Sorry for the #TweetScare today @KellyGroehler! So lets start out from the beginning! Where did you grow up and attend school?
Kelly: Thanks. spent childhood in Adrian, MN. Left in 10th grade; graduated from ROCORI H.S. But Adrian will always be home.
Q – #1 After H.S, what did you go on to? Did you know what kind of profession that you wanted to get early in life?
Kelly: Original plan: sports broadcasting. But I turned down Emerson College. Suzy Kolber at ESPN has my childhood dream job.
Took intro broadcasting class at SCSU (TOP-NOTCH mass comm school). Hated it. I sat in my advisor’s office, crushed.
she suggested PR: Either ask the coach a question as a reporter, or help the coach answer it. That was my PR awakening.
graduated ’93 with a B.S. Mass Comm, PR emphasis/minor: Human Relations from SCSU. Accredited in Public Relations 1998
but I don’t do sports PR. I enjoy being a plain ol’ fan, but I do respect well-handled team PR. To wit: #YANKEES. :)
Q – #2 Great that you found your calling! :) What then was the first job that you got to apply your newly acquired skills?
Kelly: internship at St. Cloud Hospital; learned I don’t enjoy health care PR. Dad was patient at that time, so didn’t help.
then, 8-month internship at @padillaspeer. A fantastic, grounding experience. I recommend for any graduate.
Q – #3 Take us down the road from the SC Hospital to you getting to end up at Best Buy. How did you know you were a fit?
Kelly: From @padillaspeer, did short stints at a St. Cloud ad shop, then in Brainerd at Russell & Herder. Back to PSB in ’96.
I was at PSB from ’96 to ’05. Amazing experiences; manufacturing, tech, labor negotiations, supply chain, change mgmt.
learned so much about the value of good communication, and the role of intangible assets like reputation to biz goals.
most importantly, learned to think and speak the language of business, and how to explain PR in those terms.
Best Buy – came here in ’05 to help build corporate PR capability, reputation mgmt & comms strategy for sustainability
understanding how sourcing, supply chain, labor, manufacturing works helped immensely in a retail environment.
Q – #4 Nice! With your experience, how have you seen technology/internet change how PR is done? Has it effected the quality?
Kelly: It has affected quality. we get caught up w/new channels like SM. Adoption curve; PR principles needed more than ever.
There is an adoption curve while we all figure out the best way to approach a new channel: earned, paid, owned, or all.
the lines between paid-earned-owned are fuzzier than ever with social media.
Principled PR approach to SM – audience, message, prioritize, focus, proactive, relevance, perseverance – will prevail.
I’m happy tech is here to stay; we need to adapt PR principles to new ways of engaging stakeholders & sharing stories
Q – #5 In your mind, when a CO. is hiring a Social Media Manager, what should be the top skill – PR, Marketing, cust serv?
Kelly: Depends on where the position is staffed. I don’t think social media warrants own department. It’s a set of channels.
If it’s in PR, I’m looking for a PR manager with experience integrating social media into communications strategies.
It’s highly unlikely we’d ever seek a social media manager, or seek to create a position so specific to one channel
Q – #6 Good points! Lets shift gears. Please reveal your own @vanityfair version of “My Stuff”. What’s your “stuff”?
Kelly: have you ever seen one of those lists? I was kidding – we’d be here all day
Q – #7 It was new to me, but I’d figure that I’d play. :) FAVORITE(S): Restaurant, store, comfort food, recent book or blog?
Kelly: Restaurant: MSP – @travailkitchen, Manny’s, Fuji Ya, @Barbette, @tilia. NYC: Balthazar, Del Posto, Republic (noodles!)
And I LOVE the cereal milk soft serve & compost cookies at @momofuku Milk Bar, East Village NYC
comfort food: Anything Ole whips up (mac/cheese, Spinach-scallion-jalapeno pizza, marinara). Also love roasted chicken.
recent book: I’m ashamed to admit I have a list a mile long on my iPhone, but haven’t cracked open a new one in 1 year.
I do read @Fortune & @VanityFair issues cover to cover. NatGeo, too. I reread Salem’s Lot this summer (favorite book).
favorite blogs: Same Rowdy Crowd, Smart Politics, Daily Beast, HuffPost. @freshtart to drool. @judy3x for crazypants.
ah! One last comfort food: @Aveda tea.
Q – #8 Busy mom! To close, what’s one goal that you have, personally or professionally, that you hope to reach soon?
Kelly: Happy, well-adjusted teenage boy. T-minus four years to go! Professionally: an overseas assignment and a CCO role.
@JoelECarlson: Thanks SOOO much for your time and comments today Kelly. I hope that you reach your goals soon. Have a good week!
Kelly: Joel, this was fun. Thanks very much for the opportunity!