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David Weiss and Heather Harder at PRSA 2017 International

David Weiss spoke with Heather Harder of Prosek Partners on how new professionals and their employers can work together to manage both up and down especially as it pertains to social issues.

“For the employer side, young professionals aren’t taught how to manage up. So you need to foster an environment where they actually learn that skill set, and where you encourage them to be empowered to bring their ideas to you.”

DAVID WEISS: Hi, and good afternoon. We’re here at PRSA 2017, the International Conference in Boston. And we’re talking to Heather Harder from Prosek Partners. She’s a senior account executive there. She just finished up a session on managing up and down, going beyond CSR to engage new pros. Heather, tell us a little bit about what you talked about in your session this afternoon.

HEATHER HARDER: So the session was on how new professionals and their employers can work together to manage up and down, especially as it pertains to social issues. The takeaway for the young professionals is that you have to be able to manage up in a way that presents what you want as it’s good for the business. A lot of young professionals forget to advance their overall businesses agenda when presenting ideas.

For the employer side, young professionals aren’t taught how to manage up. So you need to foster an environment where they actually learn that skill set, and where you encourage them to be empowered to bring their ideas to you. So one key study we had was how, at Burson-Marsteller, a symposium came together on race and policing in the US because they already had fostered that environment where their millennials and young pros felt that they could address this issue and bring the idea to their employer. But further, it made the whole business advance their own initiative of diversity and inclusion.

DAVID WEISS: Terrific. Can you cite one or two things, good takeaways or trends that you saw at the conference this weekend?

HEATHER HARDER: Sure. I think there was a big focus this year at PRSA on internal communications and how you manage that. That is very important as specially tying to this session on how you can manage up and down. So organizations are very focused on how they communicate with their own employees as it comes to change and addressing ideas. And I think we’ll see a lot more of a focus on that as it comes to retention and really engaging with your employees.

DAVID WEISS: Great. Thank you so much, Heather. Really appreciate your words.

HEATHER HARDER: Thank you.

DAVID WEISS: Thank you.