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PR's Top Pros Talk

PR's Top Pros Talk

By D S Simon Media
A D S Simon Media and O’Dwyer’s podcast for communicators, featuring top PR executives sharing valuable insights and giving tips on adapting your strategy during these challenging times.
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Navigating the Socio-Cultural Climate – Krishana Davis, Director of Digital, Precision Strategies
Krishana Davis, Director of Digital at Precision Strategies, gives her take in how communicators can effectively navigate their environment and the peoples within them. She touches on political and sociocultural issues such as sentiments on the election, and how communicators must shift and adapt as culture does the same.
July 21, 2021
Tips For Effective Company Launch – Kari Watson, Managing Partner, MacDougall Advisors
Kari Watson, Cofounder and Managing Partner at MacDougall Advisors, discusses the ways to optimize a healthcare startup’s launch. She emphasizes the need for well-thought-out communications strategies, and the importance of the preparation stage pre-launch. She further touches on mistakes to avoid and common pitfalls new firms fall into.
July 12, 2021
The Nuances of Company Purchase - Rick Gould, Managing Partner, Gould+Partners
Rick Gould, Managing Partner at Gould+Partners, encourages business owners to run their company as if they’re going to sell it. He shares tips on selling a firm, and how both parties can capture the most value from the transaction. Rick also reveals the factors that buyers are most cognizant of such as the owners market salary, an owner’s ‘understudy’ and more.
July 7, 2021
How To Make Sustainability Appealing - Katya Hantel, Senior Director of Sustainability, Conagra Brands
Katya Hantel, Senior Director of Sustainability at Conagra Brands, discusses how brands can communicate environmental and social initiatives effectively as ESG becomes a business imperative. She sheds light on how businesses like Conagra can serve as sustainability translators to key stakeholders – such as investors, consumers, and employees – to champion greater development and adoption of sustainability solutions within the food industry. Katya also shares insights on navigating sustainability messaging between a master brand and sub brands.
July 6, 2021
Evolution of Public Relations - Amy Rosenberg, Founder & President, Veracity Marketing
Amy Rosenberg, Founder & President of Veracity Marketing, emphasizes the importance for brands to adapt with today’s innovations in public relations. She talks about how industry strides in SEO, email marketing and brand messaging affect business communication with their respective audiences. Amy breaks down these concepts further in her book, “A Modern Guide to Public Relations.”
July 1, 2021
Brand Behavior Post Covid - Avra Lorrimer, Executive Vice President, Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Avra Lorrimer, Executive Vice President at H+K Strategies, shares her thoughts on brand behavior as we emerge from the pandemic. She talks about how brands can navigate humor and the responsibility to support those who have suffered and fallen behind over the past year.
June 22, 2021
Targeting Female Audiences – Megan Driscoll, CEO & Founder, EvolveMKD
Megan Driscoll, CEO & Founder of EvolveMKD, discusses how brands can truthfully and empathetically serve their audiences, specifically their female consumers. She discusses 5 main styles of communicators, based on the current scientific literature, and how brands can leverage on them to communicate with, not over clients. She then goes on to suggest ways that EvolveMKD has utilized authentic communication at multiple points in the value chain, all the way to the end consumer.
June 15, 2021
Startup Marketing & PR – Tim Johnson, President, Upraise Marketing + Public Relations
Tim Johnson, President of Upraise Marketing + Public Relations, provides insights on how startups can adeptly begin their brand narrative in PR. He discusses the various channels and mediums for these firms to plan for and capitalize on to ensure the receive positive consumer sentiment. He also explains the role of agencies in working with the startups and the need for ‘nimble feet’ as the new brand changes and alters their positioning frequently in the early stages.
June 11, 2021
Controlling the Brand Narrative – Sabrina Macias, VP & Communications, DraftKings Inc.
Sabrina Macias, Vice President of Global Communications at DraftKings, addresses how communicators can reach their audiences in authentic and nuanced ways. She goes in depth on how brands can control the narrative of their portrayal in their respective markets and business environments. She emphasizes the importance of preparation for one’s public relations moves based on other contingent factors such as consumer sentiment, cultural factors, and other stakeholders of the firm.
