Barri Rafferty: PRWeek Hall of Femme 2016

Senior partner and CEO, North America, Ketchum

What would you do if you were not in PR?
My creative outlet is interior design. I truly enjoy picking every light fixture, paint color, and fabric myself. Furniture stores, galleries, and home sites stimulate new ideas. 

Talk about the last time you experienced a truly fist-pumping victory moment
This fall my daughter’s high school volleyball team won to advance to the state finals after being tenth-seeded in the state. My daughter sealed the opening game with an ace and concluded the match with a kill in the third game. I was so proud and excited for them.

When was the last time you endured a real "agony of defeat" moment, a total wipeout? What did you learn from it?
When David Drobis was our CEO, he coached me to be careful in agency life not to live each day by the highs and lows. We win and lose business and see talent come and go. Some hurt more than others, but we must focus on how to take the lessons learned from each and apply them to the next. 

How long ago was the last time you truly took the time to recharge your batteries? What did you do?
I am a big believer in recharging and never leave a vacation
day on the table. I recently went skiing with my family for four days in Park City, Utah. Being outdoors and active with friends and family is a great stress reliever for me. 

What is it about this industry that frustrates the hell out of you sometimes?
In an industry that is predominantly female through the mid-level ranks, the income inequity and gender disparity at leadership levels continues to be a frustrating issue. 

When have you seen PR or your organization really shine?
We have the ability to raise awareness and initiate change on topics from human trafficking to teen smoking to gender bias. There are so many feel-good programs in our profession.

Words to live by?
It is better to be trusted than to be liked. 

Favorite drink?
A French Bordeaux.

What would you tell your 20-year-old self?
Worry less, dance more, and take more risks. Also, take care of yourself physically and spiritually. By building resilience you are able to cover more ground personally and professionally.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say to you as you enter?
Your generosity made a difference

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