PR’s Top Pros Talk… Women Leaders – Lindsey Carnett
Lindsey Carnett, CEO & President, Marketing Maven
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About the Host:
Host: DOUG SIMON
Guest: LINDSEY CARNETT
DOUG: So, Lindsey, as we’ve just passed the one-year anniversary of COVID shutting things down in the country, you’ve done some really intriguing research about how people respond to words, both pre-COVID, during COVID’s heaviest period, and as we hope to enter this post-COVID period. Can you share some of that?
LINDSEY: Yes. So, in the last year, many companies have had to pivot. So, we’ve been looking at consumer sentiment in different verticals. But for skincare, for example, we’re looking at what are people talking about pre-COVID, and a lot had to do with treatments, for example, like going into a spa and getting a facial. And then COVID hit, and in the midst of everything that it was more about rejuvenation and serums and more like home care. And now as we are in our new normal, we’ve been able to see what key terms are affiliated now, and so we’re able to be able to give clients messaging recommendations based on this knowledge of pre-COVID, during COVID and what our new normal is today.
DOUG: And what are some other examples of what you’ve seen, how that’s helped illuminate what behavior and approach should be from a communications perspective?
LINDSEY: Sure. Another example is, we work with ATP Testing Company, and that is how people are sanitizing surfaces. And this could be at restaurants, this could be at gyms, this could be in the office. But companies are now having more cleaning protocols than ever. So, they’ve really been tapped for their expertise on what is cleaning surfaces actually mean and how do you quantify it? We’ve had similar points of entry for cybersecurity companies. So, while the traditional pitch might be, here’s our software, it’s really about helping your employees not open up phishing emails and helping enterprise security from all of these remote companies for a whole entire year. The hackers have also had the opportunity to go and figure out how to crack the codes.
DOUG: That’s interesting. And apart from your experience as a woman who leads a communications organization, you also work with organizations that are very involved in promoting and advancing the role of women, the National Women’s Business Council, the Women Presidents’ Organization. What are some lessons that you’ve learned there that might help other women who are aspiring to leadership?
LINDSEY: I think the biggest lesson that I’ve learned is the power of a team. And I do come from a world of team sports. And I like being a part of a team, like we have a team approach in business. But from these groups, I’m a member of Vistage, I’m a member of Women Presidents’ Organization and a lot of other membership organizations. And being the communications voice for these organizations, it’s been great to be able to highlight stories of people who have transformed their businesses and been very, very nimble. But it wasn’t by themselves, it was from their team. And this team could be non-competing organizations that have just opened up doors for each other. So, I know one woman in my group has provided an opportunity to source product because she sources a lot of products. So, others have been able to, just even the PPP funding, I mean, for companies to figure out, OK, don’t go this path, go that path, I found success here. I mean, everybody was sharing, hey, did you get funding, did you get funding? And so that’s been a huge topic over the last year. And I think if you were by yourself, you wouldn’t have had that opportunity.
DOUG: Sure. And you were very modest, referring to yourself as being involved with sports, which could also be translated to captain of your college soccer team. You’ve also put a lot of focus on women owned small business in your work, and what’s some of your advice to women who own small businesses, or who aspire to have their own business.
LINDSEY: It’s funny, I gave a talk this morning to a group of women business owners, and one of my key tips to them was, when you get these accolades in your career, when you are part of this, you receive this honor for this award. You do the speaking engagement, you get this certification. Nobody is going to remember it except for you. So, it has to go into your bio, it has to go on your LinkedIn, has to go up on your website, has to go into your marketing materials. And so, I think a lot of people just have, just kind of how people have outdated photos from five, ten years ago, they also have outdated bios. And with all of the learning that’s happening over the last year, over the last five years, I mean, just how technology is shifting so quickly, people are getting education and so that education, don’t forget to highlight it and don’t forget to boost up those accolades because somebody else that boosts them up are going to have a leg up over you.
DOUG: And I find using outdated photos myself is a great way to stay young. Any final thoughts as we wrap up our conversation?
LINDSEY: I think just authenticity is huge right now. So, I think just for companies or business owners to think, or to try and fake, oh, I’m fine, everybody knows you’re not fine. Everybody’s having to deal with childcare, or deal with the remote employees, or performance reviews, or all of the things that are coming up over the last year. And I think to be able to reach out to each other and say, hey, we have an issue here, we have an issue with our online reputation, or we have an issue with our sentiment, or we have an issue with our marketing strategy, or how did you pivot, or this new product idea. I think just to ask for help is saying a lot and to be authentic and to be sensitive, but be optimistic.
DOUG: Great, thanks so much for your great insights, we really appreciate you giving us your time today.
LINDSEY: Thank you for having me.