Fatou Barry talks public relations 101 and starting the PR Girl Manifesto
Who is Fatou Barry?
Fatou Barry is like most millennial entrepreneurs, trying to pursue purpose, get in more than 4 hours of sleep and remembering to eat ha! I’m a proud African , 24/8 womanist and chronic ideator. However, a big part of who I am is the work I do through my businesses, one of which is The PR Girl Manifesto . PRGM is a digital community for women in Communications focused on closing the gap for the next generation of professionals entering the Communications industry. So much of what I do is driven by my desire to encourage young female professionals to navigate the spheres of PR and creative industries. I've created several digital/online spaces to grow and connect this community and share knowledge and experience to generate opportunity. Outside of my professional life, I’m a daughter and sister trying to do her best with what the Universe has provided for me.
What is the PR Girl Manifesto and what inspired it?
I’ve always believed in the power of collaborative mentorship and sharing crucial information important to a young professional's development, which is really what inspired PR Girl Manifesto. Over the years I’ve noticed there’s a large gap when it comes to bridging the gap educationally and personally for young professional women. Whether it be ageism, sexism, racism, or plain old jealousy, there’s a lot of pushback that I’ve witnessed individuals experience. The PR Girl Manifesto is my shout in the dark and solution to helping alleviate this issue, I want more people to share the wealth of knowledge, I want more people to be better set up for the professional experiences that exist as well as influencing how folks view mentorship in the industry.
What has been your greatest success?
I don’t know if I can pinpoint one single thing that’s been my greatest success, I actually don’t think success is easily measurable, but what will I say is that most of my proudest moments are rooted in being successful at charting my own path. I’m the first in my family to venture out and have pursued a traditional 9-5 or dreamt of being a doctor / lawyer. This something that hasn’t always been understood, but having been able to maintain professionally on my own and show my family & friends that everyone’s career journey isn’t linear has been extremely fulfilling.
Do you feel that failure is a part of success and why?
Most definitely, I’ve failed more than I’ve succeeded and honestly would not change any of the failures that I’ve experienced. It’s cliché to say, but failure builds character! It pushes you to unlearn so that you can learn new ways of operating in your business. Without failure we don’t learn, it’s those humbling moments of not “winning” that prompt us to take a step back and reassess and I think those are the some of the most valuable moments to experience as a human being and professional.
What advice do you have for young woman who are interested in pursuing PR?
Do the work, take the time to really understand what the industry and the job requires of you. In the age of instant gratification, a lot of people want to skip the struggle and moments where you have to be still. I think it’s the biggest dis-service an aspiring PR professional could do to themselves. PR is a process and patience is at the core of pursuing a career in the industry. You’re always playing the long game, from what you’re learning to the work you’re doing for your clients. I cannot stress enough how significant it is to commit the time and energy to mastering the craft!
What does being a girl boss mean to you ?
Being a girl boss to me means chartering your own path. It’s easy to get caught up in thinking our journeys are meant to be nonlinear and that’s never the case. Over the years, I’ve learned that being ANY type of boss ultimately means understanding that you have the power to framework whatever type of life you want for yourself.
You don’t have to make yourself smaller to fit any type of preconceived notion of what a “professional” looks like. I’m a girl boss, not because I own a business, but because I’m committed to creating the type of life that I want on my terms. I think that’s the true definition of a girl boss - being intentional in doing things YOUR way.
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