Lessons From a Father
Those who know me are well aware of my passion for my family business and the immeasurable respect I have for my father. With a deep rooted love for baseball in my family, it’s no surprise the quote that best illustrates my father is from the classic movie The Sandlot. “People say he’s less than a God, but more than a man. Like Hercules or something..” I will start with some brief background information to help you understand why I value my father’s lessons so highly.
In 1969, my grandfather Art Sr. founded A.M. Yerecic Co. that was to become the tradition now known as Yerecic Label. At the time, my father was a young teen working as Yerecic Label’s first press operator in the garage of their family home. Together, the two generations were determined to work hard and expand the business.
Today, Yerecic Label is established as the leading label manufacturer in North America for the perishables industry with a state of the art printing facility in New Kensington, PA. The Yerecic Label legacy has called to the third generation as my three brothers and I take positions within the company.
As I continue my career at Yerecic Label, I’ve found that the skills used to run your own business translate directly to many aspects of the public relations profession. While our major might be located in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, strategic communication is a vital part of all business relations. Below I have compiled five of the most important lessons from my father that I apply to my work every day:
KNOW YOUR MARKET
Yerecic Label is different from the competition by investing in research to construct products that understand consumer preferences. This focus on research is vital for any piece of work you create. According to Farkas’ JOUR3700 class, more than 30 percent of your work time should be spent on research. To create a thriving product, you need be able to accurately convey the benefits and get all the facts.
Check, double check and check again. At Yerecic Label, the motto of DIRFT or DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME is used to promote increased attention to all projects. This increased focus helps preserve costs, build relationships and create reliability. Whether it’s a promotional poster or a press release, be diligent in your procedures and proofing to avoid embarrassing flops.
Partnerships with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Pork Board, the Produce Marketing Association and other countless organizations help to provide strong relationships for Yerecic Label to grow and learn. Take advantage of people and organizations that help expand your horizons. A great example of this within the ImPRessions organization is the 2012-2013 Athens County Humane Society account ran by Kate McFadden. The account reached out to countless local Athens businesses and individuals to make the spring Woof and Wine fundraiser a huge success.
HARD WORK CREATES LUCK
My family will be the first to tell you that starting and even more importantly, maintaining a business, does not come from pure luck. My father’s favorite quote is: “I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it,” by Thomas Jefferson. This quote provides the best lesson my father consistently pushes, there is no replacement for true hard work and dedication. Remember, your success is measured by how hard you are willing to work for it.
FIND YOUR PASSION
As silly as it may sound, labels are my family’s passion. We affectionately call the Yerecic Label office “Label Land” and many conversations revolve around industry topics. Passion is what provides drive and motivation, and without it all your hard work seems empty. Find your passion because loving what you do is half of the battle to excelling in your work.
-Kristin Yerecic is a senior studying public relations with minors in Business and Economics. Follow her at @yerecick