Spitfire Strategies

Spitfire Spotlight: Jenny Kern, Director

Tell me about your new role at Spitfire and what brought you here?

I’m a director in the San Francisco office and will be managing accounts, developing strategic plans for clients, offering my expertise in everything from media relations to social media and helping expand the West Coast office. I have been a longtime admirer of Spitfire and I’ve had a lot of colleagues who attended Spitfire trainings and really enjoyed it. Spitfire has a reputation as being a great firm and great place to work and I wanted to be a part of it.

What is your communication superpower?

Relationship building is my superpower. Whether it’s working closely with a client, collaborating with a team or developing relationships with a coalition, relationship building is about getting people excited about an idea and turning that excitement into work that makes a difference. Some people can be intimidated by relationship building. If you are in a situation – a networking event, a conference, at the grocery store – and you are feeling shy or nervous, find a private place like a bathroom and go into a “Power Pose.” Research shows that it will elevate your confidence levels.

If you could give only one piece of advice to nonprofits and foundations about effective communication, what would it be?

Don’t shy away from the spotlight – your cause needs you. I’ve seen nonprofit clients shy away from speaking at their own events and not being as aggressive as they should. Being out there as a spokesperson is important for what they want to accomplish. Humility is great but don’t let it undercut your cause – step up.

If you could have dinner with any three people in the world – alive or dead – who would they be and why?

I’ve had dreams about meeting President Obama and Nancy Pelosi. Nancy and I are both from San Francisco. She’s local but has risen to the highest ranks of Congress and would have a lot to say about how power works, how the world works and how change happens. President Obama is on the list because he’s simply amazing and seems to be a person who has that ability to make you feel like you’ve known each other for years. I’d also love to meet Sheryl Sandberg. She’s done a lot to bring women workforce issues to the forefront and help shape important conversations about the role of women in today’s world.

How do you charge your batteries?

I am an avid Fitbit user. Fitbit tracks your physical activity and I love going for a run, going hiking and getting outdoors and doing yoga. I’m also a founding member of a women’s career group. The group is full of amazing women and it’s an opportunity for ongoing mentorship, giving advice and friendship.

Learn more about Jenny here.

“This has been a tremendous eye opener. It shows us how to pull the aspects of communications skills, from the message, to the audience. It forced us to identify our strengths and our weaknesses in an effort to become more strategic in how we prepare our messages and communicate them.”

- Training Participant

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