Tara came on board with us in January but she fits in so well with our team and goals that it feels like she’s been here for months! Seriously. I’ve been extremely impressed with Tara from day one. Her attention to detail, willingness to jump in and begin pitching media and creativity in storytelling are just a few of the reasons why she is the perfect fit for our new Public Relations Specialist role.
If you follow me on social media you know that I teased the idea of looking for a new addition to our team last fall due to our growth and increased need for strategic media relations support.
At first, the hiring search felt overwhelming to me because I didn’t have anyone in mind that would be the right fit for our need. I asked around in Columbus for leads but no one met the qualifications and experience we needed for this new role. We were growing rapidly and I had to find someone.
Then it hit me: We’re a virtual agency! Why should the talent search be confined to my city? That’s when things got interesting …
I took to social media and begin using keywords on LinkedIn and Twitter to search for the specific skills I was looking for. I turned up some promising prospects and begin reaching out. I had some interviews lined up in no time! Then, one morning, I was surfing around on Twitter and I came across a profile that mentioned working at ABC News, being a PR gal and loving to craft the perfect storyline. I was intrigued.
So, I connected with Tara on Twitter and then checked out her LinkedIn profile. I was convinced I had to talk to her. She lived in NYC but that didn’t matter because of course we are virtual!
Fast-forward a week and I’m meeting with Tara in Columbus. Turns out, she had moved here months before! I was impressed with her ability to hit the ground running with media relations and detailed care for matching her clients with just the right reporters but what impressed me most was her transparency, integrity and passion.
Team Update: Meet Tara Parsell! #HereWeGrowAgain (@tara_parsell)
So, without further fanfare, let me introduce you to the newest addition to our team and share a fun Q+A with you so you can get to know her a bit more.
Everyone please welcome Tara Parsell to our team and be sure to follow her on Twitter! 🙂
Kate: You just joined the team this month, how would you describe your first couple weeks so far?
Tara: Starting off a new year with a new job is the perfect beginning to 2015. It’s been great getting to know the Belle clients and really understanding the Columbus PR scene. Having spent the last two+ years working in PR in New York, I’m able to use the skills I’ve learned in an entirely new environment, which has been a great learning experience.
K: What’s your favorite thing about being in PR?
T: I love being able to build storylines –working with my clients to find the hidden stories in the organization that is a great angle for one particular journalist who might not have covered the company or initiative otherwise. It’s creative and almost like doing a little detective work at times. There’s nothing more satisfying than finding the perfect angle for the right journalist.
K: Name your three favorite foods / food brands …
T: 1. Sugar cookies – I’m talking Lofthouse or grocery store brand cookies with colorful frosting and sprinkles. I eat way too many of these.
2. Chipotle – Mmmm, the second someone mentions Chipotle I don’t stop thinking about the chicken burrito bowls until I actually eat one.
3. New York Style Pizza – I haven’t found a great alternative since I moved to Columbus from NYC in September…open to suggestions!
K: What’s your favorite leisure activity?
T: Reading, especially fiction. I need to be careful when I start a book, because I definitely become attached to books and will stay up all night trying to read just one more chapter. I’m also a very fast reader, and can finish a book in 3-4 days.
K: What’s something new you learned this week?
T: I’m trying to teach myself how to knit (thank you, Youtube), so that’s been a pretty big learning curve this week.
K: What would we find in your refrigerator right now?
T: Thawing chicken broth I made in the crockpot! I never got a chance to try it before the holidays, so it’s definitely going to be an adventurous lunch today.
K: What’s your favorite TV show and why?
T: Friends! I’ve owned the entire season on DVD since 2008 and still watch it regularly (and laugh at all the jokes). Now, Netflix has made it even easier to watch wherever I am.
K: Favorite blog?
T: I have a few favorites. Pinch of Yum is my favorite food blog, every recipe I’ve tried from her site has turned out amazing. For lifestyle I love One Little Momma. Her style, hair, and jewelry are always perfect – I even got a few pair of her earrings for Christmas this year!
K: What’s your proudest achievement to date?
T: This may sound convoluted, working to achieve my goals and making them a reality. When I graduated college, I wanted to move to NYC. Within three months of graduating I had a great job in the city and was living in Queens. Then, once NYC lost its appeal (think: gross subways and angry people), we decided to move to Columbus, which took approximately 8 months to become a reality, but well worth it. I think it shows a determination that’s pretty much a necessity in the PR world!
K: What’s one of your 2015 goals that you’re committed to accomplish?
T: I really want to make more of an effort on social media this year, especially Twitter. Right now, I tend to tweet when I think of it, or have some extra time, but I would like to make it consistent and make connections with both journalists and PR professionals.