President, Spectrum Public Relations
Length of PR career (so far): I have worked 18 years in the public relations industry and founded Spectrum Public Relations five years ago.
Your most memorable campaign: Over the years, there have been several memorable campaigns (for a variety of reasons), but the really special ones still pull at my heart strings. One highlight was helping to launch REAL Women in Trucking, Inc., a women’s advocacy group. I had presented at a women’s business center when I was approached by the one of the lead advocates. I had never worked with a client in the trucking/transportation industry and hesitated a bit when I was asked to help launch an awareness campaign for the newly formed group. In the end, I learned so much about these ladies and was so happy to be a part of this effort. Coincidentally, they are hosting their inaugural conference this week, focused on a broad range of topics, including personal safety, discrimination, sexual harassment and driver health. I am so proud to have them as a client.
Number of 2 a.m. calls from a client this month: None! That’s the beauty of choosing your clients.
Biggest complaint about social media: Read beyond the news headlines, people.
Best thing about working at your agency: We’re virtual … I have a great team of communication experts I work with every day to meet client goals. It’s allowed for greater work/life balance and flexibility.
Last time you didn’t do any work all weekend: I received my first Blackberry in 2003, so that probably marks my last work-free weekend, aside from being out of the country or giving birth to twins.
Most misunderstood thing about PR: PR is not about the “spin.” It’s about building authentic relationships through a strategic communication process.
What got you interested in a PR career? I was on-track to be a high school English and Speech/Debate teacher, and a friend informed me of an internship in the Florida Governor’s Press Office. I applied, and that was the beginning of something very special.
Most interesting thing about your job: My clients. I have the opportunity to work with a variety of clients across many industries. One day, I’m working on a press release for a neurosurgeon, the next day I’m reviewing a social media calendar for a university or technology client.
Number of meetings you were in last week: 11
Your nightmare client in 3 words: Demanding Unrealistic Expectations
Rate your math skills from 1-10: Today, my math skills are at a 6 … I had to write an apology email to my CPA.
Best advice to a PR student: Build your portfolio and begin creating relationships as part of an internship. Your internship will have a strong impact on your career decisions.
What do you read daily? News … lots of it. I work hard to keep it diverse.
Favorite way to de-stress: Planning our next family trip … We love to travel.
Brand most in need of better PR: Executive Office of the President
Last book you read: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, following a recent trip to Savannah, GA.
Favorite movie this year: Hidden Figures. It should be a curriculum requirement in schools.
Your first “real” job: My senior year of high school, I left the school mid-day to work as an assistant in a CPA’s office. My job had nothing to do with the numbers. I mostly kept him organized. Planning or creating strategies and organization seems to be my calling in life.
Childhood “dream job”: Dolphin trainer—until I realized there was a lot of math and science involved in that career choice.
Your ideal Saturday: My kids letting me sleep in past 6 a.m. would be a good start, followed by a fun family day and date night with my husband.