Member Spotlight with Maria Morales
Monday, October 12, 2020
Posted by: Renee Wolf
Personal Publicist with “Chi Chi” Rodríguez Management Group as his Personal Publicist and PR consultant with other clients.
PRSA-NY Member since 2019
LinkedIn: Maria Morales
How did you get into PR?
My first job out of college was in Finance. I made this decision although I had majored in Marketing, hoping to start a career in Advertising. I had gotten myself miserably sidetracked.
Around that time, I met a woman who later became my mentor. She was a VP at a boutique PR firm, and her job sounded fascinating.
A few months passed when an entry-level position at her company became available. She asked if I'd be interested even though I'd have to start from the ground up. I seized the opportunity and never looked back.
What is your favorite PR experience?
For over a decade, I have had the pleasure of working with World Golf Hall of Fame member “Chi Chi” Rodriguez, whose career spanned from the 1960s to the 1990s. Throughout this time, I have witnessed the positive impact he has on his fans, but I am frequently amazed to see the lasting impression he has made on the lives of his fans’ children. It is not uncommon for these “children,” whose ages range from 30 to 60, to approach me and fondly whisper, “He was my Dad's/Mom's favorite!”
Once, in a hotel lobby in Clearwater, Florida, as “Chi Chi” was entertaining friends, I observed a handsome young man staring at the group as he wheeled his suitcase to check out. He left, but quickly returned and crooked his finger at me.
Visibly shaking, his voice cracked as he asked, "Is that “Chi Chi” Rodriguez?" "Yes," I replied, "Would you like to have your picture taken with him?" His eyes widened, and he said, "Yes, please!"
Then he told me his story.
When he was a little boy, his father could not afford to take him to the hometown golf tournament where “Chi Chi” played every year. So, every year they would sit on the other side of the fence hoping to catch a glimpse of him at play. Gazing at the picture teary-eyed he said, "I can't wait to show this to my Dad!"
What do you love about PR?
I love connecting with people and connecting them to each other. There are so many opportunities to make an impact both professionally and personally. The flow of ideas and working with others benefits me, my clients, and my work as a volunteer fundraiser for the Maestro Cares Foundation.
Why is PRSA-NY membership so valuable?
I enjoy the camaraderie and the sense of working toward a common goal. And as New York is the Capital of the World, what better place is there to share new, innovative ideas?
While living through our new normal, I have found the Cocktail Hour with the “Bonche Trankao” entertaining and a great way to stay connected.
The New York Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America is one of the oldest, largest, and most prominent public relations chapters in the country. Located in the media capital of the world, it offers top-level professional development,
networking, mentoring, and awards. PRSA-NY serves communications professionals in agencies, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and government, as well as independent practitioners.