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PRSA-NY Big Apple Awards: Emily Simmons
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Emily Simmons Talks About The Importance of Mentors in Public Relations

Emily Simmons, Vice President For Technology and Corporate Communications for Ketchum and a 2017 15 under 35 winner speaks with Doug Simon, CEO of D S Simon Media and President-Elect of PRSA-NY about the importance of mentoring relationships within the world of Public Relations.



DOUG SIMON:  Now honored to bring in Emily Simmons. She’s another 15 under 35 winner and she’s another of the young leaders who’s really changing and helping to shape the present of public relations as the vice president for technology and corporate communications for Ketchum. Thanks so much for being with us. Now, being a leader at an agency like Ketchum how does that inform you is how you can work with PRSA-NY both from a giving back perspective and also advancing your own career.

EMILY SIMMONS:  Yeah you know I’ve been involved with PRSA New York since before I graduated really I was involved with the Public Relations Student Society of America and then went on to become involved with PRSA New York. And it’s really helped me grow and my career in advance from you know every change along the way at Ketchum. We believe in giving back. It’s really important to be a part of the Greater New York community and how that conversation is being shaped and I think you know being a part of having the opportunity to be a part of it and championing that for Ketchum is beyond what I could imagine.

DOUG SIMON:  Ketchum under Barry’s leadership who really took the first step being a female leader of such a large communications group and it’s also great exciting news that Donna Imperato is taking another leadership role so hopefully there’s changing where there’s a balance with so many women who are in the PR communications industry now getting thrust into more leadership roles and with Sharon’s leadership are hoping to make that happen through the industry as a whole and then PRSA-NY. Any tips advice for people because obviously not only do you have 15 under 35 winner, but you do a lot of award winning work at Ketchum. Any advice for people thinking of entering.

EMILY SIMMONS:  Yeah you know I have very much valued all the mentors that I’ve met along the way and how this opportunity actually came about was through being mentored by Henry Feintuch which is you know I use I’ve worked for Feintuch Communication for several years and I very much value that experience. So my advice would be to keep in touch with your mentors and take networking seriously find those mentors seek them nurture those relationships and you know you’ll never know what they’ll bring.

DOUG SIMON:  Another thing a tip of advice that I like giving and something you know the ideas you think oh you’re more seasoned in the industry. Nice way of saying you’re older. You know you don’t just mentor, I’m mentored by my mentees if you will. The learning goes in both directions. And if it doesn’t you’re in a lot of trouble so I think it’s great that the organization is so open to that kind of sharing of ideas. And I think it’s great you know we’re seeing so many young people who are excelling in their career owning businesses getting involved. It’s really exciting to think that PRSA in New York is really become a youth driven organization even tonight the idea of social media streaming to 17 different sites of teaching events. This is the kind of future stuff that’s going on in the communications world. How do you see things changing to make PRSA even more relevant for the people in the community?

EMILY SIMMONS:  Yeah you know it’s it’s changing in our everyday life too and how we counsel our clients. I think more and more PRSA-NY will have to find a way to continue those one to one conversations whether it be in person at a networking event, at an educational event that we host, the award ceremonies or through social channels through videos live streams like tonight. I think that’s very important to maintain those relationships and stay relevant. Go to where the PR professionals are. Many of them are still sitting at their desks working late hours and I think it’s important to have that flexibility.

DOUG SIMON:  And it’s neat that our program committee under the leadership of David Rosen is really putting together a whole meet up style piece which will be showing up on the site shortly. But he’s dividing it into sectors that are people are like fintech. Yeah some of the new emerging areas creating meet-ups where some of the groups can get together with these specialized interests in fact the Big Apple awards includes five specific award types. Some of these programming meetup groups that have been established. Any final thoughts?

EMILY SIMMONS:  You know I think that it’s really great that there’s an organization like PRSA New York who is really championing being young talent in the industry and talent across the board. So I urge everyone to stay get involved stay involved again nurture those relationships with your mentors and you know give as much as you can because more as you’ve just learned more will come back at you.

DOUG SIMON:  Well we appreciate you leading the way and being involved and we talk to you for the whole time. We’re going to keep it going now.

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