“The Days Of Little Black Books Are Over! Share Contacts, Networks And Name Drop As Much As Possible”

9 Leadership Lessons With PR Pro Lori Jung

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9 Leadership Lessons With PR Pro Lori Jung

The days of little black books are over! We believe in sharing contacts, networks and name dropping as much as possible. Be generous with the favors you do and your rewards multiply. Also, become great friends with your clients, if you aren’t already — you’ll want to do more for them if you know them on a personal basis. In the end good people always end up helping good people in return. I just heard the phrase, “cool knows cool” and I’m making it my new networking motto.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lori Jung, Brand Architect. Lori is the Co-founder of Hudson West Public Relations and Marketing. They are Consumer and Entertainment publicists at heart and the PR hired guns behind some of the biggest lifestyle PR campaigns coast to coast.

Thank you so much for your time. I know that you are a very busy person. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I am one half of Hudson West, an elite entertainment and lifestyle branding firm. Together with my business partner Jen Rogers, we deliver decades of industry capability. We design and execute effective targeted national and local publicity, marketing, social media and branding campaigns for our exclusive clientele. Operating solely on reputation-based referrals for over six years, our dynamic duo is a well-oiled marketing machine. We bring brands to life and are often the hidden force behind major publicity campaigns run by top tier firms. We are often referred to as “the cavalry” that is brought in to get that big placement, feature, segment or article that an Agency of Record needs help securing.

How did you get involved in the PR industry?

After graduating from The State University of New York at Oswego as a Public Relations Major, I landed an entry level position as an executive assistant to the CEO of a top broadcast PR firm in New York City. This was in the heyday of Satellite Media Tours and Video News Releases. At age 22 it was thrilling to have people like Cal Ripken and Tom Selleck shooting in your office. I was hooked and that CEO became my mentor. I honed my PR skills as an Account Director at a boutique consumer product firm for 7 years, expanding my relationships with lifestyle editors and writers across the nation. The catalyst for my life as a publicist came when I met my now business partner Jen, 6 years ago in Scottsdale, AZ. We had never met before yet we knew many of the same media contacts; it was clear to see she was my parallel in the PR entertainment world. Once we combined forces Hudson West became a PR powerhouse and together we were able to raise everything from restaurants and authors, to TV shows and consumer products into the limelight.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

One time a humongous moose interrupted a live interview via satellite from Yosemite National Park by walking straight in front of the camera and stopping there for 3 minutes. That or I another time I instructed an intern to personally hand over 30lbs of raw lamb racks, one at a time, to Chef Curtis Stone to cook on set, only to learn afterwards the intern was a strict vegetarian afterwards. The poor thing was visibly shaken up! On the topic of interns, two weeks into working on a PR campaign for Swingline (the world’s leading stapler manufacturer), we had an intern ask us “what exactly is a stapler?”

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Our 20 years of PR industry work often open doors to projects directing or tag teaming alongside of PR giants and top tier firms — and those are always so much fun. Right now we are working with THE biggest comic brand in the world and a consumer awareness initiative for the nation’s next super fruit! . Celebrity driven campaigns are super exciting and often come with large marketing budgets. Those types of campaigns hold so much potential (and fast approvals) to execute out-of-the-box strategies and ideas and we LOVE IT. We also love our smaller clients. As entrepreneurs ourselves, it’s really rewarding to help launch a local small business. I must mention the caveat that we never ever take on a project we aren’t completely passionate about. As a publicist, if you don’t personally believe that your client is an industry game-changer, you don’t have the conviction to convince an editor, reporter, producer, or influencer that they are an industry disrupter either.

What are you most proud of?

Our pro-bono work, hands down. We’ve donated our time working with a nationwide ALS fundraising organization, raised awareness for an entire religion in the Phoenix area when collaborating with the National Sikh Campaign, and helped spread the message of global kindness with the United States Ambassador for the Pay it Forward movement.

I know your job is not easy. What drives you?

