Emily Kiloh caught up with Mattie Cragin, PR & Communications Coordinator at lululemon athletica, to chat PR in Vancouver.
Job title: PR & Communications Coordinator
Company you work for: lululemon athletica
Career background: This is my first "big girl job" as I graduated from Elon University in North Carolina in May! However, I interned at a wide variety of companies throughout my four years in school and was able to test all the communication waters. I tried almost all fields- varying from a journalism internship at a local French newspaper during my semester abroad in Aix-en-Provence, to an internship in Sales at a website startup in Chicago. Last summer, I was an internal communications intern at lululemon for four months and got a taste of external PR from the team sitting next to us. I set my sights on coming back to the company on this team, and stayed connected while finishing my last year of school by working in two separate lululemon stores and completing a case study on lululemon as part of my senior thesis. I received a job offer in April, my Canadian visa in June, and my fob to the office in August!
Career aspirations: A shorter term goal is to become a PR specialist here at lululemon. The best parts of my day are when I'm either creating content for the media, building relationships with writers, or brainstorming PR strategy. I have a harder time envisioning what I'd like to do longer term as I get easily excited by each new project I take on and my vision changes. With every week that passes, I change my idea of what the ideal future career looks like, so for right now I'm just trusting the process.
Greatest career challenge: Acknowledging that my major in Strategic Communications at University only goes so far; I have a lot to learn, especially at a company that takes a different approach to Public Relations than what they teach you in the textbooks. School taught me how to create a SWOT analysis in minutes and write a strategic campaign in a day, but there is a lot to be learned in the world of consumer media relations.
Greatest career success: So far, landing this job. In my life I don't remember ever being this constantly happy; I actually look forward to Monday mornings. Every week I learn more about this industry than every before, and I feel extremely fortunate to be here this early on in my career.
Favourite PR/communications campaign: I wrote my senior thesis in college on company culture and how it affects word of mouth marketing, so I am a fan of any company that harbours the power of happy employees to naturally generate buzz around the brand. Zappo's does this excellently as does lululemon- not to toot our own horn, but it is why I was so drawn to the company in the first place.
PR role model: My PR role models are our PR specialist, Karen, and Global Communications Manager, Erin. These girls have quickly become a combination of mentors, older sisters and close friends to me; I am like a sponge to every thing they say and without their support, I would not have the confidence to execute like I do.
Best career advice you’ve gotten: Move fast, act now and ask for forgiveness later. As an entry-level PR practitioner, it is all too easy to tip-toe around and prioritize approval over entrepreneurship. While of course this is important, I've found that there is no room to wait in the bleachers; if you don't get out into the field, you'll never play.
Best place to ‘do coffee’ in Vancouver: 49th Parallel- their almond milk lattes are unprecedented.
Favourite website: For fun: Thought Catalog- I have a goal of writing an article for the site one day! For industry (which is also fun for me), the winner has to be GetTheFive.com
Favourite social media site: I love Tumblr right now. I recently did a thirty day challenge to "do one thing a day that scares you" and used the platform to blog about the experience (shamelesss plug: check it out). I think it is such an interesting, multi-faceted medium that has such potential to be utilized in both the internal and external PR world.
Fun fact about you: I am also a certified yoga instructor!