To say that things are changing rapidly is an understatement. Everyday, various catalysts change the way people view their surroundings, react to things, and live their lives. Driven mainly by easy access to information, especially those on social media, the fast-paced transformation that our world is going through has given rise to a new kind of idealism—one that is less impressed by mindless fare, and more focused on true purpose.
This is something that Founder and CEO of Publicity For Good and Press Demand, Heather DeSantis, was quick to recognize years ago. Armed with the knowledge she got from attending Georgetown University’s Institute of Philanthropy and Voluntary Service (IPVS), the Forbes 30 Under 30 Nominee saw the transformation that was happening as an opportunity to create a venture that would allow her to work on the two things she’s most passionate about: public relations and creating positive impact.
“I am obsessed with public relations. I’ve always known that it’s one thing I want to pursue. PR is a very powerful tool that has the ability to influence beliefs and alter lifestyles. When I started this venture, I had a very clear vision—I wanted to be someone who cuts through the clutter by providing not just innovative solutions, but by championing positive change that will benefit not just the clients we work with but their stakeholders as well,” shares DeSantis.
What started out as a small venture quickly grew to a boutique agency that services food and beverage companies, as well as wellness influencers. DeSantis’ vision of a purpose-driven agency quickly caught on. With almost 600 media mentions to date, this girl boss’ is proving that she is a force to be reckoned with, and the results of her every campaign speak for themselves.
“Anyone who’s had a hand at any marketing initiative would know that purchases and other everyday decisions are heavily influenced by emotions. At a time when people demand so much transparency from brands, the way to ensure success is by living a purpose,” says DeSantis. “We don’t offer services that push for their brands or products or their person. These days, the only way to really get an unfair share of attention and be able to recruit people to your belief system is by highlighting the best and most important part of your business, and that is your purpose.”
She adds, “Understanding your purpose will help you better tailor every aspect of your business so that each one is more effective. We are very fortunate to be working with clients whose purposes go beyond making profits. I wake up each day inspired to provide them with guidance, secure interviews, and get them news releases that further the public’s knowledge of what they’re all about.”
Life on the Road
Seeing how she launches back to back strategic campaigns and secures interviews with some of the biggest media outlets in the country, it’s easy to think that the former Miss Ohio International’s base of operation would be at a chic office in a high-rise building. But that can’t be farther from the truth. Currently, DeSantis’ runs from inside a 23-foot Airstream that travels across the United States.
“We are traveling across 48 states because my fiancé and I are on a mission to find the perfect piece of land that we can turn into a farm before our wedding in December. That said, I am very fortunate—and immensely grateful—to be able to continue doing what I love while on the road. Our Airstream is both our home and our office, and the best thing about it is it allows us to see and better appreciate the beauty of this country.”
The young CEO’s nomadic lifestyle also opens up a wealth of opportunities for her company.
“Everyday I get to meet people from all over the country and it broadens my understanding of what drives them to do what they do. Whatever knowledge I get from them, I get to use in my practice as well. Also, among the people I meet are business owners and individuals who are looking for guidance as to how they can promote their movement or their company’s purpose. In a way, you can also say that I am able to bring Publicity For Good and Press Demand’s solutions closer to them.”
DeSantis says the key to successfully running a company while on the road is specific goal setting and constant communication. She sets achievable goals for herself and her team on a daily basis, and they all work together to achieve them. Transparency and understanding for each individual’s unique personality and capability also plays a vital role.
“You manage your team in such a way that you provide just enough guidance without preventing them from being who they are. We all work differently and communicate differently and it’s important to understand these things to create an environment where everyone can thrive.”
On Sharing Her Learnings
In addition to running her own award-winning agency (O’Dweyr’s Best PR Firm for CPG Brands 2019 and Bulldog Awards’ Small Agency of the Year 2019), DeSantis also continues to work on her other passions. As a trailblazing marketer and businesswoman, many media outlets regularly approach her to share her opinions and the things she’s learned. She actively contributes for publications like Thrive Global, Harness Magazine, and Bezinga, among many others.
Primarily, she uses her writing prowess to help people better understand public relations and social impact, and to promote positive stories as well as food, beverage, and beauty brands that are making a difference in the lives of people.
“When I started out, I would get around 35 media opportunities on behalf of my clients per week. Since then, it has grown so much. Presently, I’ve secured more than 10,000, and the amount of knowledge one gains from doing this is something I’m always excited to talk about. I find that one of the best ways I can help others, even those in very far places, is by imparting them with knowledge and sharing with everyone useful information that’s communicated in a very encouraging manner.”
There is no doubt that DeSantis has stumbled upon a perfect recipe for success. Her passion, business acumen, and the results she’s provided her clients are worthy of appreciation. Everyone can agree that the young CEO is poised for greater success and we can’t wait to see her grow and make bigger impact in the lives of people.