As someone who started in the PR industry at age 18, I have had almost 15 years of experience — and with it, my share of ups and downs. Whether during my tenure at NBC Universal or in the time since I started AKR Public Relations, each career experience has taught me something incredibly valuable along the way about leadership and business.

Below are six of the most important leadership lessons I have learned along the way, each of which have made me a stronger publicist and business owner.

1. Social media is an extension of your voice.

I have always been a big advocate for social media; I think it is a crucial part of everyone’s brand. My motto for my clients and employees is: social media is an extension of your voice. It is imperative to be concise across the board, so the message that you portray of who you are in the media and in your personal life is the same message that comes across social platforms. It only takes one impulsive post to destroy a reputation that has taken years to build.

2. Work for the job you want, not the job you have.

These words have been etched into my mind ever since the first day of my internship in the NBC Entertainment PR department. Quickly after starting, I realized that entertainment PR was what I wanted to do with my career. I went from interning two days a week to three days and Saturdays. I noticed what was making me stand out was my genuine interest to learn the business and willingness to volunteer to help when needed. I applied this lesson every day during my eight years at NBC. In my final year, I was 26 years old — and one of the youngest company-wide to handle both PR and talent relations for the network. This advice is also what inspired me to start my own PR firm, AKR Public Relations, at 27.

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