Krystle Cajas, account executive at Crenshaw Communications, talks with Isis Simpson-Mersha and Sarah Joyce from Ragan and D S Simon Media about the importance of being present when communicating with internal and external colleagues. Cajas also shares her experience of being a part of a multigenerational workplace.
SARAH: We’re so excited to be speaking with you and excited to hear a little bit about your role and some of the incredible insights that you have to share. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us.
KRYSTLE: I’m so excited to be here.
ISIS: Can you talk about your current role and how you got to where you are now?
KRYSTLE: I’m an account executive at Crenshaw Communications, basically handling the day-to-day media relations on accounts in the B2B sector, ranging from sales enablement, real-time engagement, and product intelligence. My first preview to the PR industry actually started in an internship in London with Premier Communications, which was basically a communications agency that provided PR services to the entertainment world. And then as I progressed after completing my Masters, I went into politics and I started working for the New York State Senate. And it was there where my role became as a communications director for New York state senator. So, my PR background has fluctuated in many different ways.
SARAH: Krystle, I know that you mentioned that building relationships was very important to you. What’s your biggest way of going about building those relationships, whether it’s internally or externally, and how do you make sure that you’re nurturing those relationships?
KRYSTLE: I try to be as visible as physically present as I can. You know, sometimes we have work retreats once a year, once or twice a year where everybody comes in together and we have a whole stack of maybe weekend, oh, like five days where we do workshops. We kind of go to baseball games together. So, it’s more of making sure that you’re just present for whenever those opportunities are there for you. I’m also very open to communicating with my team members, so I like to check in on them, see how their day is going, if they have a lot of workload and what I can help them with and what you know, and it’s also reciprocated to that. That happens with me as well. They always check in on me. Are you okay? Do you need any help? Especially when we work on accounts together. For external, um, team, you know, building relationships. I think one of the main issues is kind of keep it in between of being formal and informal with them, especially in my field, which we’re dealing with reporters. So, we already have established a formal relationship with reporters, but there’s also instances where we can see if we can meet up for lunch, if we’re both in the city, see if there’s anything that any stories that they’re working on within the next few months that I might have some sort of insight to in terms of my accounts. So, I like to keep those relationships that way and just check in on them month to month, seeing if they’re working in anything that I can help give some information to.
ISIS: Yeah, you also mentioned working with team members with different cultural backgrounds, you know, work experience as well as diverse age groups. What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced from working with a multigenerational workforce?
KRYSTLE: So, I found that one of the biggest benefits in working with different age groups is that, of course, seniority has so much experience that they can help us in, you know, kind of nurturing our field and nurturing our positions. And so, I love knowing that I have members who have been there. I’ve been in the industry for ten years, and they’re probably maybe 5 or 6 years older than me, but they helped me out so much and learning how to deal with, you know, different relationships with different reporters, with different sectors, with different accounts. So I think that has helped me a lot. It has. I’ve also appreciated working with a younger generation because I’m closer to their age group, so I can relate somewhat to them and I can advise in any way that they need me to. And it’s coming from a neutral perspective. It’s not really coming from a supervisor or anybody whom they feel like they might not be able to open up to. So, I’ve appreciated the dynamic between those two, generation gaps. And in terms of culture wise, I come from, I’m Colombian, I have a Colombian background. So, I really appreciate a team where I’m not seen as an outsider. And there’s other people that I can bond with and you know, they don’t necessarily have to be Hispanic, but just the fact that we have different cultures meshed into our work teams really helps kind of we all go through the same kind of things. So, I feel like that has helped me also be very confident and just much more comfortable in coming to them for help.
ISIS: Oh, I love that. You know, it’s so important to make connections like with your team members and think it’s even better, like when you can learn from them, you know, just about who they are, the background and also in ways that you can help each other. So, I think that’s really cool and vital to your new role.
SARAH: So, Krystel, what is one big takeaway that you have taken from adapting to this multi-generational workforce?
KRYSTLE: I think one big takeaway is to be open to everything and to anything when it comes to working with people from different age groups and different cultures. It’s a lot that you can learn from and it’s a lot that can help you grow in your professional field and also emotionally.
ISIS: Thank you so much, Crystal, for joining us and sharing your insights, and perspectives, and wisdom.
KRYSTLE: Thank you so much for having me.