A Day in the Life at ICLabs

Since entering the working world, and re-entering Inner Circle Labs as a full-time associate, I often get asked by my friends and family, “What is your typical day like?”

I have struggled to answer them because there is no such thing as a “typical” day at ICLabs – or in PR for that matter. I have never been the type of the girl who can sit at a desk doing the same thing every single day, so I love that with PR, and specifically with ICLabs, every day is a new adventure. I use the word ‘adventure’ because even if I have an idea of what I need to do when I get to the office that day, there are always things happening at the spur of the moment and we just have to roll with it. I think that makes work really engaging, fresh, and exciting. However, for those of you that are curious what a “typical” day looks like for a PR professional, I’ll try my best to describe it:

When I first get to work…

First thing in the morning, I walk in still waking up as I inhale my Philz coffee and see our VP, Mallory, bright-eyed and chipper because she already finished her workout for the day and looks AMAZING (per usual)…what better way to start your day, am I right? Then I sit down at my desk and hold my breath as I start up my email *insert deep exhale when it’s less than 20 emails*. Then work commences with client meetings, tracking for coverage, pitching reporters, flagging upcoming events and awards, building out media lists, and our CEO, Julie, cracking around 10+ jokes from her office.

By late morning the first call for food is made in our HipChat room. Yes, we have a room dedicated to talking about food. Yes, this is why I love my job. Discussion ensues about where we will eat, who brought food and is staying behind, and who will pick up lunch for Miya, a star manager, because she never leaves her desk (I admire her fearsome work discipline).

At the halfway point…

At noon, the food brigade departs to soak up some much-needed vitamin D, if there is any because it’s San Francisco. Then we return to the office for the afternoon hustle of crafting content, working on an exec strategy platforms, and market research. The only difference from the morning is that Andi, one of our associates, has migrated to the front lobby to work. Can’t blame her for loving sunlight ;)

Crossing the finish line…

Now this doesn’t happen every day, but, occasionally in the late afternoon/end of day we will have some team initiative, whether it’s learning how to network, celebrating someone’s birthday or anniversary, or watercolor painting to unwind after a stressful week. Champagne will (sometimes) be popped and everyone gathers around to laugh and joke with one another. One of my favorite things about ICLabs is how much fun we all have. It doesn’t matter how busy we’ve been that day, we never get sick of hanging out and having fun together! After that glass (or two) of bubbly, everyone wraps up for the day and heads home.

Obviously, that was not comprehensive at all, but it gives a small glimpse into what we do day-to-day. My favorite thing about coming to work each day at ICLabs, and what cemented my decision to come back full-time, is the company culture. I have seen firsthand from my older sister how rare it is to find a company with a happy, supportive work culture. I am actually excited to go to work every day, which is pretty hard to find at a job right out of college. Not only do I love the work that ICLabs does, but I love the people that work here. We really believe in work-life balance, we always celebrate team wins by ringing a bell, we cheers to individual milestones, or pop some bubbly on Friday afternoon just because. Even though no two days are the same, we “work hard, play hard” because we seriously hustle for our clients, but we also know how to have fun. :)

What I Learned In a 90-Day Internship

It is surreal to me how fast 90 days have flown by. I feel like only yesterday I was flying back to America after an incredible semester abroad in Paris, France. I came into my internship at Inner Circle Labs completely oblivious. I had no idea what Public Relations was really all about, had very limited knowledge of the tech industry, and was dumbfounded as to what the term ‘startup’ meant. My first week at the Labs was a blur filled with training, onboarding and attempting to learn the ropes of PR without looking incompetent. I distinctly remember being surprised by how quickly I began to learn the ropes as I delved into the many media-related facets of PR such as coverage tracking where you get to play detective each week to find all the coverage that has hit for your client.

The first half of my internship was focused on all things media. I learned about how to find the right reporter, which, let me tell you, is hard work. There is a skill that you have to hone that allows you to look at a list of 20 reporters who could all be good matches to find the perfect one. I was also tasked with coverage tracking, which is a fancy way of saying that I found coverage as it went live to send to the client. Overall, when I think about how my media relations skills have improved, I immediately think of my Twitter account. I have been on Twitter for a few years now, but had never leveraged it like you do in the PR world. I started following a plethora of reporters and tech publications such as Mashable, TechCrunch and VentureBeat (all of which I had never heard of before Inner Circle Labs). I began retweeting and adding commentary to engage with other handles and have really started to stay abreast of industry news. Secretly, I have always wanted to be that person who stays on top of the news, but never really knew how. Developing that skill throughout these three months has definitely been a highlight for me.

