If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again

The following post was written by Julia Darrenkamp, Kidd Group PR intern.

Everyone knows the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” At some point (or points) in our lives this becomes something of an inspiration. As an intern at Kidd Group, I am now at such a point.

Rewind to last spring – my initial attempt at success. As a Public Relations major at Florida State University, one of my staple PR classes is “PR Techniques.” Each year students are divided into groups to function like mock-agencies, given a local Tallahassee client and graded based on one project, a full-service campaign for the client. At the end of the semester, groups present first to the class, then the four top groups get the opportunity to present to the client – just like a real RFP. When I took this class, the chosen client was the Tallahassee Film Festival, an up and coming film festival with a mission to nurture film culture and stimulate economic development in Tallahassee.

I am disappointed to say, that after months of exploring every facet of the Tallahassee Film Festival and pouring my heart and soul into this project, my group was not chosen as one of the final four. While still earning an A, this was an incredible personal disappointment and left me doubting my place in the Public Relations field.

Flash forward to today, I’ve brushed off the disappointment and carried on (skeptically) into the communications field. Ironically, I began interning at Kidd Group and the Tallahassee Film Festival is one of our clients. If I didn’t spend enough time with the Tallahassee Film Festival last semester, I will now be working with them the rest of the year and throughout the entire festival.

But instead of seeing this as a parade of all my past-project-mistakes, I’ve grown to see it as a great and rare learning experience – “PR Techniques the sequel” if you will. At first I did not succeed, but I am trying again. Last spring I was passionate about the Tallahassee Film Festival and the associated benefits to our community. Despite the academic blow, that passion still exists. Now I have the invaluable opportunity to tweak and fine-tune my original ideas.

I’ve learned that a clean, functional website is more suitable in this case than our artsy, graphic-heavy design. Some of our target audiences were a little far-fetched, while instead we should’ve taken the approach to further engage an already loyal audience. On the other hand, some of our initial ideas had potential and I’m now updating those ideas to be implemented in the actual campaign.

The more important message is that these types of experiences – taking a blow, having to pick yourself back up and try it again – is part of forming a career and part of life. Not every great PR professional hits a home-run every time. And I think I speak for all of us when I say that not every personal achievement comes without its share of failed trials. I luckily have the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and try, try again.

Stay tuned for updates as the learning continues!