Welcome Season 4 of our series This Is How I Get It DONE, where we take a moment to interview members of the PR In Canada & Profectio community members to find out more about the person behind the desk, how they got their start, their current role (and everything in between). For our four episode of Season 4 we talked to Deirdre Campbell, Managing Director North America, Beattie Tartan [TCO].
Advisor, strategist, crisis communicator, radical optimist and cheerleader but my nickname is “the Connector” – as Managing Director North America, Beattie Tartan [TCO].
One word to describe:
Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.
Journalism degree from Ryerson led me to a career in public relations and I also dabbled in sales. A move to the west coast had me staying with family friends and the regional VP for Canadian Pacific Hotels. Michael Lambert got me a job as a PR coordinator at the Waterfront Centre Hotel in Vancouver and my introduction ( and passion) for the tourism and hospitality industry was launched. I was moved to the Empress Hotel in Victoria BC where I stayed for 8 years as PR director. I branched out into agency work, got my MBA and launched Tartan in 2001. We merged with the UK’s Beattie Group in 2017 which provided the expertise and funding to build a team across Canada.
What is a typical work day like for you?
There is no such thing as a typical day in PR, but I have learned that being an early riser has its benefits. I am up at 4:45 a.m. to walk the dogs and hit the gym and this also enables me to check in with the UK before they head home as well as with our TO office as their day kicks in. We have regular morning team ‘huddles’ and then we communicate – with our clients. Lots of meetings, even more done virtually – and I try not to book lunches so I can take a bit of a breather. Home by 7 p.m. and in bed too early and embarrassed to say – but friends know not to try and call me after 8:30 p.m. What I love? Strategizing. What drags me down? Negative people who can’t see a silver lining.
What was a moment in your career that really helped define how you work today?
While attending Ryerson I had an English professor who took me under his wing and recommended I go into journalism. He taught me how important it is to seek out mentors and coaches, while surrounding myself with people who challenge me. I have always welcomed mentors into my life and that is how I was introduced to Gordon Beattie at the Beattie Group. I am also an avid mentor and constantly seek out people smarter than me to build my team.
How do you balance family-work?
Ha, ha, ha, ha.. But seriously, friendships are so important to me – so I try and make time to see my close friends regularly. I go on long dog walks with them and because I am constantly surrounded by amazing people – I make sure I have alone time during the weekends to recharge.
9-5 is LONG gone, what is one shortcut or life hack that works for you?
I love the saying : There they go and I must follow for I am their leader. I have learned how to allow my team to take a project and run with it vs trying to micro manage. This has saved my sanity and they often do it far better than I would have on my own. Team work is critical to getting things done and in our culture asking for help is seen as a sign of great strength!