Erin Graves, Senior Director of Corporate Affairs at Epizyme, a company focused on creating epigenetic medicines that are targeted at specific causes of cancer and other serious diseases, spoke with Alexa Ambroseo from D S Simon Media, at the PRSA Tri-State Conference. During the PR Pals Talk Shop panel, Graves shared insights on how to be creative and think outside the box in a regulated framework. She also shared some networking tips for young PR professionals.
ALEXA AMBROSEO: Hi I’m Alexa with the D S Simon Media at the PRSA Tri-State conference. I’m here with Erin Graves. Erin, how are you?
ERIN GRAVES: I’m well. How are you?
ALEXA AMBROSEO: Good thanks. Aaron works at Epizyme out in Boston, you want to tell us a little bit about that?
ERIN GRAVES: Yes, I am the Senior Director of Corporate Affairs for Epizyme, so we do everything from corporate product communications, internal comms and advocacy work for the organization.
ALEXA AMBROSEO: Great, and your panel has a really interesting dynamic, right? You’re all friends from…
ERIN GRAVES: From previous agency life.
ERIN GRAVES: Right. So we met about 10 years ago at a PR firm. Some of us work together on some of the same accounts. And just over the years you know staying in touch getting to know one another. Then deciding you know we all moved away. If we all ended up in New York at the same time we would meet for dinners and talk about all thing’s PR under the sun. Things that we were encountering, sharing experiences, and then we thought why don’t we take it, take it on the road so to speak.
ALEXA AMBROSEO: That’s so cool. Sounds like a podcast, like really good.
ERIN GRAVES: Oh, maybe that’ll be the next step for PR pals, who knows.
ALEXA AMBROSEO: I wanted to know how you’re going to try and incorporate the bio pharmaceutical segment into this talk today.
ERIN GRAVES: Yeah absolutely. So what’s interesting is you know for those that are part of PRSA, those that work in the healthcare space, you know you’re part of a very highly regulated industry. So while you have a lot of creative ideas that you want to execute, the real creative strategic part comes in with trying to figure out how to be creative, think outside the box so to speak, but do it within a regulated framework.
ALEXA AMBROSEO: Definitely. Great. Thanks. And last question if you have any advice for young professionals in the industry what would you say to them? Your best piece of advice, there you go.
ERIN GRAVES: That’s a good one. I going to actually give a piece of advice that my dad told me when I was first starting out, which is network. Get to know people. Seek out people who you admire, the work that they do. You know, even I think moving beyond LinkedIn. This is not a criticism, but oftentimes you will get LinkedIn requests from people who may see you second, third, fourth tier, but there’s nothing really personal tying to it. So find a way to connect with somebody, find that common thread and then, you know, seek out advice, and just ask questions.
ALEXA AMBROSEO: Great. Thank you so much for joining us.
ERIN GRAVES: You’re welcome.