How I define Public Relations:
I define public relations as the art and science of giving individuals, groups and entities a voice – and then guiding them to use their voices in meaningful ways not only for them, but their target audiences and the greater community-at-large.
Hat you most identify with:
The answer to which hat I most identify with? Why, it’s elementary, my dear readers!
My hat is none other than that of Sherlock Holmes, which is technically called a deerstalker (because that’s not creepy or anything).
Why, you ask?
I love nothing more than putting on my deerstalker detective hat (usually metaphorically, mind you) and seeking out the best stories for my clients and the media. Everyone has a story to tell – I just need to help them find it.
It was 111 degrees on the Arizona State University campus – in September.
I had just come out of another dull Accounting 240 class, wishing that earning a marketing degree didn’t require me to learn words like “accrual.” After all, I just wanted to write.
As I often do in times of crisis, I turned to food. The only cure for my post-accounting meltdown? Chocolate – a volcano brownie from the Coffee Plantation, to be more specific.
But, alas, the only Coffee Plantation was on the other side of campus – nearly a mile away.
After making the long journey across campus, where I convinced myself I was preemptively burning any calories I was about to consume, I stood in the line at the Coffee Plantation as afternoon classes were letting out.
Having never been to this side of campus, I couldn’t help but to put on my deerstalker (in my mind) and investigate a bit.
Turns out, the Coffee Plantation stood directly outside the Journalism, Broadcast Journalism and Mass Communications buildings on campus. Eager to enjoy my little brownie in the air conditioning, I ducked into the Journalism building.
That day, as I enjoyed my brownie and walked the halls of the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communications, I not only learned about the stellar reputation of the school, but its Public Relations course options. After filling out some requisite forms and completing a few essays (my favorite – again, love to write), I officially changed majors – and dropped that blasted Accounting 240 class straight away.
Diploma in hand and internships with a few movie studios under my belt, I accepted a job at HMA Public Relations in 2004.
Today, a decade and a half, I serve as a senior member of our team, focused on client management, digital communications, business development, online content management, strategic media relations, client relations, promotional marketing, creative writing, crisis communications, event planning and issues management – and then I get my morning coffee.
An active member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) locally, regionally and nationally, I have served and continue to serve in volunteer leadership positions within the organization annually. In addition, I currently volunteer on the board of directors for the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter, where I also help plan the organization’s annual Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards Gala. I am a founding member of Suns Charities 88 and on the board of the directors for Subway Kids & Sports of Arizona. Currently, I also chair Subway Kids & Sport’s annual fundraising programs as well as its grant program and Cycle for Success school outreach initiative. A passionate animal lover and the sole “Cat Person” in the office, I volunteer with the Arizona Humane Society bottle feeding baby kittens as well. Prior, I was an active volunteer and event coordinator with the Arizona Institute for Breast Health as well as the Multiple Sclerosis Society and March of Dimes program.
While at HMA, our team has been recognized with more than 50 honors by PRSA Phoenix, IABC Phoenix, Bulldog Reporter, the Public Relations Global Network, the Arizona Festivals and Events Association, the American Marketing Association and many more – and that’s just in the past couple of years. On a more micro level, I have been quite proud to have been recognized as one of the “Top Women to Watch in Arizona Business” by Scottsdale Business Magazine as well as one of the “Five Most Influential Women in Arizona Business under 35” and “30 Top Business Leaders in their 30s,” both by AZ Business Magazine. A bonus – I was inducted into the Horizon High School Hall of Fame (my high school, located in Scottsdale, Ariz.) in recent years.
In my spare time, I am a passionate freelancer writer on all things travel, food, drink, events and business for about a dozen local and regional magazines. You can find my stories here, in fact.
So, now that I’ve told you my story – what’s yours? Not sure? Let me help you seek it out.