Defining Leader/Follower Relationships within Public Relations

After three full weeks at Zeno Group, I feel as though I have a very thorough understanding of the leader/follower dynamic within the organization. As I have previously written about, Zeno is divided into department and within each department are various teams that are broken up along the lines of different client accounts. I work on two different accounts, Eisai and Therapeutics MD. Within each account are people working at different levels going from myself (Intern), to Assistant Account Executive (AAE), Account Executive (AE), Senior Account Executive (SAE), Account Supervisor and it goes up until you reach the Managing Director of Healthcare who oversees every account within Healthcare over every Zeno Group office worldwide.

While mostly every individual I work with on my teams have someone higher than them, everyone with the exception of myself has someone working beneath them so every team member does have a formal leadership role, as they usually are in charge of giving directives to the ones below them. As an intern, I am fortunate enough to gain insight and receive instruction from people at all levels, allowing me to see how each role delegates tasks to others.

Public Relations has pretty standardized procedures across the board in regards to timing press releases and timelines for event planning. However, working in the Healthcare industry makes the procedures a little more standardized as almost everything we put out has to also be reviewed to ensure that we are meeting all requirements and guidelines provided by the government and regulatory agencies.  

I have also gotten to observe that work happens more efficiently when my team is working with a client or individual who we have a high level of trust in. I have come to understand that keeping an open line of communication – sometimes even over communicating – has helped my team maintain a strong and trusting relationship among one another. This is important as we cannot guarantee if our clients will be as responsible or prompt on timing as we would always like, so having our portion of the work done in a timely manner is the best way to keep things on track. I have also witnessed that my teams take the time to ask each other about things outside of work. Maintaining a relationship on a human level and talking about things besides work and clients make the relationship genuine and not just a working one. I feel that this is a really organic way to maintain trust and a positive relationship among a team as it is something that can be applied in many situations – projects at school, relationships with friends or family, and of course in almost any work setting.

One thought on “Defining Leader/Follower Relationships within Public Relations

  • July 1, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    It is about having trust “in” a client (or another individual) or having trust “with” those other entities? You seem to continue this discussion (in the last paragraph) focusing on the trust within the team, but don’t talk much more about the client (or other individuals) and the trust you have with them. Does trust with a client result as a matter of the amount of time with which the team has worked with the client (e.g. more trust with clients that the team has worked for over a period of time versus those they are just starting to work with?). Would be good to think more about how teams establish trust with the clients. Will also be interesting to note if you – as someone who does not have someone working beneath them – have the opportunity to exhibit influence? Do those who do supervise others have the opportunity to influence those above them?

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