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Member Spotlight: Marcus Hardy

As a communicator, you have to stay on top of an ever-evolving industry, but what if you rarely come in contact with other communications professionals? The field of communications is incredibly extensive and it’s a field that’s always changing. While previous work experience is a necessity for success, even more so is the opportunity for interacting with other professionals. Learning what works for them as well as seeking learning of your own accord to stay on top of the latest changes can be vital for your organization’s success.

Marcus Hardy is no stranger to rubbing shoulders with other top-level communicators in the search to remain relevant and successful in his communications work. He explained the success he’s enjoyed in his current position has been a result of what he’s gleaned from working in a variety of positions close to other communicators.

Hardy, a BYU public relations alumnus, spent his first several years right out of college working for New York generalist PR agency CooperKatz. During those four years, he was exposed to a plethora of different industries, a variety of tactics and strategies, and a multitude of top-level communicators.

He furthered his experience even more when he returned to Utah as a part of a move to a different agency, Codeword, that focused on startup PR. He explains that time in his career, though new and challenging, was an exciting period of learning, allowing him to build communications efforts or even complete brands from the ground up.

Hardy is currently working with Fortune 500 technology company Fiserv. This move led to a completely different set of challenges and opportunities.

“We’ve got 23,000 people that work for my company, but the main public relations staff that is executing day to day is made up of four, maybe five people.” Instead of managing clients, Marcus now manages external communications for the credit union portion of the business, defining the strategies and practices for a large, important part of an even larger company. 

This fact illustrates the commonly underestimated divide between working at an agency and heading up communications for a company in-house. While professional communicators often understand the differences in daily routine and approach to projects between agency and in-house work, the drastic difference between the number of communicators at an agency as compared to a dedicated communications team at an organization can be an adjustment.

While in New York, Hardy confesses he was not overly active in PRSA. He rarely attended his local chapter meetings, largely due to the fact that he felt great practical support from his coworkers at his own agency or acquaintances.

Looking back, he admits that he wishes he would have taken PRSA in New York more seriously, especially considering his experience with PRSA here in Utah Valley. He explains he gets so much out of the membership. Not only does he benefit from the opportunities to network and develop professional relationships, but the resources and opportunities afforded him as a result of participating in PRSA have contributed to a wider skill set and greater support as he operates in a more matrixed role with a widespread team at Fiserv.

Becayse Marcus is a remote employee, the camaraderie with other professional communicators outside of work is priceless. “Oftentimes, you’re the only communications person in the room or on the call. And your knowledge only stretches as far as what’s in your head. And so, you have to find as many ways as possible to expand that knowledge.” 

Written by Spencer Christensen

Updated 9.16.2017

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