BML Public Relations’ Joan Bosisio on developing an ‘anything is possible’ mindset

The agency vice president shares with us her book recommendations, top career advice and lessons learned from a veteran career in comms.


How can you overcome your own skepticism about what is possible in your career?

For many PR pros, the last couple of years have prompted an internal reckoning and many are choosing to take a leap and try something new. But how can you work yourself up to take the plunge and advance to the next level?

It’s one of the career lessons that Joan Bosisio shared with PR Daily in our recent conversation for our Day in the Life series. Here’s what she had to say about her work—and what makes it work for her:

1. What’s your favorite part of your morning routine?

Bosisio: My day always starts off with a strong cup of coffee—I’m simply useless without it—followed by checking trending world news headlines (which is crucial as we’re an earned media shop obsessed with a good newsjack), but my favorite part of the day is seeing my son off to third grade.

2. Who’s the most important person you talk to every day?

Bosisio: It’s difficult to pinpoint one person, especially in the communications field. Multi-faceted perspectives from all levels of the organization are essential and often produce some of the best thinking.

If I had to choose, on the professional front I’d say the most important person I talk to every day is the CEO of BML Brian Lowe, to ensure we’re in lockstep with priorities that raise the bar for our clients and advance the agency.

On a personal level, talking with my son about his day is definitely a highlight.

3. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?

Bosisio: Several years ago, I found myself at a crossroads, having been at one agency for 22 years. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable and the unknown was something I adopted years ago and is an important business lesson, but in this case, it was equal parts scary and exciting.

Throwing myself into a new role with new people and having to prove myself all over again was intimidating at first until I realized the challenges were those I could address with my skillset and by applying best practices and lessons learned from serving at the helm of an agency for more than two decades.

4. What’s your best book or podcast recommendation for PR colleagues?

Bosisio: Coming up the ranks at an agency focused on thought leadership programming, I’ve benefited from exposure to some of the brightest minds and pivotal business theories of our time. I’m a voracious reader, and the books on my shelf that I refer to (and recommend time and again) are “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team” by Patrick Lencioni, “Power Questions” by Andrew Sobel, and “Everything is Figureoutable” by Marie Forleo.

These have provided me with actionable insights to creating and sustaining high performance practices for both client and agency teams, prompting meaningful questions that can be applied to elevating virtually any type of conversation and solving even the most pressing business issues, and helping me work through what seems insurmountable.

5. What’s your favorite tool you use regularly for your work?

Bosisio: A few years ago, I implemented Asana, a project management platform. It quickly became the hub of my personal work process: aside from my Outlook email and calendar, it’s the one tool I rely on religiously to map my own priorities and daily task list, team priorities and progress, and ensure we’re holding each other accountable.

In addition, the “Level 10” meeting agenda format from EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System) has become invaluable to ensure efficient meetings and measurable, meaningful traction against goals.

6. Are you in an office/remote or both? What do you like (or dislike) about your current setup?

Bosisio: We recently returned to the office following an extended remote period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but BML provides employees with a generous set number of “work from home” days each year.

I feel productive and energized in both in-person and remote settings and appreciate the balance. BML’s office is designed for collaboration, so ad-hoc discussion and idea sharing occurs more frequently and more naturally. My home office is tranquil: It helps minimize distraction and maximize strategic thinking—plus I get to break and catch up with my young son.

7. What’s one trick you use to promote well-being, make yourself feel good at work?

Bosisio: Taking some time at the end of each day to reflect on what I’ve accomplished and map out my priorities for the day and week ahead helps me level set. I also strive to take a daily “clarity break,” time I set aside to “think” rather than “do.”

I also use this as an opportunity to ask myself “Have I given my attention to THE most important priorities today? What is the next best use of my time right now?”

8. What’s the best advice any one has ever given you in your career?

Bosisio: One of my college professors who has become a lifelong mentor and friend told me two things that have stuck with me throughout 25 years in the industry: “If you want the apple, you have to shake the tree” and “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

These words of wisdom have become mantras for me, shaping my action-oriented approach and “anything is possible” mindset, my belief that there’s always more to learn about yourself and from others, and my personal core value of curiosity and lifelong learning.



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