Q&A with Public Relations Manager, Jason Farrell.
For the month of October, we sat down with Public Relations Manager, Jason Farrell, to learn more about him and his role at the agency. Keep reading to find out why he thinks it’s important for B2B companies to utilize PR in their marketing strategy along with his favorite things to do in the wonderful city of Phoenix, AZ.
What do you do in your role at Elevation?
In my role as Public Relations Manager, I use creative strategies and related tactics to promote our clients’ businesses in positive and meaningful ways. This could be pitching and ghostwriting a thought leadership piece for a targeted media outlet, managing media relations at an industry-specific tradeshow or helping to avert a crisis. Whatever it takes.
Tell us about a typical day in the life of Jason.
Well … Every day should start with a run through McDowell Mountain Ranch; however, sadly, as of late, I’ve been a bit laxed, so I get going with iced coffee and a protein shake. Once I have that out of the way, I’m off to work. Now, I have quite the commute, so my Jeep’s radio spends equal time squawking me awake or getting me up-to-speed in the wide world of sports.
One of the best things about public relations is you never rarely have the same day twice. However, the days are usually a mixed bag of internal and external client calls, more coffee, media tracking, brainstorming sessions, snacking (in Elevation’s ridiculously delicious kitchen); drafting, pitching and landing stories; and, of course, email upon email (ad nauseum).
When the workday is done, I jump back in my Jeep and drive home. Once inside, I either catch-up, eat and play with the family; make music or skateboard (yes, I STILL skate!); or run, hike or ride my bike down a local trail. Finally, my girlfriend and I typically try to laugh ourselves to sleep with an episode or two of Curb Your Enthusiasm, The Office or Parks and Recreation.
How did you become interested in public relations? How did you break into the industry and land your first job?
I moved around a lot growing up. If I wanted to play a game, join a team or form a band, I had to get out there, meet people and make it happen. That’s what initially forced me to start relating with the public. Other than that, I’d say being a drummer. I’ve been playing drums since forever and learned the drummer’s primary role is to support the singer and the song itself.
That strategy and related skillsets translate directly to public relations.
As for landing my first job, my affection for the Seattle Seahawks and writing skills(?) earned me several op-ed articles in the NFL team’s newspaper, which somehow impressed my first boss in PR. He offered me an internship in Arizona State University’s (ASU) sports information department. That was the last year the football team went to the Rose Bowl. GO DEVILS!
Why do you think it’s important for B2B companies to utilize PR in their marketing strategies?
In its most rudimentary form, public relations is the building and maintaining of relationships between an organization and the people it depends on. By utilizing earned media to produce informative and compelling content, you’re able to build the relationships and persuade the businesses to respect and revere your brand, and ultimately buy your products and services.
How do you stay up on the latest PR trends?
I’m lucky enough to have a large group of great friends with loads of public relations knowledge and experience. Between all of us, we’ve pretty much seen every challenge and relished every opportunity. We lean on each other when we have questions or need something, and there’s no shortage of best practices or lessons to be learned.
What PR trend is the most interesting to you right now?
The past decade has been very interesting, to say the least, as people try to define and redefine the word “media”. Everyone with a Twitter handle, WordPress blog or soapbox to stand on has a thought to share with their followers; the trick for readers is to get through the muck and find the people and the outlets that provide the information that adds value to their lives.
What is your favorite thing to do in the wonderful city of Phoenix?
I’m a musician first and foremost and love playing music with my friends whenever I get the chance. And, of course, I love to experience live music. When I’m not in music mode, I love to be outside, weather permitting. Phoenix summers are rough, but the rest of the year the weather is perfect for skating, running, biking, hiking or playing outdoors with the kids.
Tell us three things we may not know about you.
First off, when I was a kid, I used to play basketball all the time with my dad. He’s 6’9”, 250+ pounds, so I had to really step it up to play him. He sent me to basketball camp, where I was lucky enough to get lessons from NBA Hall of Famer, Isiah Thomas. Even though the camp was for teenagers and I was the youngest player there (12), I finished in second place. I’ll take it.
Second, in 1993, I was lucky enough to travel to London and play the 4AD Thirteen Year Itch celebrating the iconic record label’s 13th anniversary. The six-day event was held at the storied London Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA). Other acts to play the ICA over the years include: The Clash, The Smiths, David Bowie, The Stone Roses and The Beastie Boys.
Finally, my career has taken me all the way from ASU’s Frank Kush Field to an AC/DC stage, a drone light show over Vegas’s Bellagio Water Show to the floor of an NBA Slam Dunk Contest — and everywhere in-between.