dedicated individuals to work in the education industry.
Passion is at the top of my list. We are often at the front lines of what educators, administrators, parents or students see regarding brands and products in our industry—our audience is extremely passionate about what they do, they care A LOT. We should as well. We cannot fake authenticity: real passion can be felt and is contagious.
Honesty and dedication would round out my top three attributes. It’s our responsibility to earn our audience’s trust and subsequently their mindshare. If our goal is to build trust and demonstrate we are dedicated to helping, we will all be more successful.
Yes, absolutely! Now, could you please tell us a little bit about what education means to you as a 15-year veteran of education PR?
Wow, that is a big question! I have always been driven by a love of learning and of helping others learn. That’s why I originally pursued a teaching degree in college until I found my calling in communications. Education PR and marketing marry my two loves: 1) partnering with education companies and organizations that are truly making a difference in the lives of kids, where I have the distinct honor and joy of supporting products and services that improve teaching and learning; and 2) having the opportunity to share the stories of educators who are making a difference in students’ lives.
I’m proud to contribute to the education community in this way, to help students from all walks of life to prosper and become productive citizens of the world.
I couldn’t agree more! You mentioned sharing stories. What do you feel storytelling is so important for us PR and marketing folks in education?
Storytelling is about connection. Throughout history, humankind has told stories to communicate their values and ideals, to teach, to entertain, and to build understanding. Ultimately, storytelling connects us more closely to each other. We use storytelling in PR and marketing to develop new and deeper connections with people and develop trust between companies and organizations and their audiences.
These connections are essential to the relationship-building companies need to focus on in order to grow their businesses and reach the next level. Storytelling has long been a part of PR but its role is growing within companies, particularly in marketing and sales, and it permeates every aspect of society with the growth of social media.
Storytelling is also evolving into storymaking. PR pros/marketers who understand the power of storytelling in various formats and through multiple channels, as well as how to empower audiences to create and share their positive stories of connection with companies and organizations, will be the most successful in the future.
This is especially true in education. Telling the right stories at the right time to the right people can truly change kids’ lives, as well as continue to open the doors for collaboration.
All right, last question! What was it about PR with Panache! that made you want to join the team?
This is a loaded question, Jacob! However, I feel strongly that PRP embodies everything I have mentioned above. By joining the team, I have the opportunity to continue to marry my passions for education, storytelling, and marketing while having increased opportunities for collaboration, and to lead a fantastic team.
Over the years, I’ve been thoroughly impressed with PRP’s growth, not just in size, but in the innovative ways PRP is supporting the members of their client family. I expect that growth to continue at an even greater pace now.
PRP will continue to push boundaries to achieve greatness for it clients and will continue to lead through its success, savvy and generosity of spirit. PRP is successful because it employs the right people and practices, contributing to a culture where people come first, where making a difference goes hand-in-hand with making a living, where respect and caring are the keys to not only helping the agency grow but to serving our clients as well.
I’m proud to lead such a team, and am excited to see what the future holds!
Have more questions for Kristen? Drop her a line!
Thanks for sharing!