As an EVP and assistant general manager of Inkhouse’s California branch, Anne Baker calls herself a news junkie and emphasizes the importance of taking a step back from work and getting out of the house in order to be successful in the PR industry.
She follows her dad’s old adage of “Work hard, be smart, do your best” in her professional role and personal life.
We caught up with Baker to get her take on the current work of a PR pro and how she sets herself and her team up for success every day. Here’s what she had to say for our “Day in the Life” series:
1. What’s your favorite part of your morning routine?
I have to get some exercise before work. Ideally, I like to ride my Peloton (yes, I’m one of those!) but sometimes it is as easy as taking my dog for a walk. Creating time for myself between waking up and starting work has become essential to my productivity and stress levels for the rest of the day.
2. Who’s the most important person you talk to every day?
Within a work context, it’s probably Kate Riley, the general manager of Inkhouse’s Seattle office. Kate is my counterpart for agency operations for the Western United States so we’re pretty much in constant contact. Plus, she’s just the best!
3. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
Learning to get off the “client happiness hamster wheel.” I used to match my happiness and fulfillment at work to how my clients felt about the work we were doing. It’s taken me a long time to learn that if you rely exclusively on external validation, it will never be enough. Having your own confidence in your work is key.
4. What’s your best book or podcast recommendation for PR colleagues?
There’s no way to be successful in public relations without being a news junkie. I always recommend the NYT Daily podcast for its thorough but approachable snapshots of the biggest news stories.
5. What’s your favorite tool you use regularly for your work?
I’m a Slack convert. It makes remote work feasible in a way that I don’t think email alone allows.
6. Are you in an office/remote or both? What do you like (or dislike) about your current setup?
I’m currently remote. I relocated during the pandemic from San Francisco to my hometown in Carlsbad, CA. The pros are good burritos, mid-day hugs from my husband, and walks with my dog. The cons are missing my coworkers! Now that things are opening back up, I’m looking forward to traveling to our offices and spending more time together with my peeps in person.
7. What’s one trick you use to promote well-being, make yourself feel good at work?
I’m a big believer in putting your laptop down and going for a walk. When I was in San Francisco I used to walk down to the Embarcadero when I was stressed and now I walk around my neighborhood. Fresh air always helps me think better.
8. What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you in your career?
My dad always told me when I was leaving for school in the morning, “Work hard, be smart, do your best.” That’s all you can do.