Farrell Talbot Consulting - Public Relations
Erin has nearly three decades of public relations experience with firms ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. Having held key roles in corporate communications departments and PR agencies, she has developed keen insights and perspectives as a communications and media relations strategist. Erin has been an SVP running Edelman’s technology practice, a senior director of worldwide communications at Symbol Technologies and a journalist.
She started Farrell Talbot Consulting, Inc. 15 years ago – in 2008, in the middle of the financial crisis. Erin left the comfort of a large agency and started her firm to provide PR support to smaller companies that didn’t have the resources to pay big agency fees, but still needed a strong, experienced PR partner to support communications needs and strategy.
Erin wanted to also fill in the gaps for larger public companies that needed extra help and support across their marketing, corporate communications and employee communications teams. The goal, no matter the client or the size, was and continues to be to help deliver results that matter, raise visibility for the client and utilize different communication channels to achieve these goals.
How have you seen your firm grow and change in the years since its founding?
Over the past 15 years since I started Farrell Talbot Consulting, public relations has gone through significant changes. The rise of digital technology and social media has been one the biggest changes, but there are many others, including some of the following:
– Increased focus on content creation: Today, I play a key role in creating original content for clients and their executive teams. We have witnessed many publications shut down over the years and there are not as many journalists or publications for PR people to work with or to pitch. This has created the need to create original content and has given way to the rise of thought leadership pieces from executives. Supporting a thought leadership program requires a great deal of writing for PR professionals beyond the traditional press release or a pitch. This is a huge change in the scope of work from when I first started the firm.
– Importance of social media: Social media has become a critical tool for PR professionals to reach and engage with target audiences. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have provided new opportunities for us to share stories and build relationships with key stakeholders. Over the years, I have had to learn to be proficient working with digital and social media. 15 years ago, Facebook and Twitter were just starting to be used by journalists, companies and PR people to share information. Today, if you are not using these tools, you are not maximizing how you communicate on behalf of your clients.
– Real-time communication: The speed of digital communication has increased the need for PR professionals to be able to respond quickly to breaking news, crises, rumors, and negative news. Keeping up with national and global news is also critical and can often be challenging because there is so much happening in the world. The need for real-time responses and the ability to be agile and knowledgeable on behalf of clients and the industry is crucial to a company’s reputation.
What would you count among your greatest achievements during this period?
Balancing the responsibilities of running a business and being a parent is a challenging task for anyone, regardless of gender. However, for women to successfully balance both business and family responsibilities, we often have to overcome significant obstacles, including workplace discrimination, a lack of family-friendly policies, and societal expectations.
There is a quote that says, “Women are
expected to work like they don’t have children and mother like they don’t work”. This highlights a persistent issue faced by many working mothers who are often expected to balance their responsibilities at work and at home, but are often criticized if they prioritize either one. It reflects the expectation that women should be able to ‘do it all’.
It’s important to recognize that everyone, regardless of gender, should have access to work-life balance and the ability to care for their families without sacrificing their careers. Creating Farrell Talbot Consulting allowed me to not have to make sacrifices in one area or the other. It has allowed me to service companies in need of senior-level communications support and also, at the same time, be the best mom I can possibly be for my two boys.
I have always said that I have two important jobs to perform: mother and communications professional. As an entrepreneur, I can do both successfully and efficiently – providing great customer service and results, while also attending school functions, baseball games and field trips.
I created this new way to work many years ago before work from home was the norm, and I made a decision to prioritize being present for my children and my clients. By running a successful business while also being an active and engaged mother, I have hopefully broken down these biases and proved that it is possible to excel in both domains and to achieve balance. I have hopefully served as a role model for other women and helped other moms see that they can have careers and care for their families without having to choose to put their energy into one area or the other.
Finding balance and being a founder of a successful business and a present mother is my greatest achievement.