Habits: Annie Howell, EVP, corporate comms and media relations, Crown Media

Let the unimportant, insignificant things that happen during your day roll off your back and focus on the things that truly matter.

Morning ritual
I read emails and Google alerts on my smartphones before my feet even touch the floor – CableFax, Cynopsis, and blogs. I immediately exercise as many mornings as I can, other-wise it won't happen at all. Then I scan the newspapers, read Twitter and Facebook and I am off and running.

Required reading
The usual: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York Post, and The Washington Post. I can't miss an issue of People or The Hollywood Reporter. I adore The Week and Vanity Fair, Twitter, and Facebook.
And truth be told, a daily blog on parenting teens. I'm also a Pinterest junkie, but that's not exactly reading.

Best career advice
“Be a duck!” Meaning, let the unimportant, insignificant things that happen during your day roll off your back and focus on the things that truly matter. Quack quack.

Most regrettable career moment
I don't have any regrets, a number of epic embarrassments, but no regrets.

Most distinct aspect of your personal office
Family photos and a row of fantastic, whimsical paintings of dogs.

Proudest career achievement
I love seeing people who I hired or managed go on to have great careers and success in their own right. It makes me very, very happy.

Person to call in a crisis
I have a fantastic network of smart, generous peers, colleagues, and many mentors and I use it.

Most of the time, though, I call my husband Brad, who is wise. He always seems to have the right answer, has great instincts, and tells me the truth.

What was your first job in the PR industry?

I started at the very bottom of the totem pole when I got a job with Ogilvy & Mather in Washington, DC.

What's your ideal job, if not in PR?

Dog whisperer.

Favorite city to travel to on business
I adore Chicago and Seattle and love visiting my hometown, Toronto.

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