I got my start in PR, no doubt, when I was a staff writer at Good Housekeeping Magazine. Not because like most journalists I used to try and duck PR people, or at least the ones who didn't know what they were doing. But because I was taught early on how to focus on giving consumers useful, engaging and even entertaining information to help them better their lives.
My focus was on family health and finances, along with kids, entertainment and trends, which is pretty much everything I've focused on in consumer PR ever since. Plus, a few spirits accounts! Now that I've been practicing consumer PR for more than two decades I've been lucky enough to work on major programs in virtually every consumer sector for clients including Apple, Microsoft, P&G (Tide, Vicks, Crest), Absolut, Bacardi, Hyundai, Kraft Foods, Liz Claiborne, Toys R Us, Citibank, Netflix and many others.
I love the general know how and collaborative spirit at Finn Partners; it's probably one of the thing I enjoy the most about my job as the head of our consumer group. Before working here I was general Manager of DeVries Public Relations and global consumer practice head at Edelman Worldwide.
I've been asked what area or product category I like the most. I do like food and beverage—so much so I even got a chef's degree from the French Culinary Institute. But I really don't have a favorite. It probably goes back to my magazine days. There's a story in just about everything and telling it well is really what counts.