YPDaily: Alex Middleton

Enjoying the best of both the journalism and PR world, Alex Middleton freelances for his clients who are equally as passionate as he is and want to leave a lasting impact behind them in today’s YPDaily…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I’m a PR Consultant. I work with clients that I feel contribute positively to Calgary – people who take pride in what they do and people who are eager to make a lasting impact on the city. Representing clients that I believe in makes it easy for me to promote them. I’m lucky enough to be at the point in my career where I can pick and choose who I work with.

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
After working as a journalist I didn’t want to entirely leave the field behind. Doing PR I’m able to have the best of both worlds. I can work on stories and issues that I care about while also working with the people who tell those stories to the public. I enjoy working with journalists because they have a real intellectual curiosity, which keeps me on my toes.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is working with people that you care about – it’s easy to champion them if they are doing work that I feel makes the city a better place. I like helping them to craft that narrative.

The most challenging part, but also one of the most exciting parts, is keeping up with the changing face of the media and keeping up to date with PR tools that can benefit your clients . Every month there is a new instrument that you can utilize to assist your clients business goals. PR is a fluid industry.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m pretty happy doing what I am doing. Working with people I care about and volunteering with organizations that are an extension of my professional goals – increasing the vitality of the city where I live.

What does success look like to you?
Enjoying the work you do and helping to contribute to a strong community.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I was in Madrid working as a freelance journalist in 2004 when al-Qaeda set off bombs on a number of commuter trains. The Globe and Mail hired me to help cover the incident. It was extremely difficult to interview victims, and family members of victims, of the bombings. They don’t teach you how to deal with the emotional and psychological issues of facing situations like this in journalism school. Being able to maintain a sense of professionalism in the face of horrendous circumstances like this was a challenge, but one I feel I coped with. I did drink a couple of bottles of cheap Spanish wine when it was all over though.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Get out from behind your desk and be a part of the community. Volunteer and give back. Collaborate with organizations and individuals that you are proud to call your friends. The people you meet will probably change your life.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I chair a TEDx organization in Calgary, TEDxYYC. TED is such a powerful platform for doing good, and I get back to “telling stories” because we have been able to shine the spotlight on so many great people, who’ve done amazing work and give them the stage they deserve.

What to you is notable?
People who work really hard and love what they do, without feeling the need to draw attention to themselves.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone all the way.