Scott Public Relations (Canoga Park, Calif.)
Length of career: 38 years
Most memorable campaign: My most memorable campaign involved the American Hospital Association (AHA) in the days when hospital costs were first becoming an issue. I worked on a volatile public initiative campaign in Arizona that became national in scope and highly controversial. I didn’t take any days off for two years, but it was an incredible learning experience on how to influence constituencies and communicate complicated ideas.
Most poignant professional moment: Watching my doctor clients speak at conferences and totally transform a room and the thinking of everyone in it. That experience gave me such an appreciation for the visionaries that I’m bringing to the public’s attention.
Biggest complaint about social media: Sometimes companies have a hard time understanding that they don’t just need content, but they need relevant content.
Best thing about working at your agency: We have great clients who are transforming healthcare and a team that is incredibly bright and intellectually precocious to understand the complexities of our industry.
Last time you didn’t do any work all weekend: Maybe 20 years ago when I gave birth to my son.
Most misunderstood thing about PR: Many people still consider PR to be publicity. Today, it’s about strategy and integrated communications that influence people and motivate action.
Most outrageous client request: Get my son coverage in The Wall Street Journal.
What got you interested in a PR career? With a degree in English and History and no understanding of business, I did have the ability to write. I gravitated towards a small agency, specializing in travel, and that got me interested in using those communications skills for influence and change.
Most interesting thing about your job: The depth of the industry in which we work. I appreciate seeing old ideas come back in new form, and I particularly enjoy my role as President of PR Boutiques International (PRBI) and the involvement with international companies.
Number of meetings last week: 30
Best advice to a PR student: Learn something besides PR. It could be business, it could be government, it could be globalization. Also I’d recommend reading opinion leader publications. Most of all, develop the ability to be a critical thinker, not just an order taker. PR is not a set of skills, it’s the ability to strategically problem-solve.
Favorite way to de-stress: Lose myself in a historical novel or go boogie boarding at the beach.
Moment you realized PR is more important than you thought it would be: I realized how important PR was when I first watched a client lose business because they refused to understand the power of public opinion.
Favorite non-work hobby: Traveling. I’ve been all over Europe, China, India and Australia. Still need to hit Latin America.
Last book you read: “Complications” by Atul Gawande.
Favorite movie: “Imitation Game.” It’s absolutely brilliant, it’s British and historical, and Benedict Cumberbatch is always a favorite.
Childhood “dream job”: Be a writer and/or marry a Beatle.
Three people you’d like to invite to dinner: Paul McCartney, Kate Atkinson (author of “Life After Life”) and Hilary Clinton.
Your next big adventure: Publishing my novels! One is about the Civil War, and the other is “Ghost” meets “Forrest Gump.”