"When you think about our industry as communicators, as public relations professionals, relationships are really core to everything that we're doing," OKCupid associate director of global communications Michael Kaye tells Doug Simon.
Kaye says that OKCupid's mission of bringing daters together has a lot to teach PR pros who want to establish solid relationships with clients, colleagues, reporters and target consumers.
"It's really all about being in an environment or a situation where you're able to show up as your true self," he says. "I make sure that I bring authenticity and transparency to every new relationship of mine today, whether that's a new agency team that I'm working with, or a new reporter that I'm talking to. I found that these relationships tend to last longer and are a lot more meaningful when they have a stronger foundation."
For Kaye, a big part of that authenticity consists of making his sexual identity a central part of his work persona. "The way I bring that into the workplace with my colleagues or really anybody is by starting a conversation with sharing my pronouns. It's all about slowly bringing these topics into your ongoing conversations, and I found that it makes people a lot more comfortable and allows you to even be a lot more relatable."
For those who are less comfortable sharing who they are, Kaye says to "tell yourself that you belong. You belong in the workplace. You belong in that meeting, on that team, in that conversation, and consistently drill that into your own mind."
He says that inclusivity is also central to what OKCupid is all about. "People of all identities are considering OkCupid as a platform where they can come, and feel accepted, and safe."
Kaye also discusses how communicators can build relationships on a global level. "We have relied heavily on Slack and Zoom for communicating with our global network, and those are platforms that help me easily collaborate with colleagues in Berlin, Tel Aviv, Istanbul."
Those connections, he says, have given him "a brilliant network of communicators across the nation and the world that I can bounce ideas off of. So, the very tools you're using today in the workplace can benefit you by helping you build strong connections and relationships with your own colleagues, but also people outside your own company.".
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