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PR PROfiles: Erica Hawksworth, Live Wire Media Relations

Erica HawksworthErica Hawksworth

Director of Public Relations

Live Wire Media Relations (Arlington, VA)

Length of PR career (so far): Nearly 14 years in the public relations profession

Your most memorable campaign: One of my most successful campaigns during my current tenure at Live Wire Media Relations was this past year. In 2016, I designed and executed a proactive public relations campaign for a DC-based real estate company, which included 58 secured interviews and 100 earned media placements, whether “House of the Week” features, expert insights on real estate trends, or thought-leadership bylines, on both national and local levels.

Number of 2 a.m. calls from a client this month: None, thankfully!

Best thing about working at your agency: The Live Wire team is fabulous! We work hard, producing a lot of great results, and everyone is so supportive. We also know how to have fun, whether hanging out at a driving range or playing Pictionary on our writable office wall!

Last time you didn’t do any work all weekend: I made it a point to put away my computer Presidents’ Day weekend. There were 70 degree-plus temperatures in Northern Virginia…in February. The great outdoors was calling!

Erica HawksworthMost misunderstood thing about PR: That it is easy to secure media placements. There is a lot of work that goes into securing quality coverage for a client, such as building relationships with reporters, identifying newsworthy topics to share with press, identifying the appropriate reporters to contact based on their coverage, and/or developing interesting talking points.

What got you interested in a PR career? I’ve always loved reading and watching the news, enjoy writing, really like working with experts in an array of fields and I don’t do well with monotony. A career in the fast-paced PR industry was the perfect fit for me, and there is never a dull moment!

Number of meetings you were in the last week: Five formal meetings, but on countless phone calls with clients and reporters

Rate your math skills from 1-10: Sadly, a three. There is a reason I am in a communications-driven profession!

Best advice to a PR student: Offer members of the media unique, brief and informative pitches. There is a lot of noise out there and you have to offer stories that stand out from others. Meeting with reporters in-person, or speaking with them over the phone, will go a long way too.

Erica HawksworthWhat do you read daily? Politico, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Business Journal, Chronicle of Higher Education, DCist, to name just a few! I also keep a close eye on trending news items on social media.

Favorite way to de-stress: Go for a nice long walk with my Yorkie Poo, Wrigley, play softball with my co-ed team (Go Dirt Devils!) or head to the ballpark to watch a baseball game, whether college or pro.

The moment you realized PR is more fun than you thought it would be: I always knew I’d love the PR profession, but it was when I worked at an entertainment company with talented performers from all over the world, and with such fantastic stories to tell, that I was hooked.

Biggest complaint about social media: Everyone is in such a hurry to get news out first that sometimes the stories aren’t entirely accurate or don’t tell both sides of the issue.

PR trend to watch in 2017: Outside contributors are becoming more and more common at media outlets. PR professionals need to reach out to these individuals a little differently as they typically hold full-time positions elsewhere and only write on occasion. It is also an opportunity to take advantage of this trend and secure regular contribution opportunities for clients.

Last book you read: James Patterson’s 15th Affair

Childhood dream job: Dolphin trainer or WWF (now WWE) ringside announcer…true story!

Three people you’d love to invite to dinner: Abraham Lincoln, Roberto Clemente and Steven Spielberg

Your next big adventure: We headed to Hilton Head Island in April to watch a PGA pro tournament and found time to fit in a water sport or two

Cocktail of choice: I prefer craft beer over cocktails, but I do occasionally enjoy an extra spicy Bloody Mary—garnished with bacon, olives and a hot pepper—during brunch.

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