Grace Mavko Takes on the Field of Public Relations

January 03, 2023

In the summer between her third and fourth year as a Communication student, Grace Mavko found an internship opportunity posted on LinkedIn with a public relations company called Nine Point Agency. After completing the three-month internship, Grace stayed on with the team. She continued working throughout her final year at SFU and now works full-time in a permanent position at the agency. Her communication skillset and hard work as an intern finally paid off.

Nine Point Agency is a boutique public relations and marketing agency that specializes in lifestyle and cannabis brands. Grace works as an Account Coordinator at Nine Point. She has her hands in all areas of account services and execution for many clients and also assists in agency and office roles. Grace also co-manages the agency's social channels, whereby she plans and creates content, writes copy, and engages with the agency's audience. At any given time, she is working on multiple accounts, which range from lifestyle, fashion, beauty, wellness, food and beverage, travel, and cannabis.

We chatted with Grace about her intern-to-employee journey.

What does a typical day look like for you at Nine Point?

Every day is different. On the regular, you can usually find me jumping from email to email, chatting with journalists, influencers and clients, strategizing new pitch angles, in meetings, building media lists, press releases, reports and briefs, and working on the Nine Point social channels.
Every so often we work on larger events, some of which we plan and coordinate. I've attended some incredible events with Nine Point, like the Interior Design Show a few weeks ago and Arts Umbrella's Splash Art Auction and Gala last year!

In high school, did you know you wanted to go into Communications or PR?

I wanted to study Communications in high school but wasn't aware of what jobs a communication degree would apply to. Considering the field continues to change with technological innovation and development, I knew that new roles and opportunities were evolving.
Even PR, which has been around for a long time, is changing with technological and cultural shifts. My knowledge of social media and ability to decipher trends and opportunities has been a strength of mine at Nine Point. Merging that with traditional PR and contemporary marketing strategies that I've learned at the agency has been a very rewarding experience.

How have your CMNS courses helped shape your success today?

My education in Communication was essential to both my professional and personal growth, which was something I didn't come to fully realize until my final years at SFU. I now understand the world of business and media in a way I never thought I would, often referencing many of my first-year theory classes. I am very interested in the Political Economic Theory of Communications and the work of Dr. Dallas Smythe.
Of course, the practical skills of being a University student have also impacted my professional success. Time management, teamwork, communication, writing, research, and most importantly self-management are keys to my success every day at work.
Working in an agency, where you are jumping from project to project, working with different team members, the importance of learning how to work well in a team is something I took from past projects.

Why do you think the Communication and PR fields are important?

Without getting too philosophical, I think work in PR and Communications is vital to our current society. Communication is at the base of all human development, and I feel an immense sense of privilege to play a tiny, tiny part in the media landscape. However, this comes with a responsibility that I am still coming to understand, and it's something I'm sure I will continue to learn as I progress in my career.
Communication is a powerful force of human nature, and especially in the digital age, is something that should be used with caution. I'm lucky to work somewhere where I feel passionate about what we do!

What exciting projects are you currently working on at Nine Point?

I've been loving working on the fashion and beauty side of our client roster, with brands like empyri, Lover's Tempo, Adhere To Studios, and TAIKAN EVERYTHING, and also on the plant-medicine side of the agency, like our cannabis and psilocybin brands.
We've been working closely with a very cool brand called Mindset that is launching a CBD Kombucha beverage in BC markets in January, and trust me when I say, this is a game-changer! Especially in Vancouver, where cannabis is a large part of our culture, community, and economy, it's cool to be right in the action. I'm personally very interested in working in cannabis and other plant-medicine markets.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I'm very low-key in my personal life. I spent a lot of time outside of working prioritizing my well-being, whether that be heading home after a long week to rest and watch Netflix, hanging out with my close friends at the beach, grabbing a drink with a coworker, or going out on the weekend! I love to thrift shop, check out new restaurants, and explore outside (when it's not raining).

What are your five-year aspirations?

This is a toughie! I hope to be doing something in the creative, brand ideation area of Communications. I don't have a clear plan past that, but with such a wide range of opportunities in the field, I know there is something out there for me!

And lastly, what advice do you have for current CMNS students?

Embrace being a student! Always keep an eye out for opportunities to push your comfort level. Take a chance on yourself.