PRSA-NY values it’s members and strives to give each member the resources to succeed in their professional development and networking opportunities that truly enhance career paths. We reached out to our members and asked them about how they got started, what they love about the industry, and what makes PRSA-NY membership such a key investment. To learn about our incredible PRSA-NY members, click on the name below. If you would like to be featured, please email Wendy Steinberg at email@example.com.
This Week's Member Spotlight
Digital Marketing & Media Relations Officer, Y Communicate
PRSA-NY Member since 2018
How did you get into the PR industry?
My introduction to the PR industry came when I had my first paying job at the Times Square Alliance during my sophomore year in college. I worked in the Communications department as an assistant where I learned the basics of PR from tracking press clippings to updating media contact lists and updating a press and marketing calendar of events. One of the coolest things I got to do though was part of the company's all-staff team on one of the most iconic international celebrations; New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. Times Square Alliance along with Countdown Entertainment co-organize the event every year. Being able to contribute, learn, and participate from a PR standpoint on how to organize a massive worldwide event from conception to execution made me understand early on how PR plays a major role in how companies position themselves as a brand to sell services or products and build credibility among audiences. Through PR, companies spread their message through various media platforms and shape perceptions on how people think. Participating at NYE as well as other prominent Times Square events such as Broadway on Broadway, Taste of Times Square, and Summer Solstice made me realize my love and passion for public relations. Since then, I gained experience in internal, external, and corporate communications working alongside for-profits and nonprofits for the last ten years.
What is your favorite PR story?
I’m an avid baseball fan, so seeing one of my biggest passions mix with my profession excites me. On January 13th, Major League Baseball (MLB) announced the Houston Astros cheated during the 2017 (their championship year), 2018, and 2019 seasons in a major sign-stealing scandal. The team got punished and fined for their actions including the suspensions (and eventual firings) of their general manager, Jeff Luhnow and manager, AJ Hinch. Two other teams, the Boston Red Sox (who are also in an investigation for their sign-stealing scandal) and New York Mets fired their former managers Alex Cora and Carlos Beltran respectively for their involvement in the scandal during their time with the Astros in 2017. A month later, Astros owner Jim Crane along with current manager Dusty Baker and two players Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve did a news conference to address the scandal. Safe to say, the result was less than stellar. The actual press conference is a crisis communications lesson plan 101 on what NOT to do. It was awkward, contrived, insincere, facile, and unsatisfying. The participants’ apologies were fake and made contradictory statements on whether their sign-stealing format impacted the game on the field. Rather than show remorse and admit accountability for their actions, they stood firm on the cheating. Even the Astros PR team failed in preparing them much less get ahead of this since the news broke. The team’s reputation destroyed, and resentment is felt throughout the league and fans. As a baseball fan, I could not be any angrier, but as a PR person, this is a fascinating story to follow shining the spotlight on crisis communications.
What do you love about PR?
What I love about PR is storytelling. As a storyteller, I want to tell a story…your story. Whether it is an organization, a client, a position, or a mission, I can shape the narrative and transmit positive stories that can make an impact. A quote I will always remember from my PR mentor that rings true today “Perception is reality.” The way we perceive something is usually what we believe based on what we see, hear, and think. We are also witnessing the importance of brand reputation, identity, and image on company messaging. Authenticity matters more than ever and the way we inform the public truthfully is how we establish ourselves as credible experts. In a crisis, as long as we stay ahead of the curve and admit accountability, the damage is mitigated. Overall, storytelling is PR and as it continues to evolve, I will use this to cultivate relationships, influence, and frame public opinion.
Why is PRSA-NY membership so valuable?
Being associated with any industry affiliation is important. For me, PRSA-NY is a critical tool to meet and interact with all types of PR professionals to further expand my professional network. PRSA-NY gives me as well as other members plenty of leadership and professional development opportunities through conferences, webinars, events, certificate programs, and other resources to grow at every career stage. Finally, in an ever-changing communications landscape, PRSA-NY offers excellent resources to remain updated on current news and trends so I can assist my clients in the best way possible.
Anything else would you like to share?
One more thing – remember news is NEW!
Also, my official website is in the works!