Job title and function: I am a director with APCO Worldwide, a global communications consultancy. In this role, I get to work with a variety of clients around the world, around the U.S. and here in North Carolina. Our Raleigh office is one of the fastest growing offices in our global network, and I get to lead a team of communication professionals to build APCO’s global, regional and local offering in corporate, public affairs and strategic communications.
Most rewarding thing about working in PR today: I’m fortunate to have worked with some of the world’s biggest and most innovative companies, and I’ve always found it rewarding to help people and organizations share their stories and build relationships.
Every company, at some level, has a purpose. How well an organization is able to communicate that purpose with its key stakeholders — including employees, customers, partners and investors — is critical. As PR professionals, we get to help drive that focus on communicating an authentic purpose.
Our work impacts bottom lines, creates and protects jobs, defines issues important to society, improves workplaces and communities, gains visibility for and gives voice to those who may not typically be heard and much more. Simply put, our work is impactful, meaningful and can either help solve a problem or help create an opportunity.
Craziest/most challenging thing you’ve done in PR: The great thing about PR is the opportunity to mix a little crazy with the ordinary. Over the years, I’ve had the chance to watch the start of the Spanish Grand Prix from inside the Ferrari Formula One garage, get iPhone tips from Steve Wozniak, ski indoors in Dubai, run into Bono at the World Economic Forum in Davos, walk along the Great Wall of China and rebuild a school in Thailand.
I’ve also been fortunate to work on some complex and challenging projects. One of my favorite experiences was launching GlobalFoundries in 2009 as a joint venture between Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Mubadala Development Corporation of Abu Dhabi. Starting as a spinoff of AMD, GlobalFoundries quickly developed into one of the largest and fastest growing semiconductor technology companies in the world with manufacturing campuses in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Advice for new PR pros: It’s all about relationships. I’m not referring to that old adage, “it’s who you know.” I’m referring to the fact that life is about building positive relationships. If you keep that as your North Star everything else tends to fall into place.
Be sure to remember that your clients are people. Obviously you’ll get to know their business or product and goals very well, but take the time to get to know them on a personal level. Some of my favorite people in the world are clients I’ve gotten to know over the years. Not only are they great friends, but knowing them on a deeper level is really beneficial in helping their business or product succeed.
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