A sprint down memory lane…because nothing in PR is ever slow

September 23, 2013

This September marks the 15th anniversary of Barokas Communications and my 14th year at the company. While September is typically a time of new beginnings with school starting, I find myself in more of a reflective mood given this milestone in the company’s history.

Not that I would have admitted it then, but when I first got into PR, I really didn’t have any idea of what to expect. I had community relations and marketing internships at KING 5 and The Ackerley Group (since acquired by Clear Channel), but the world of tech PR was an entirely new beast.
I entered the tech scene at a time marked by tech incubators, the Pets.com sock puppet, and publications like Inter@ctive Week, The Industry Standard and
Business 2.0 (how’s that for a walk down memory lane?). Many of my friends from college also pursued jobs in PR, but when the dot-com bust hit, they all ventured off down different career paths or went back to school to earn their MBAs.

Looking back, I can say that I’m glad (and lucky) to have stayed in PR. While PR often earns the distinction of “most stressful job,” the opportunities it has provided me are unmatched. In the last 14 years I have worked with some of today’s most notable business leaders, CEOs and venture capitalists including Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz, Eric Anderson and many, many others. In my early 20’s while other young professionals were stuck in their cubes and focused on climbing the corporate ladder, I was traveling across the country on press tours, advising clients on what and, most importantly, what not to say.

Because of my career, I’ve traveled to many of the places in the world that I always wanted to visit including the UK, Spain and Germany. And racking up all those frequent flier miles for work has allowed me to visit numerous countries including Australia, France, Fiji, Japan, New Zealand, and even Cuba (shhh!). When one of my clients sponsored a car in the Indy 500, I had the privilege of riding in a pace car at speeds I’ll likely never experience again. Earlier this year, I was lucky enough to work with NASA and host a media day with an astronaut. It was my dream to be an astronaut when I was younger and while I haven’t been to space (yet), it was an unforgettable experience. I am proud to call myself a geek and can talk shop about cloud computing, virtualization and a host of other technologies my friends and family will never understand.

Most importantly, I’ve learned a lot about myself over the last several years. It’s certainly not easy running a business and it’s hard to accept that you can’t always make everyone happy (although it’s in my nature to always try!). I’ve learned that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and that by simply putting yourself out there you can make things happen that you never thought possible. I’ve learned that relationships are what matter most – even more than skill and expertise (although you better be able to deliver or that relationship won’t open any more doors). I’ve also learned that there isn’t really such thing as work life balance in a 24×7 job like PR. The lines are always blurred, but there are ways to make sure you’re fulfilled by all parts of your life.

While I don’t know what the next 15 years have in store, I can guarantee that the world of PR will lead me to many more life changing experiences. So, happy birthday Barokas Communications – just like a person you have grown, you’ve changed and you’ve changed me.

–Karli

Barokas Communications employee #3

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