How I got here: 10Fold’s Caitlin Haskins leads with curiosity

Caitlin Haskins of 10Fold Communications shares the book that changed the way she thinks about her career.

Vice President and leader of the AI, Big Data, and Cloud software team at 10Fold‘s Austin office, Caitlin Haskins has over 16 years of expertise in public relations. Recognized as a “Dynamic Do-er” in the PR Daily & Ragan Communications Top Women in Communications Awards in 2022, she is passionate about achieving impactful results.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Haskins finds joy in digging for fossils with her three children, savoring the flavors of Austin’s breakfast tacos, or pursuing her dream of mastering the art of the perfect sourdough loaf.

The moment I’m proudest of in my entire career is when I:

See a company grow to the next stage – whether that’s completing an exit or acquisition or simply continuing to build. Taking a company from stealth to exit is especially satisfying when you know that the brand awareness and third-party recognition that we generated played an important role in those milestones. It’s powerful to bring innovations that are truly world-changing to market – especially now as we are on the cusp of so many new applications in the AI space.

A tool or a piece of software I cannot live without is:

Google Gemini. While the application’s gotten some flack in the last week or two for inaccuracies with image generation, I use it to quickly vet ideas, identify supporting statistics from credible sources, and more. I don’t find it to be as successful with content generation or as “creative” as ChatGPT, but it speeds up my work, nonetheless.

The key to excellence in storytelling is:

Creating a human connection. Working in deep tech, we tend to quickly get stuck on the business narrative around software and solutions. However, reporters – and prospective buyers – are all people first. If we can shed light on their day-to-day experiences and how technology is creating conflict or making things better, our story is much more likely to resonate.

My professional motto/mantra is:

Never stop experimenting. What keeps me energized and moving forward is the ability to try new things – with my clients as they seek novel ways to educate their markets, with our agency marketing and with my team. Our world is changing quickly – if I’m not trying several new things each quarter, at best I can expect to stand still or even fall behind. I want to be known as a leader who isn’t afraid to try new things and is constantly learning.

A book or song that changed the way I think about my career is:

The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller. One of the things I love about working in an agency is that every day is different. I have the opportunity to tackle a new set of challenges every day and that makes every day move fast. The challenge is that it’s easy to get “shiny penny syndrome” and lose track of the tasks that move the needle amidst all the rest. This book helped me understand that if I could build a stronger focus on critical tasks, I would make much more progress toward my goals and help our business move forward.                           

When I’m feeling overwhelmed at work, I:

 Remind myself that this is temporary. Things get busy and that’s a good thing – it means we have opportunity and I just need to take each piece apart to understand how I will prioritize my time. What can only I do? What can be handed off to a team member with little impact on quality or end result? The biggest mistake we can make in this field is not letting go. Letting go of a task could give a team member an opportunity to try something new. Or, given the circumstances, I may need to “let go” of the way I’d prefer to get things done – I’m analytical and like to move deliberately – to get the job done the way it should. I communicate my plan to execute with my CEO and then stop stressing – it’s time to get it done!

Isis Simpson-Mersha is a conference producer/ reporter for Ragan. Follow her on LinkedIn.

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