PR PROfile: Roxanne Donovan, Great Ink Communications

Roxanne Donovan
President
Great Ink Communications (New York City)

Length of PR career (so far): 25 Years

Your most memorable campaign: In representing PLATINUM, a luxury condominium development in the heart of Times Square, we painted some gorgeous models platinum and set them loose on the City, and got people talking about Times Square in a new light—and paying big for the opportunity to live there.

Most poignant professional moment: Hanging the painting of my grandfather’s pharmacy over my desk in my new office—signaling the third generation of entrepreneurs in our family

Favorite journalist to work with: The reporter most interested in working with me today—with a special shout out to the team at Real Estate Weekly, where I had my first job as a reporter almost 30 years ago and where they are still always open to a pitch

Number of 2 a.m. calls from a client this month: None, though I have received some emails sent at odd hours.

Biggest complaint about social media: Confusing “bloggers” with “reporters”—and then remembering that bloggers don’t have to fact check

Best thing about working at your agency: My team is fantastic—like family. And the focus on real estate allows us to dig in and be truly excellent across the field. It is great to have the opportunity to be excellent—the very best at something—every day.

Last time you didn’t do any work all weekend: Literally can’t remember

Most misunderstood thing about PR: Some people think we actually control the media, what reporters write, when and how the story is told. Sometimes I even think that. Then I remember that the job of a publicist is to try to exercise control over something that is inherently out of my control … it is humbling.

Most outrageous client request: Get my kid into private school

What got you interested in a PR career? I worked as a reporter for a few years, covering real estate and economic development for trade and daily newspapers. I was on the receiving end of pitches and developed ideas about how I might approach working with journalists if I had to make those calls. When the NY Daily News went on strike, I got to put my theories to the test and I’ve been in PR ever since.

Most interesting thing about your job: Having an inside track on plans and news that will literally change a skyline

Number of meetings you were in last week: 15 meetings outside the office

Your nightmare client in 3 words: Abusive. Unrealistic. Untruthful.

Rate your math skills from 1-10: 2

Best advice to a PR student: Remember to work in the service of the journalist—it’s not the other way around.

Favorite way to de-stress: Either a martini or a spin class—but never both at the same time!

The moment you realized PR is more important than you thought it would be: There are many humbling moments of powerlessness … and also many moments when I have the opportunity to make a real difference in a situation or how my client is perceived. But the pendulum swings back and forth pretty regularly.

Worst PR crisis in the news this year so far: In New York real estate, it may be the Sheldon Silver scandal.

Brand that does the best PR/communications: Disney (just ask my kids)

Brand most in need of better PR: NBC News

Favorite non-work hobby: Reading—primarily fiction, lots of thrillers and mysteries

Last book you read: “Twelve Days” by Alex Berenson

Cocktail of choice: Belvedere. Up. Twist.

Favorite movie this year: “Birdman”

Your first “real” job: Editor of Real Estate Weekly

Childhood “dream job”: Working alongside Lois Lane at the Daily Planet (And then getting to be a reporter at the New York Daily News—a dream come true!)

Three people you’d love to invite to dinner: Stephen King, Muccia Prada and Ben Folds

Your next big adventure: Bike trip through Puglia and visiting family in Naples with my husband and sons this summer.

Your ideal Saturday: Walk in Central Park with my husband, spin class with my friends, cooking a great meal and sharing it with friends and family, and lots of sleep.

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