We covered for each other when our breaks took longer than the commercials. We ensured we pronounced names correctly. We brainstormed and experimented with ideas of how to improve our show. And we kept each other awake—and sane—while working the midnight shift.
The “we” is my first on-air co-anchor and me. In our first jobs out of college, we cut our teeth and paid our dues side-by-side in the news industry. We weren’t competitors, climbing over one another to get to the next big market. We were partners.
Fast forward a few years, and I’m solo anchoring with producers who tell me they don’t care if something goes wrong because it’s not their “face on the screen.”
What was the difference between these two working relationships? A common goal.
My co-anchor and I both wanted our show to do well. That couldn’t happen if we rooted against one another.
The producer didn’t care about the performance of our show. It was just a job to him. His goal was to get out of the station door and back to his personal life as quick as he could.
Since the news industry, I’ve worked in several different capacities within communications, and I have found time and again that the secret to a successful partnership lies in sharing a common goal—and a few other things.
Partnership is one of the core values of Weaving Influence, and I’ve been thinking more about what it means to be a good partner to those on the #WITeam and our clients.
I believe a solid partnership can be refined to four key elements—and I’m happy that all four are strongly rooted in the culture at Weaving Influence.
Having a common purpose is the backbone of every partnership. Without it, actions will not be aligned and efforts wasted. Weaving Influence team members are passionate about the work they do and the work they promote.
We hold the success of our clients and their works close to our hearts. Thus, we start working relationships with a strategy to outline where and how to focus our efforts.
Balance of power
Bitterness and resentment breed when there is an imbalance of power—and that destroys any working relationship. A partnership where someone thinks the other isn’t pulling their weight, or thinks they are too good to pull their own weight, is one bound to fail.
Successful collaboration features those willing to help others in any way they can, using all their strengths and resources. People within the #WITeam are always willing to jump in and help, and try new things.
A relationship without sound communication isn’t a relationship at all. That’s why regular updates to our clients in project manager reports and Google Drive spreadsheets are of an utmost priority. This helps clients keep track of our efforts, and also sheds light on any areas of tension or misunderstanding, so that we may keep on track to reach our shared goals.
It never ceases to amaze me the professional and personal support I receive from #WITeam members. If I need guidance or assistance with a task, several people are always happy to help. If I need to adjust a meeting time to fit the needs of my family, people say it is no problem.
They/we do the same for our clients. Just like my former co-anchor, they are ready and willing to do whatever is necessary for all of us to succeed and achieve our goals.
A partnership is not about working for or against someone, it is about working “with” someone. This is something I learned throughout my career, and something I’m happy to see time and again at Weaving Influence.
Whitney is the public relations director at WI. She started her career in communications as a TV news anchor/reporter in Virginia and Tennessee before switching to public relations. Whitney earned her bachelors in government at Georgetown University, and masters in PR from the University of Tennessee. She enjoys spending time with her family in Knoxville, TN, and running competitively.