The second half of my internship was focused on events and awards. I had always thought that PR people were the ones who planned and executed events, and in some instances they do, but they also work with event planners and other companies to plan the logistics. Another way that PR folk get involved with events is by submitting their clients to speak or have a presence at said event. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Oh you just fill out a submission form? That’s easy!” No, it is not. After assisting in submissions for both the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 and South by Southwest (SXSW) 2017 I can tell you that event submissions are hard work. They take hours upon hours and never-ending review cycles before you can finally hit submit. Furthermore, awards are no cake walk either. Researching the perfect award to submit your client for and coming up with creative ways to position them within the industry is another skill that takes years to craft. I loved getting to flex my writing and creativity skills just like I had gotten the opportunity to do with pitching. My eyes were opened to this huge part of PR I had no idea about…and I loved it!

Public Relations is a unique world that requires a certain type of person (someone who loves the thrill of deadlines and balancing ten things at once…luckily I am one of those people) and a new vocabulary to learn all the jargon. I created a running list of new words, so I could study, learn, and, ultimately, “talk the talk.” All I knew about this world, before beginning my internship, was that PR people ‘made things look and sound nice.’ I quickly realized how wrong I was. The founding principle of Inner Circle Labs is to break that view of PR where people sell products they don’t care about it. ICLabs only takes on clients that the entire team is passionate about and believes can thrive. We believe in helping companies reach their ‘inner circle’ to have a real impact on those who truly matter. You want your brand and message to resonate with a certain group of people and the team at Inner Circle Labs is ready and willing to assist in making that dream a reality.

PR isn’t about just selling a product, it’s about helping companies elevate their brand onto the world stage. You get to be creative and innovative, but also have to put in hard, butt-kicking work. However, the best part is that once launch day arrives and you see your client’s story being told across a number of publications, you gain a sense of pride and accomplishment that is indescribable. Ninety days ago I had no direction for my long-term career and life. I am going to be a senior at UC Berkeley this fall and that was all I knew. Fast forward three months and I have found my dream career; I’ve found a job that makes me so excited that I can’t wait to get to the office every morning. I never thought, in my wildest dreams, that I would find that career before I had even graduated college. I credit this to the amazing team at Inner Circle Labs. Here at the Labs, they do PR the right way and I’m not sure I would be so passionate about Public Relations today had I not had the opportunity to intern here. I do not know what my future has in store for me, but the biggest lesson I have learned through this internship is to trust the unknown because you might discover a passion you didn’t even know you had.

kari blog


Be More Productive at Work by Exercising More

We love doing office yoga together to unwind after a stressful work week.
We love doing office yoga together to unwind after a stressful work week.

We all see ads and billboards talking about the importance of exercise, but with full work days, 5 days every week, it can be very easy to come up with excuses as to why not to exercise. What most people don’t realize, though, is that exercise can actually help you at work. Huffington Post states that, “a regular exercise routine can make you happier, smarter, and more energetic.” This, in turn, leads to an increase in productivity not only at work, but also in your day-to-day life. Not to mention, exercising has a laundry list of added benefits such as reducing the risk of some cancers, it makes you naturally happier, gives you more energy, improves your mental health, and you live a longer, healthier life. :)

Here at Inner Circle Labs, we LOVE to exercise. I’ve only been here for 1 month, but have already had countless conversations with my colleagues about their favorite types of exercise and why they're passionate about exercise in general.

  • Mallory Cloutier loves SoulCycle. She says that the high energy of the classes keep her engaged and give her a great workout.
  • Justine Jordan, Miya Shitama, and Brittany Votto try to go to yoga together every day after work. They like teaming up to keep each other accountable, because teamwork pays off.
  • Audrey Jacobson goes on a run almost every day during our lunch break. She likes to take this time to focus on herself and have some much needed detox time.
  • I, like Audrey, am a big runner. I wake up early to get my daily run in before work. I have always been a big fan of early morning exercise because it starts my day off on a positive, energized note.
Spin class sure kicked our butts…but it was so much fun!

Everyone here at the Labs agrees that exercise helps them maintain a balance between work and “me” time. Just because we work a lot during the week doesn’t mean work has to take over our lives. Plus, studies show that exercise increases work productivity. That means that every time you exercise, you are actually making an investment not only in yourself, but also in improving your work. Finally, exercise doesn’t have to be boring or make you cringe at the thought of working out. There is a plethora of workout options and to help get you started, I’ve compiled a list of the top exercise activities used here at the Labs:

  • CorePower Yoga
  • SoulCycle
  • Elliptical
  • Running (treadmill or outside)
  • Cycling clubs (they exist all over San Francisco)
  • …and don’t forget walking that extra 5-10 minutes rather than grabbing an Uber or Lyft can also help!