June 9, 2021
Creating Authentic Partnerships with Non-Profits - Vanessa Wakeman, Founder & CEO, of The Wakeman Agency
Vanessa Wakeman, Founder & CEO, of The Wakeman Agency, a social change firm providing strategic communications support to nonprofits and socially responsible companies, discusses how brands can start integrating social justice into their messaging in an authentic way. She dives into the agency’s Louder than Words initiative, which was developed to help correct pervasive funding inequities in the social change sector, through the first ever directory of BIPOC led nonprofits. The directory will provide pathways for socially responsible companies to identify and partner with nonprofits led by people of color. Vanessa also emphasizes the power of language and the need to evaluate and adjust the use of certain phrases that do not reflect or create a sense of belonging for all.
June 7, 2021
Delivering Hospitality on Digital Platforms - Cathy Decker, Co-Founder & Principal, The Decker/Royal Agency
Cathy Decker, Co-Founder & Principal, The Decker/Royal Agency, discusses how to create a welcoming environment and navigate the challenges of hospitality while staying safe. She sheds light on an agency’s role in working with hospitality brands, and how one can integrate with management to create the most customer value.
June 4, 2021
Creating Social Change Through Communications - Valarie De La Garza, CEO, Fenton
Valarie De La Garza, CEO, Fenton, shares insights on how to create positive social change through strategic communications. She discusses the shift from just talk to action for demonstrating greater inclusivity. Valarie also goes into navigating the definition of what social good is from multiple perspectives.
June 3, 2021
Importance of Inclusive Communications - Christina Stejskal, VP, Global Communications, Fender
Christina Stejskal, VP, Global Communications, Fender, emphasizes the importance of crafting inclusive marketing campaigns and strategic overarching messaging. She shares examples of how the brand manages to keep existing customers engaged and involved while offering insights into securing quality media over quantity.
May 26, 2021
Associations and Member Value - Jennifer Curley, President & CEO, Curley Company
Jennifer Curley, President & CEO, Curley Company, discusses how associations had to navigate the challenges of hosting events as a result of the pandemic. She emphasizes the importance for associations to provide member value. Jennifer also goes into how the agency helped their clients to be nimble in the current dynamic environment.
May 24, 2021
Leading a Legacy PR Agency - Cathy Fink, President, Makovsky
Cathy Fink, President, Makovsky, offers insights into the challenges of taking on a leadership role at a legacy PR agency. She shares lessons learned and practices from her experiences at a larger public traded company that can have a positive impact in a smaller organization. Cathy also discusses the evolving role of communications and the increased need for transparency.
May 20, 2021
Brand Positioning Outside of its Vertical - Laura Duda, SVP & CCO, Goodyear
Laura Duda, SVP & CCO, Goodyear, shares insights on positioning a brand outside of its traditional vertical. She shares the challenges of integrated messaging following an acquisition and a joint venture with a competitor. Laura also provides her perspective on how polarization and politics can challenge a company’s external communications approach.
May 18, 2021
The Importance of an Impactful Leader - Ken Jacobs, PCC, CPC, Principal, Jacobs Consulting & Executive Coaching
Ken Jacobs, PCC, CPC, Principal, Jacobs Consulting & Executive Coaching, discusses the key role leadership plays in an organization’s success. He stresses the importance of building trust and fostering influence with your constituents as a leader. Ken also emphasizes the increased need to have an opportunity mindset.
May 14, 2021
A Global Outlook on Hospitality - Sophie Merven, Head of Communications, IHG Hotels & Resorts
Sophie Merven, Head of Communications, IHG Hotels & Resorts, shares her outlook for travel post-COVID from a global perspective. She also discusses how the organization was forced to rethink themselves and make significant changes as a result of the pandemic. Sophie also emphasizes the increased role of PR and earned media in the current environment.
May 13, 2021
Managing Foodservice Communications - Gina Judge, Senior Director of Communications, PepsiCo
Gina Judge, Senior Director of Communications, PepsiCo, discusses navigating communications for the company’s foodservice business, which encompasses “away from home” channels that were greatly impacted by the pandemic. She sheds light on how PepsiCo worked with employees, customers and consumers to make a positive impact in struggling communities and tackle social injustice. Gina also shares key principles she believes are important to advance your career as well as build strong communications programs.
May 12, 2021
Navigating a Decentralized Brand Environment - Julissa Marenco, CMO & Assistant Secretary for Communications and External Affairs, The Smithsonian
Julissa Marenco, CMO & Assistant Secretary for Communications and External Affairs, The Smithsonian, discusses the challenges of aligned messaging for different museums under the Institution’s umbrella brand. She emphasizes the importance of soft skills and soft influence in building effective relationships within the decentralized enviornment of the Institution. Julissa also dives into the organization’s creative initiatives to reach people across the nation through digital means.
