Archive | April, 2012

My Interview With A P.R. Superstar!

15 Apr

Walking into the small Kelly Green painted office, filled with magazines and papers, you can barely even find the PR super star that works inside.

Annie Scully has been in the Public Relations game for longer than I have even been alive and with experience like that, its no surprise she owns and operates her own successful business.

As communications graduate of Scranton University (and yes, she will chant “There ain’t no party like a Scranton party, cause a Scranton party don’t stop” on cue) Annie was always attracted to the public relations field.

After working for a few different companies, Annie was able to starts her own business in 1997. PRaxis Marketing (clever, right?) is a public relations advising company owned and fully operated by Annie herself.

Annie classifies her title as a client partner, whose job it is to provide public relations and marketing services primarily in the trade show and conference industry.

Trade shows are events where specific industries have companies showcase products or services to the press and industry representatives. A conference is similar to a trade show but on a much smaller scale.

A typical workday for Annie involves coffee, she jokes. After fulfilling her caffeine needs, she is able to get down to business.

To her advantage, working from home allows her to save the time of having to get dressed and she can stay in her pajamas until life calls her to leave her office and society dictates she wear more appropriate attire in the outside world.

After making it into the officer, a.k.a. a walk down her hallway, Annie goes through her daily agenda. Annie describe her day to day work as:

“Checking news to stay on top of what is going on in the world, some writing like press releases or articles, checking social medias, seeing if there is any new buzz in my industries, checking blogs, seeing what’s going on in industry, peruse target medias to see what they are writing about, do searches about the companies and brands, a conference call or meeting with company to get updates or new projects,  and how we’re going to make it a success.”

All in a days work for this P.R. expert it seems.

As Annie further described her daily schedule, she said that not having enough hours in the day is typically her biggest issue.

She had said “There is always something you can do to influence someone, there are so many different ways to do it and just not enough time to get to them all.” I now see where the importance of coffee comes into place.

Public Relations is happening around the clock. Social media is always being updated through multiple channels. Annie told me how the industry has changed so much since she started.

“The Internet opened up a whole new method of PR and message communication.” Most of her day is spend trying to keep up with all the different social medias.

A good portion of her work is through emails, press releases and news articles but one of Annie’s favorite parts of the job is actually meeting the people she writes to.

“Meeting the clients and press you’ve been communicating with is always fun. You help them get their jobs done at the shows, point them in the right directions and getting to form a face to face relationship with them is always my favorite part.”

If you ask Annie what she thinks is her greatest accomplishment, she will tell you its her 13-year-old daughter Amanda, which is one of the main reasons she choose to start her own company and work from home.

Besides her lovely daughter, who if you ask, has absolutely no clue what her mother does besides stare at her computer, Annie has quite the resume.

Her writing has been featured on the popular celebrity tabloid blog Perez Hilton, she had a two-page spread in the New York Times, front-page coverage in U.S.A. Today and a piece featured on the Today Show. Not too shabby.

The hard work pays off for Annie when she gets to travel to shows, meet interesting people, go to events and sometimes even free stuff. But it was a long road to get to where she has come to now.

Annie advices that college graduates looking to get into the public relations field need to intern. She told me “learning to write is the most important skill you can have and learning to love to write is even better.”It’s also important to work hard.

She said you have to do the dirty work to get the pay offs in the end. She describes the PR industry as “Not always fabulous but when you work hard, you can achieve success.”