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PR PROfile: Miguel Piedra, RockOrange

Miguel Piedra, RockOrangeMiguel Piedra

Principal & Managing Partner

RockOrange

An Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist, Miguel has an outstanding record of success that includes being named to PRWeek’s 2012 “Top 40 under 40 PR Executives.” Having lived and worked in some of the most dynamic and diverse markets in the world, including Miami, Hong Kong and Paris, Miguel’s network spans the globe, and he puts it to work daily. As managing principal and co-founder of RockOrange, Miguel has guided the Miami-based creative communications agency to a Gold award in the ‘New Agency of the Year’ category in Bulldog Reporter’s 2014 Stars of PR Awards, among many other honors.  

Miguel started his PR career working for the world’s most famous mouse. During nearly a decade with Disney Parks and Resorts, Miguel successfully led some of the company’s biggest media relations initiatives on three different continents, from opening new theme parks and launching blockbuster attractions, to inspiring more than one million people into action.

Most recently, Miguel was the chief communicator for the Burger King Corporation and its network of over 14,000 restaurants in 100 countries. He led all internal and external communications for the brand’s global turnaround strategy and managed more local, national and global crises than he cares to count.

When he’s not running companies and solving international crises, Miguel dabbles in photography and uses his proclivity for the camera to see the world though different-colored lenses.

Miguel Piedra, RockOrangeLength of PR career (so far): 15 years.

Your most memorable campaign: “Give a Day, Get a Day” with Disney Parks. The campaign inspired more than one million people into action. In return for one day of volunteer service at a participating organization, they received a free, one-day admission ticket to a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park. I’ll never forget the feeling that comes with effecting such wide-scale change for the better; it has stayed with me in the intervening years and driven much of what I’ve done.

Most poignant professional moment: In 2013 I realized a lifelong dream when, with my best friend David Naranjo, we opened RockOrange. That moment was amplified when we were awarded Gold in the category of ‘New Agency of the Year’ by Bulldog Reporter in their 2014 Stars of PR awards.

Favorite journalist to work with: Julie Jargon at the Wall Street Journal. She’s always fair, even when she’s asking the tough questions, and her readership knows it.

Best thing about working at your agency: Getting to work with our amazing team of RockStars every day. I’m constantly inspired by the fresh ideas our diverse team bring to the table, enabling us to create some really innovative campaigns for our clients.

Last time you didn’t do any work all weekend: Maybe when I was in grade school?! I honestly can’t remember a weekend without work.

Miguel Piedra, RockOrangeMost misunderstood thing about PR: There’s been a fundamental shift in the nature of PR in the last few years, driven by a constantly connected, socially savvy consumer. PR is no longer just about press releases. It’s about finding the conversation and joining it in the most relevant way possible. Today success is found in creating programs that are targeted to specific consumer groups and leveraging the right channels to get those messages in front of those audiences at the right time, and through the right channels.

Most outrageous client request: Not suitable for print!

What got you interested in a PR career? I started my career as a TV news anchor, and after spending 10 years in journalism it was a logical next step.

Most interesting thing about your job: It’s never the same thing twice. We’re lucky to count world leading brands across many different industries including retail, travel and hospitality and consumer goods among our clients so coming up with fresh ideas across such a diverse group certainly keeps me on my toes. And PR is evolving. It’s no longer just about media relations, it’s about storytelling, it’s about creative programming and it’s increasingly digital. It’s an exciting time to be in the industry.

Number of meetings you were in last week: 17 – about par for the course.

Your nightmare client in 3 words: “No, No, No.”

Best advice to a PR student: Don’t study PR. Study relationships and learn about people. To be successful in this industry you need to learn how to connect.

What do you read daily? Everything I can, but not as much as I should.

Favorite way to de-stress: We’re incredibly lucky to live and work in Miami where we’re surrounded by water, so I love taking our boat out and spending time on the water with my family. That, and any non-business related travel!

Worst PR crisis in the news this year so far: Does the election count?

Favorite non-work hobby: Stand up paddle boarding.

Cocktail of choice: The cocktails at Soho House are the best. My favorites are the Eastern Standard or the Soho Mule, which is their take on a Moscow Mule.

Favorite movie this year: Zootopia (with two small kids at home it’s all about animation in our house.)

Your first “real” job: Working at my cousins’ tuxedo shop in Miami.

Childhood “dream job”: I wanted to be a doctor… and then President.

Your next big adventure: Taking my children to Cuba in November to help them understand their Cuban roots and meet their family.

Want to be a PR PROfile source, or know someone who would be a perfect fit? Email the editor at richardc@bulldogreporter.com.

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