Germinder + Associates founder and president Lea-Ann Germinder gives Doug Simon some pointers on how PR pros can become effective mentors to the next generation of communicators in the latest “PR’s Top Pros Talk” video interview.
Germinder, who is also the editor and publisher of Goodnewsforpets.com, says that the relationship between mentor and mentee can reap benefit for both partners. “I always says that when you mentor, you get more than you give back,” she tells Simon.
There are a few things that mentors need to keep in mind to make sure that relationship is a successful one, she says.
“The first tip that I would give is to make sure that you set aside a good amount of time to mentor someone in your schedule,” Germinder notes “It's important to have a commitment of that time and to not reschedule, to really make that commitment.”
Her next piece of advice is to “make sure that you and the mentee understand the goals and expectations of the relationship.” She also stresses the importance of confidentiality between mentor and mentee. “It's really important to get that established up front.”
In addition, she says, it’s important that the mentee feel comfortable talking with the mentor. “For the most part, you as the mentor are quite a bit older than the mentee, and you have to draw the mentee out in terms of what that person is looking for.”
What do mentees want to know? “The big issue is am I going to find a job, am I going to find an internship,” Germinder tells Simon. “What the students are looking for now is encouragement,” and while opportunities might be harder to come by than they have been in the past, she says that “pointing them to different resources” can be a big help.
Some mentoring strategies she suggests are encouraging students to write blogs and stay current with news, to network, to tap into their alumni—and, of course, to get themselves out there on Zoom. “You've really got to think a little bit more outside the box right now.”
Young women entering the industry, like all PR newcomers, need to “find a niche that they are passionate about.” Germinder also says they should network with other women and seek out women leaders.
“Look to the people that you admire and connect with them. That's what I would say,” she tells Simon.
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org