T.O.W: Interview with Martin Waxman

24Mar10

For the Topic of the Week for this week, we were asked to view at interview our professor, Barbara Nixon, had with Martin Waxman. After we viewed the interview we were asked to respond to the video.

Martin Waxman, is the president and co-founder of Palette Public Relations Inc., a public relations agency in Canada. Waxman stated in his interview that his company focuses on three things: Simplicity, Energy and Integrity, I think these things make a successful and respectable company, and I was really delighted to hear these are the type of things their company strives for. Waxman stated that one of the companies they work for is called Botanical Paper Works, a company that makes greeting cards and paper with wildflower seeds in the paper that you can plant in the ground. They do the Public Relations for this company in both Canada and the United States.

1. What did I learn?:

I learned a lot from the interview with Martin Waxman especially things that will really benefit me as a future graduate in Public Relations. Waxman gave some really great insight as to what he as an employer looks for in interns or possible employees. Waxman stated that he looks for traditional public relations skills. He stated that while these skills are not the only thing of importance, they are still not going away, and that without these skills, a public relations professional will not be successful. Secondly, Waxman said he looks for employees who have an understanding in who communication people are, employees who have an understanding of tools, and who are using skills in a smart way. Waxman said that blogging is also something he looks for as important, but it is important for students who blog to look out for typographical and spelling errors. When I heard this come from an actually employer of a successful Public Relations agency, I realized the importance of still using my writing skills in blogging.

2. What Surprised Me?

I think something that really surprised me would be Mr. Waxman’s example of how social media helps an individual become heard. He stated that in the past you could complain and complain about something but it would never really go anywhere, but not with one quick tweet it is easily amplified, because of this company’s need to begin to monitor what’s being said. He used the example of an “eboarding pass,” when flying Air Canada he had his e-ticket on his Blackberry, and struggled with getting through both security, and through his gate onto the plane with the e-ticket. He later blogged about why they would send him this e-ticket to use, if it did not work. A year later he heard directly from Air Canada who stated that they were monitoring and making changes to the e-tickets. While Air Canada took a while to reply, it was really cool to hear how he was still heard, and it really surprised me how social media is able to make everything more interactive and personal.

3. What Do I Want to Know More About?:

In the beginning of the interview Martin Waxman stated how when he started his company Media Relations was their core. However, he said with social media his agency is different, in a good way, than they expected. I’d really like to learn more about how social media changed what they expected their company to be. What exactly changed? When did they begin to see the changed? Have his friends who work for other PR agencies seen the change as well?

Overall, watching this interview was extremely beneficial, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn so much in just 25 minutes!

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