Leadership Lessons With Andrea Pass
Put aside your fears and dive in the deep end. Have your employees listen to you on the telephone so that those employees will learn how to use the telephone and to effectively communicate verbally. Have employees read documents out loud to make sure wording is correct and to learn the subject. Allow employees to attend in-person and online seminars to further educate themselves. Ask your employees for their thoughts and insights — you will benefit from differing views on the same subject.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea Pass, the CEO/Owner of Andrea Pass Public Relations (www.AndreaPassPR.com). The 30+ year PR veteran has an expertise in national, regional and local media relations outreach for clients in such categories as consumer products, lifestyle, B2B, education, authors, non-profits and more. Her strength in relationships coupled with her knowledge of the ever-growing media base results in securing top tier, targeted media placements to increase brand awareness, reputation management and sales for established businesses and growing entrepreneurs alike.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us about your journey to becoming CEO?
I have worked for entrepreneurs in the public relations field for a bulk of my career. While always giving 200% to those agencies and clients, I never had my name on the door. I created Andrea Pass Public Relations to provide personalized service to clients while focusing only on what I want to work on and who I want to work with. I can create and implement effective media relations campaigns and not get bogged down with elements of another agency’s needs such as writing report after report and sitting on call after call.
What is your definition of success?
Success is being happy at what you do and having others pleased with the work that you provide. Success isn’t about dollars or number of clients. It’s about relationships.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I’m most excited about the clients that I worked with 5, 10 and 20 years ago contacting me to work on their accounts again. What’s interesting (and, maybe, it should be) is that they still have fond, positive memories of the work I achieved on their behalf. Even all of these years later, they have confidence that I am going to get the job done and provide the results they expect.
What failures have you had along the way? How have they led you to success?
While not necessarily a failure, but a challenge — — entrepreneurs do not want to spend the funds necessary to create and implement an effective public relations campaign. Some want to pay a minimal amount. I cannot accept these accounts as they don’t fit into my business model. However, I make sure to stay in touch with these businesses since “you never know what the future might bring.”
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Andrea Pass Public Relations stands out because I do what I say that I’m going to do. In media relations outreach, I pick up the phone. I began working with a new client on a Monday morning and found out that the client had a major announcement taking place that Friday. I jumped into action and immediately began press outreach. I picked up the telephone. That resulted in national television coverage for the client related to the announcement as well as upcoming national television coverage focusing on the general story about the client. I stand out because I am a “P.I. in P.R.”
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?
I’m thrilled to be able to represent a variety of clients. While one client works to clean the
oceans and waterways of plastic and trash by selling bracelets made of recycled plastic and employing fishermen and crews to pull garbage another client is the top female seller of private business aviation.
Is your company working to be more sustainable? If so, how?
The future of our environment is key. My company recycles everything possible including all paper, cardboard, plastic and glass. Whenever possible, items are emailed rather than printed.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
My advice is to put aside your fears and dive in the deep end. Have your employees listen to you on the telephone so that those employees will learn how to use the telephone and to effectively communicate verbally. Have employees read documents out loud to make sure wording is correct and to learn the subject. Allow employees to attend in-person and online seminars to further educate themselves. Ask your employees for their thoughts and insights — you will benefit from differing views on the same subject.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My first boss in public relations was the Media Relations Director for the CBS Radio Division. She gave me the opportunity to write press materials and to get on the telephones and pitch the press. When I entered the public relations agency world, John Rosica, then-owner of Rosica Public Relations, gave me the background to thrive and the freedom to succeed.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?’
I frequently volunteer my public relations expertise for non-profit organizations. By helping those groups increase awareness and raise funds, they stay relevant in today’s crowded non-profit landscape.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
a. That, while scary at first, starting my own business would be the most rewarding experience that I could have asked for. Andy Latimer, President of Bluewater Media, and Tim Pearson, President of TP & Associates, have been colleagues for years. They sat me down and told me that, due to my experience in the PR field, that it was time to take the leap and go into business for myself. Many other contacts echoed that sentiment, so I finally knew that I could succeed on my own.
b. There are many accounting/financial/legal aspects of starting a business. Luckily, I have a wonderful support system that has helped me navigate these waters.
c. You need to spend money to make money. I certainly knew this all along. I have purchased the necessary databases, newsletters and more to be able to grow as a business and service my clients.
d. If you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life. Actually, my long-term client, AJ Khubani, CEO/Founder of BulbHead.com, always said this about himself and his business. Now, as the owner of Andrea Pass Public Relations, I know this to be true. I love what I do.
e. Ongoing networking is vital to business success. Again, while I always knew the value of networking, actually researching networking opportunities and physically attending networking events has been truly rewarding. I am meeting amazing businesspeople and learning greatly from their knowledge. I recently attending a Leading Women Entrepreneurs Master Class in which experts highlighting legal, marketing and mental insights for business.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Protect our environment. If your office does not offer recycling, take the recycling with you to a recycling center. If you are out and about and there is trash on the beach, for example, pick up that trash and throw it out or recycle as appropriate. Use reusable cloth bags when you shop. Use reusable water bottles. Donate clothing, toys, furniture and other items that you no longer use to those who would benefit from them.
Register to vote! It is your obligation and your right. Our country needs leaders who have been elected by all of the people to serve the people. Midterm elections are as important as Presidential elections. Take the time to vote!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
My daughter always says, “You were born and original. Don’t die a copy.” This is true in my life as well. I don’t follow — — I lead. I stand true to who I am and I don’t apologize if my thoughts or ways of doing things might be different than others. I get the job done and succeed for both my clients and myself.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂
In college, I dreamed that I would become the next Dan Rather. I even got my first job post-college at CBS. I eventually interviewed to be one of Dan Rather’s assistants, but that was when I realized that public relations was the field for me. Dan Rather stands up for what he believes. He tells it like it is. He continues to report on the news but hasn’t compromised who he when doing so. He loves what he does and hasn’t stopped being a reporter/commentator all of the years later.
Arianna Huffington demonstrates the best world of work-life balance. She is an entrepreneur, innovator, expert, author and, most importantly, a mother. The fact that she stresses the importance of sleep and naps, demonstrates how she “gets it.” I’m impressed by all that she has achieved and continues to achieve. She does not stop at one venture — she rolls out new companies and grows.
Originally published at medium.com