Durée Ross Of Durée & Company: “Go big or stay home!”

…Go big or stay home! Give everything 100% effort! I feel that change can happen at a very local level so while the initial effort may seem small, it must always be linked to the larger picture or goal. As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I […]

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…Go big or stay home! Give everything 100% effort! I feel that change can happen at a very local level so while the initial effort may seem small, it must always be linked to the larger picture or goal.


As a part of our series about women who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Durée Ross.

Durée Ross, who had the bold passion to launch her own public relations agency, Durée & Company, at the age of 24 in 1999, has since been setting the bar for excellence in public relations, serving the corporate, agency and nonprofit arenas for local, national and international clients. An award-winning entrepreneur, she has been nationally recognized for her ability to develop winning strategies and successfully deliver creative campaigns for clients. Leading a 10+ member team of PR and marketing professionals from various backgrounds, Durée fosters diversity and inclusion in every aspect of her business. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™, an international network of boutique PR firms. In addition, she was named one of 12 extraordinary women chosen for the Florida Women In Cannabis 2020 award by HIGHLIFE Magazine for her exemplary work in the cannabis space. Durée was also a winner of Ragan’s 2020 Top Women in Communications Visionary award. PR News’ 2016 Top Women in PR award, which honors influential women who are driving the agenda for the industry and in their companies.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

A fated internship with a PR firm at the age of 19 while attending University of Miami led me to the world of PR. I haven’t looked back since!

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

Recognizing opportunities in the marketplace and embarking on industries that others were afraid to touch has led me to become a disruptor. From the start, Durée & Company has set itself apart from the competition by offering clients proactive and strategic counsel. We don’t wait around for the news, we uncover opportunities to help tell clients’ stories. Prior to the Farm Bill passing in 2018, I took a leap and began representing clients in the cannabis industry. Per my relationships and research, I saw a need in the marketplace to represent clients in this space. Fast forward to today, the agency not only has a bustling cannabis practice, but we recently announced our NeuroWellness division because I see the same potential in psychedelics as I did in cannabis. It’s a testament to all emerging industries as we work with clients in the cryptocurrency space as well, for example. I love the challenge of figuring how to navigate the ever-changing rules and regulations associated with emerging industries. From a PR perspective, I’ve always had a clear vision of what success looks like for growing my company to expand to these practice areas.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I was so afraid that no one would do business with a 24-year-old, so I was insistent that our company logo colors had to be corporate and not offend anyone. Our corporate colors were green and blue, a far cry from our DNA. Eventually I learned that if my corporate colors that reflected my personality (pink and brown) offended someone and they couldn’t appreciate our branding, maybe they weren’t the kind of client that would appreciate the work we do.

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

I’ve been lucky to have many mentors, especially while I was still in college. They taught me everything about PR and helped groom me into the person I am today. I still keep in touch with all my mentors and what’s really cool is that I was able to work with them in the future where I was able to bring them into projects with me.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

I believe there will always be disruptors, but those who succeed do so with the right timing in the right circumstances. I think it’s possible to disrupt, but in a strategic, calculated way. In my business, there have been clients who have brought us with them into new ventures and industries, and I readily embarked on these opportunities because I always like a challenge that requires me to educate myself on new industries.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

My dad always told me, “If you are going to something, do it right or don’t do it at all.” I have used this advice in every aspect of growing my business. It requires patience, research and a lot of education, but the results are worth the journey.

Under promise and over deliver. I always err on the side of caution, and part of our job is to manage expectations so that clients are clear on the deliverables. I would rather come to a client with unexpected, positive news than to be in a position where I leave a client disappointed, frustrated or let down.

Go big or stay home! Give everything 100% effort! I feel that change can happen at a very local level so while the initial effort may seem small, it must always be linked to the larger picture or goal.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

I definitely think there is more to come as it relates to emerging industries, I think we’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg because the world is changing so quickly right now. Concepts and viewpoints that have been accepted for so long are now being reexamined. There is so much opportunity now, I don’t think I’ll ever be done shaking things up! I’ve always liked a challenge so I can’t wait to see what’s next! Stay tuned…

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by ‘women disruptors’ that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

I think women can easily be labeled as difficult and/or other unflattering descriptors that oftentimes men don’t face. I think a lot of women are just fighting for a place at the table, so to add on ‘disruptor’ to that can be a lot for any person to carry.

Do you have a book/podcast/talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us?

I enjoyed the book, “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F-ck” I oftentimes take things too seriously, maybe that’s the Virgo in me, and this book made me look at things a little lighter.

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. 🙂

I have always said this, but it’s just as significant now as when I first started my business: give to give, don’t give to receive. Give and don’t expect anything in return. Give because you know it’s for the greater good and that selfless acts can impact the community, big or small. Give because the world simply cannot move forward without those who are committed to doing the right thing.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Durée & Company’s motto is that you only have one chance to make an indelible impression. PR is 100% about impressions, and in this fast-paced, competitive world, you really only get that once chance. Everything after that is just reputation management. Life is not a dress rehearsal, but rather a series of moments in which perceptions prevail.

How can our readers follow you online?

Let’s connect! @dureeross on IG, twitter, LinkedIn and also @dureecopr on IG, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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