Q1. What’s the best part of your job?
I work with people at the top of their game, many who have done unique or extraordinary things. I know how to hone a good story and feel most inspired when helping shine a light on people worth hearing about.
I’ve run a highly successful publicity agency, eckfactor, for more than 25 years, working with some of the biggest names in television, like Oprah. I’ve enjoyed doing long-term PR deals with big brands such as Sony Pictures Television, Discovery Networks, MTV and Cartoon Network. Getting results is always the kicker.
My program, The Power of Visibility, helps professionals step up and stand out. The best part of that job is helping people shed their invisibility cloak, craft their professional narrative, and see positive results. I get great satisfaction helping participants feel seen and heard by peers and managers.
Q2. What skills have been the most useful in your work?
Being able to cold call anyone (and enjoy it) – a skill I learned from my mother, Alice. She is genuinely interested in people, and I think that’s a trait I bring to my work.
Another skill I learned from my parents is to really listen. My father was a diplomat and we lived in many countries; he showed me that, whether speaking to an ambassador, or the mum next door, everyone has a story to share if you make the time to sit with them.
When experts and business leaders come knocking, looking to boost their visibility, I ask questions and listen, to unearth the strategy they need to move forward.
Perhaps my one super skill is creating connections. I weave threads between talent and the media, creating connections to place, time, and circumstance. At the heart of Collabor8Women, an initiative I co-founded, we bring professional women together for great conversation around tables of eight. Connection makes us human and happy.
Q3. Who or what in the media inspires you?
We all show up in different ways, but a simple smile can make all the difference. Channel 10 news veteran Sandra Sully turned up at the recent Women in Media National Conference to emcee the opening day, with a broken hand, her arm strapped back to her elbow. Her commitment to the gig and total professionalism was one thing, but she managed to smile all the way through it and bring delightful energy and humour into the room. A true professional who authentically supports other women.
Q4. What’s the most useful advice you’ve had?
Put up your hand if you’re keen! Don’t say ‘no’ because of fear. If you say no, the rookie next to you may take your place.
This advice came from a friend who turned down an opportunity to appear on an industry panel when someone called in sick. “I couldn’t possibly do that,” she told the convenor as the conference room was filling up. A young bloke next to her stepped up. She endured the next hour listening to him on stage, knowing she was vastly more experienced.
Q5. What are you looking forward to?
Getting my golf handicap down and not having the octogenarians smash me every week. I look forward to being that elder stateswoman who has learned the fine art of using course management over driving power.
I’m also excited to host my next online Quarterly Workshop for The Power of Visibility (details below). One thing I know is true … nothing comes from doing nothing.
Please note: Women in Media members receive a discount for the November 11 program
DISCOUNT CODE: WIMSPECIAL
Karen Eck is a PR strategist and entrepreneur. With her hallmark energy and enthusiasm, she has built her career on strategically positioning people and projects, allowing them to tell their stories. Karen’s latest venture helps professionals learn how to step up and stand out through the Power of Visibility. She is offering Women in Media members a special discount to participate in her November Masterclass. As she says, “One thing I know is true … nothing comes from doing nothing".