My husband of almost ten years is my rock. He is the hardest worker I know and supports me endlessly. My kids are my biggest inspiration; I want to make the world a better place for them. My number one cheerleader though is my “Superwoman” Jen who is Hudson West’s “better half.” Jen is the most dedicated and organized person I have ever met. We celebrate each small victory and figure out a solution to every stumbling block together. She is the reason to my rhyme and the ignition behind Hudson West’s bright burning flame.

Based on your personal experience, what advice would you give to young people considering a career in PR?

PR is phenomenal! In the ever-changing industry, PR professionals work with a combination of earned media, paid media, social media, shared media, and master the art of media relations. I personally can’t think of a cooler career choice.

It’s a very exciting time to be in Public Relations. One of our favorite things to do is a product, TV show or book launch. It’s thrilling to nurture a launch campaign and watch it blast off into success through our efforts. Now we can measure our brand awareness initiatives through e-commerce sales, traditional press coverage, and even influencers and social media likes and engagement. When I started in PR everything was separated and immeasurable. I would pitch a client for magazine coverage in July in hopes for a successful 4th quarter sales outcome. Now there are so many exciting PR tactics that target customer audiences with varying lead times and demographics. Figuring out the plan of attack one of the most rewarding parts of PR. My advice, enjoy the game plan as much as the roll-out!

You are known as a master networker. Can you share some tips on great networking?

As a publicist networking with the media is paramount. It’s imperative to learn all about the type of various articles, shows, or content being produced before pitching the press a story or segment. Once we gain an understanding, we develop a rapport, and we compartmentalize that outlet and go back again and again with the next relevant news hook we come across. Hudson West maintains our media relationships by bringing the press fresh ideas from our family, friends, associates, vendors, colleagues, and old and new clients alike.

The days of little black books are over! We believe in sharing contacts, networks and name dropping as much as possible. Be generous with the favors you do and your rewards multiply. Also, become great friends with your clients, if you aren’t already — you’ll want to do more for them if you know them on a personal basis. In the end good people always end up helping good people in return. I just heard the phrase, “cool knows cool” and I’m making it my new networking motto.

Which skills do you think are most important to becoming a successful PR professional?

Drive and determination. Don’t give up or walk away without a hard pass on a story- until then it’s still a possibility. It’s important to have a thick skin and not take rejection personally. Accept the pass, move on and return with a story angle that is a better fit in the future. Even after a pass we’ve had editors and producers contact us with a timely news angle two years post working on a project. Also, passion. There’s mini victories all day long in the world of public relations. We try to celebrate each one as they happen with a big smile, a “ding-ding” on our victory bell, and a pat-on-the-back for all involved. Big victories deserve champagne!

You are in a position of influence. How have you used your position and skill to bring goodness to the world?

All of Hudson West’s pro-bono efforts helped prepare me to rise to the occasion when tragedy struck my family personally. This past summer, my brother-in-law was in a diving accident and broke his neck, paralyzing him from the waist down. I took a month off of work and ran a fundraising campaign and benefit concert resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars raised towards his rehab and recovery. Nothing helps reinforce the true magnitude of public relations more than experiencing the reception of your efforts together with the people who mean the most in your life.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

1) Allow yourself room to be a beginner. No one starts off excellent. Getting a job as an “assistant” means you will “assist” with everything from booking hotels to picking up personal dry cleaning. It’s also an easy opportunity to prove how reliable and resourceful you can be.

Accept each challenge with gusto.

2) When it comes to PR everything can be a challenge, approach the situation with passion and the solution will reveal itself.

3) Hone your skills and lean on the expertise and strength of others. Those who try to be good at everything end up being mediocre at everything. Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.

4)If you don’t like something change it and if you can’t change it, then change your attitude. Public Relations can be extremely frustrating and venting is bound to happen but complaining is finding faults, wisdom is finding solutions.

5) THERE IS NO GRACEFUL WAY TO GET ON A POOL FLOAT. There are endless media opportunities out there so do not hesitate to hit send on an email or pick up the phone to call a reporter. If you don’t make the jump, you can’t enjoy the ride.

This was really meaningful! Thank you so much for your time.

If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series In Huffpost, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.

Originally published at medium.com

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