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PR PROfiles: Jen Dowd, BackBay Communications

Jen DowdJen Dowd

Chief Operating Officer, BackBay Communications

Length of PR career (so far): 12 years.

Your most memorable campaign: Working with one of Bank of America’s private equity groups as they were spinning out as an independent firm. In under two months, we helped the firm define a new name, create a new brand and firm positioning, launch a new website and do a complete PR rollout around the spinoff.  It was fun and satisfying to see the whole project through end-to-end, and the Fund is still a client today.

Most poignant professional moment: Day one in the New York office that I opened for BackBay in 2010. It was an amazing opportunity and the beginning of a new and exciting challenge for me.

Best thing about working at your agency: Our team and culture. I really enjoy working with all of my colleagues who are all incredibly smart, interesting and nice people. BackBay also has a culture infused with entrepreneurial spirit which means that new ideas are embraced and there are always opportunities for growth and success at all levels.

What got you interested in a PR career? My first “real job” was a role as an editorial assistant at a financial magazine in London. It was a great introduction into the world of financial media and I knew right away that I was interested in staying in the industry. As an English major, I also liked the idea of pursuing a career that emphasized writing, research and communication skills.

Jen Dowd at workMost interesting thing about your job: We have great clients that all have really dynamic stories to tell. Being focused on financial services, the subject-matter BackBay works with is often complex and intricate, which keeps things interesting. Having access to a variety of clients also means that there are always opportunities to learn new things and gain insight into to a number of different business models, leadership styles and approaches to marketing.

Number of meetings you were in last week: 18

Best advice to a PR student: Read a lot. Also, use the phone—it’s important and essential to building relationships with both clients and journalists.

What do you read daily? The Wall Street Journal and the trade media

Favorite way to de-stress: Weekend getaways in the White Mountains

Jen Dowd at workThe moment you realized PR is more fun than you thought it would be: The first time I pitched a press release. From writing, to pitching, to clipping—it’s great to be a part of something that is both very strategic in addition to yielding such tangible results that are so integral to a brand.

Brand that does the best PR: This is just one recent example, but State Street Global Advisor’s installation of the “Fearless Girl” bronze statue across from the bull on Wall Street on the eve of International Women’s Day was awesome.

Favorite non-work hobby: Watching/reading anything about Roman History; Watching the New England Patriots win Super Bowls.

Last book you read: SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard; The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Childhood “dream job”: Archaeologist

Your next big adventure: Learning how to paddleboard

Your ideal Saturday: On a beach, in the sun

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