How Punch’s Kara Latta manages the digital overload

Does your cellphone feel like both your best friend and weight holding you down? Here’s how one PR pro balances the need for connectivity and downtime.

What is your No. 1 priority throughout the workweek?

For Kara Latta, group account director at Punch Canada, the most important thing is authentic content that will resonate with an audience. Authenticity coupled with transparency is a formula that can’t lose, she says.

To get through her day, there’s her trusty mobile phone. She says she reminisces about the days before being digitally connected 24/7, but can’t live without the device to do the work she has now.

Ditto, Kara. Ditto.

Here’s what she had to say about her work in the PR world for the latest in our Day in the Life series:

 

1. What time do you wake up?

Construction in my area starts promptly at 7. So, 7 (if not earlier for meetings). On the plus side, I don’t need an alarm. Trying to put a positive spin on the construction that surrounds me.

2. How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?

I know it’s shocking, but 0. I’m more of a tea gal (green tea all the way). Though when I travel I give in and drink local coffee. How can you not? (Looking at you, Colombia.)

3. Who is the most important person at work you talk to during your day?

The team. Hands down. As cheesy as it sounds, we’re a family at Punch. The group is very tight-knit, and maintaining a positive team culture is so important. A happy team and sense of belonging motivates everyone to do amazing work for our clients (who are, of course, our priority).

4. What’s one tool that you couldn’t live without?

My iPhone. I fondly remember my pre-cell phone days, but my iPhone helps me thrive and stay organized in today’s business environment. It has my to-do list, reminders, calendar and emails all in one place.

At the same time, it’s important to take breaks from your phone to recharge and rest. I think putting your phone away and talking to strangers is one of the best things you can do. It might take you out of your comfort zone, but it’s a great way to grow, and you learn so much about the way you communicate. More importantly, you learn how you can communicate better by navigating all types of personalities—a skill that’s critical in our industry.

5. What’s the last thing you do before finishing your workday?

I go through my do-list, ensure I’ve responded to everything urgent, check Slack, send any necessary follow-ups and reorganize tasks for the next day (though they will inevitably change).

6. What keeps you up at night?

Construction. My neighbors singing in the shower. Existential life thoughts. It’s a nice variety.

7. What trend or change is the next big thing in communications and/or your industry?

It’s no secret that authentic content gains the most traction with consumers. It’s our duty as communication professionals to help brands tell their stories thoughtfully and honestly. Transparency is critical to truly connect with customers.

8. Anything else you want to share?

I always admire people who are kind, speak from integrity and are true to themselves and their values. We can learn so much from challenges in PR; they make life interesting and meaningful. If you face those challenges with integrity, you’ll gain all the respect in the world.

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