May 7, 2021
The Comeback of Travel - Linda Rutherford, SVP & CCO, Southwest Airlines
Linda Rutherford, SVP & CCO, Southwest Airlines, shares her predictions for the comeback of travel. She emphasizes the increased importance of integrating communications with marketing. Linda also discusses lessons learned from the pandemic that will continue to be relevant moving forward.
May 4, 2021
Communicating as a Company Leader - Chris Foster, President, North America, BCW Group
Chris Foster, President, North America, BCW Group, shares insights on how the expectations on how to communicate have changed for organization leaders. He discusses the increased importance of DE&I and his own journey of becoming a Black agency leader. Chris also dives into the rising trend of CEOs being more engaged in the communications strategy.
May 4, 2021
The Future of the Workplace - Christine Barney, CEO, RBB Communications
Christine Barney, CEO, RBB Communications, emphasizes that what you stand for as a business is more important than ever. She shares insights on the future of the workplace, and how her team was prepared for the remote environment. Christine also dives into the agency’s initiatives in the ESG space.
May 4, 2021
Increased Demand for Satellite Media Tours - Doug Simon, Founder & CEO, D S Simon Media
Why are satellite media tours growing in importance as a must use public relations tool? What are best practices? Host Doug Simon interviewed Doug Simon, Founder & CEO, D S Simon Media. They discussed the significant rise in demand for satellite media tours and the increased importance for organizations to communicate with their stakeholders through the media. He offers insights from Nielsen and local TV producers on recent viewership trends. Doug and Doug also shared the benefits of conducting satellite media tours remotely, making them more efficient and authentic.
April 30, 2021
Navigating Different Voices in the Travel Space - Kristen Vigrass, President, The Brandman Agency
Kristen Vigrass, President, The Brandman Agency, shares insights on the challenges of travel communications during COVID and transitioning into a post-pandemic environment. She breaks down how to navigate messaging for different organizations in the industry. Kristen also dives into the Brandman Agency Partner Program that her team developed to provide opportunities for experienced PR professionals to join the Agency’s network.
April 28, 2021
Maintaining Company Culture Remotely - Ali Lundberg, President, J Public Relations
Ali Lundberg, President, J Public Relations, shares best practices for maintaining culture in the workplace while being remote and spread out. She offers advice on how to gradually revive the travel and hospitality space that has been severely impacted by the pandemic. Ali anticipates a strong return for aspirational travel stories as we transition into a post-COVID environment.
April 26, 2021
The Pandemic's Impact on Women in the Workplace - Ashley Miles, Founder & CEO, Franklyn West
Ashley Miles, Founder & CEO, Franklyn West, and President, New York Women in Communications, breaks down some of the challenges faced by women and women of color in the workforce as a result of the pandemic. She offers advice for organizations to tackle these issues with a focus on retaining and growing existing talent while reengaging those women who exited the workforce. Ashley also shares tips for women looking to advance in their careers in the current environment.
April 21, 2021
Forming New Healthcare Companies - Donna LaVoie, President & CEO, LaVoie Health Science
Donna LaVoie, President & CEO, LaVoie Health Science, offers insights into communications challenges for newly formed healthcare companies. She breaks down some of the regulatory hurdles faced by these organizations. Donna also shares best messaging practices for companies who are in the later stages of growth.
April 20, 2021
Staying Creative in a Time of Massive Change - Jackie Hartzell, Public Relations Director, Lowe’s
Jackie Hartzell, Public Relations Director, Lowe’s, shares how her team managed to stay creative in a time of massive change. She discusses the challenges of navigating messaging across different stakeholder groups. Jackie also dives into some of the home trends that emerged amid the pandemic.
April 16, 2021
Relationship Shift Between Brands and Consumers - Joanna O’Connell, VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
Joanna O’Connell, VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research, dives into the shifting trends in the relationship between consumers, brands and content publishers. She discusses the challenges of navigating these changes as a communicator. Joanna emphasizes the importance of looking at different communications and marketing channels as a whole, rather than separate entities. She also highlights the increased need for data transparency and using data for value creating experiences.
April 13, 2021
Rebirthing a Post-Peak Brand - Karen Clyne, Head of Global Communications, BlackBerry
Karen Clyne, Head of Global Communications, BlackBerry, sheds light on the brand's journey from handhelds to cybersecurity software and rebirthing a post-peak brand. She shares insight on evolving brand perception among key stakeholder groups and audiences to build advocacy. Karen also highlights the company’s initiatives and opportunities for women, including advice for the next generation.
April 8, 2021