Welcome back to our series This Is How I Get It DONE, where we take a moment to interview members of the PR In Canada community to find out more about them and share with you more about the person behind the desk, from how they got their start to where their current role (and everything in between). For our tenth episode we talked to Esther Buchsbaum of energi PR.
Current gig: President & Co-Founder of energi PR, CHO (Chief Humour Officer), Resident “Mom”
One word to describe your work style: Change.
How I got here: I originally started in advertising working for Grey Canada. It was too controlled of a discipline for me and so needing more chaos in my life I tried PR – and fell in love! I went to work for a small agency in Montreal who happened to have a broad network of stakeholders, an impressive client roster of name brands and that’s pretty much where I cut my PR teeth; long hours, manic boss, no weekends or nights or vacations! I worked there for 3 years (the record for my position was 3 months) and decided to start my own agency. Two months after I left the firm, I received a call from Burger King Canada – they had been my account and they were unhappy with me leaving – they asked me if I wanted to pitch the work – I said yes and won the business! Burger King became my first account. Then I teamed up with Carol (Levine) – then my old boss at Grey called me and introduced me to ADT and we won it. A former colleague became a VP of PR for Avon also became a client. A former client landed at Ericcsson and called me and we won project work, a former client at Grey became VP of PR at Birks and we won the work… the rest as we say is history!!
What made me want to start my own company? I wanted to go national, more guys than brains. I wanted to call my own shots, a desire to build something new, moxy!
When did you know you had a viable business: I launched my agency in 1988 – then partnered with Carol in 1990 to form MECA. I knew I had a viable business the second I decided to start my own firm – failure was not an option.
My typical work day: Lord! Wake up at 6, walk the dog (who I take to work), come to the office for 7, work, travel to our Toronto office every 2 weeks (on the average), go home or out to dinner with friends, then back on email (or never got off it in the first place) until Don Lemon signs off.
How do I balance family-work? Well… if you Google me chances are you find a Globe & Mail piece on Carol and I in labor with my daughter (Morgan) and wrote a comms plan for Hilton. We did 4 billable hours and wrote a kick ass plan; also when my daughter was little I would tell her that I was taking out the garbage and would leave on a business trip for three days
9 to 5 is long gone – here’s what works for me: Pausing