You have arrived, Episode 1 of our Origin Story series each week we will give you a glimpse into the super heroes of the Canadian public relations industry who have gotten into the business, learned the craft and the ones behind some amazing brands and campaigns.
Think back to your teenage days, what did you think you’d be doing today?
- Not PR that’s for sure! I was going to be a lawyer or a vet or both ?!
Three career moments that got you here?
- My first real job at SNC Lavalin where a very smart, very savvy female VP told me to always stand tall, be confident, try and look important and always ride the elevators with a stack of papers, look busy and say good morning to everyone;
- A PR owner who took a chance and hired a young woman (me) with zero PR experience but that saw the potential in me;
- The VP of Marketing for Burger King at the time (a client) who approached me not long after I went out on my own and offered me an opportunity to pitch the business – which I won!
Three jobs that helped define the person you are today?
- Account Exec at Grey Advertising where I worked my way up from Admin to Client Service by listening, staying late, arriving early and by taking on added responsibilities outside of my scope of work
- A part time job that I had at a conveyor company doing admin – it was in an old, run down building but I had a boss that insisted that all documentation we produced be perfect – he would say that chances are clients will never show up here but they will gain a positive first impression from the letter you send – the grammar, the tone, zero spelling mistakes, etc. – that’s where I learned attention to detail and how to make a good first impression
- Running my own business where I had to learn to juggle all parts of my life – taught me to multitask, stay organized, deliver above and beyond excellence
When did you know you wanted to work in this industry?
- When I was in advertising ; I found it too controlled; I needed more chaos in my life so hey, why not PR ?! In all seriousness, the challenge PR presented to change public opinion, to make a difference through CSR and to counsel business on sound, strategic communications practices drew me to the profession.
How are you a better leader today versus when you first came into the industry?
- Absolutely. I’ve learned patience, discipline, acceptance of different points of view and perspectives, and have learned from those around me who I greatly admire for their intelligence, leadership and sound judgement
What would you do differently if you could do it all over again?
- Stay in school longer
What’s your management style?
- Show me I can trust you, show me you can do a better job than I can – you may never see me again!
What problem do you solve?
- Pretty much all of them – every issue has a solution –I always say that if you can’t come through the door, come through a window, down the chimney or up through the floor boards – but don’t ever come to me with a problem without a list of potential solutions!
What is your super power?
- I believe people are drawn to me – the good, the bad and the ugly – it’s both a blessing and a curse!
Who is your nemesis?
- Certain people in my life that I was particularly close to that never thought I was good enough; but that was far outweighed by people in my life that told me I could do or be anything if I worked hard enough and wanted it badly enough!
What have you learned this year that will be game changing in the next year?
- Not anything new – but that life doesn’t always go as planned
How did you overcome a major an obstacle that stood in the way?
- By focusing, staying authentic, pushing through it
Do you have a theme song?
- Hotel California ?
What is the most challenging part of your role? What is your favorite part of what you do?
- Working alongside a powerful, dedicated team.
- We’re constantly making things better, faster, smarter. We leverage technology or improve processes. In other words, we strive to do more—with less.
Tell us about a recent project or problem that you made better?
- We react to client asks all the time, often at the 11th hour – we always manage to pull it together with the support of a great team and a great network of vendors, etc.
What is your finish line?
- I would love to teach, do more speaking engagements
If you woke up on a dessert island tomorrow, what are the first 3 things you would do?
- Build a shelter
- Catch a fish for dinner
- Sit on the sand with my feet in the water
What’s your favourite non-professional activity?
- My family