True to her native Argentina, and her beloved Sigmund Freud, she understands and appreciates the psychology of strong PR. Just don't ask her for hiring advice. Meet Roxana Lissa, founder and president of RL Public Relations & Marketing.Describe the company you work for RL is a full-service firm that develops breakthrough PR/marketing programs for the Latino market, both in the US and Latin America. Formed in 1996, we are a 15-person office, based in Beverly Hills, CA, with offices in Mexico City, Buenos Aires, and soon, Houston and Miami.
What do you do? I focus on new business, but stay very involved in the strategic and creative development on all my accounts.
Tell us something embarrassing about your company Last week, when I was out of the office in Miami, all of my staff was locked in the office from the inside because of a problem with the door lock. The building management had to spring them loose.
How did you get into PR? I was drawn to PR by its intriguing mix of marketing and business. In my native Argentina, it's studied at the university level very much as a career, not just as a major. My bachelor's degree is in PR.
What is your greatest achievement? Coming to the US as a new bride, learning PR here, refining my English, and launching my own business five years later. Also, the fact that I can help support my family, who are still in Argentina.
What was your best stunt? We came up with a promotion to develop a home video contest for our client, the architect of the "Got Milk?" campaigns.
We asked California Hispanic teens to create and produce their own Got Milk? commercial. Saving bonds and video camcorders were offered as prizes. We promoted the contest at high schools and received hundreds of entries. Media coverage for the winning commercial, "Udder Letdown,
was outstanding in both general market and Hispanic outlets.
What was your biggest screw-up? I once put a newly hired administrative assistant in charge of driving the bus, cross-country, for a promotional media tour featuring a famous international chef. A few days into the trip, he called me from the Midwest and threatened to take off with the mobile home unless I paid him a ransom figure. Turns out he was also using the mobile home to relocate himself to the East Coast. I'm much more careful about hiring employees now.
What invention would make your job easier? A drive-through window at Starbucks.
Who would you most like to work with? Freud (I'm a true native Argentinian).
Psychology is very popular in Argentina.
How do you get a party going? Get to know a group of Italian men who love to cook. Invite them over, set them loose in the kitchen, open a few bottles of wine, and then invite your best friends to enjoy a great meal. Instant party!
If you were an animal, what would you be? A brightly colored bird, so that I could fly anywhere I want to at a moment's notice.