Hire for Attitude and Train for Skill [National Assembly Recap]

Frattarole with King in Austin at the PRSSA 2016 National Assembly.

Frattarole with King in Austin at the PRSSA 2016 National Assembly.

Event: PRSSA 2016 National Assembly Friday Keynote

Presenter: Brandy King, Southwest Airlines, “Communications Director”

Recap: Brandy King double majored in political science and communication at Texas State University, and started her career as a TV producer for a television station in Dallas. She did not originally study or practice public relations. She currently is a mom of three boys and claims to be an “average” dancer.

At a very young age, King learned the value of job stability and became confident in the communication industry. Going outside of her comfort zone, King decided to explore public relations and applied for a job at Southwest Airlines. As the communications director, King focuses on communicating to internal and external audiences. She strives to provide the best customer service among all other airlines. In the beginning of her career at Southwest, social media was not present. Now employees monitor social media and the conversations people are having on different social media platforms 24/7.

Takeaways:

  • Southwest hires employees for attitude and trains them for skill.
  • Southwest hires employees who live the “Southwest way:” A servant’s heart and leadership, a warrior’s spirit and a fun loving attitude.
  • Internal customer care is key: every milestone for employees is celebrated and taken care of, which is extremely important to being successful.
  • Conversation between customers and employees is important to success.
  • Employee communication, public relations and social media are all the same at Southwest; they do not use the word “marketing.”

Elizabeth Frattarole is the social engagement chair of the PRSSA Chapter at West Virginia University. She is a junior studying strategic communications with an emphasis in public relations. You can follow Elizabeth on Twitter @EFrattarole or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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One Response to Hire for Attitude and Train for Skill [National Assembly Recap]

  1. Sarah March 30, 2016 at 7:43 pm #

    Good quote, and something people should look at more often. Just because someone looks good on paper does not mean they will be a good fit for your company.

    In all my experience, I have found that the defining factor in employees is their soft skills and how well they get along with their team; everything else is judged second.

    This is why Southwest continually wins!

    [Reply]

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