QUESTIONS & ANSWERS: She dances around her bedroom singing into ahairbrush, although, inexplicably, she hates tequila. Meet Stacy Smith,Saratoga Springs' very own Web performance space expert

Describe the company you work for. Collaborative Communications is

based in Cambridge, MA, though I now work out of a home office in

Saratoga Springs, in upstate NY. Collaborative is a marketing services

firm specializing in hi-tech and Internet-related businesses. Our motto

is 'PR with a brain.'



What do you do there? I'm a senior account executive. I run an account

team and focus on two accounts that are both in the Web performance

space.



How do you make a difference? My role is to be a teacher and mentor both

to my team and to others at the agency. I work with my teams one-on-one

as much as possible and try to share with them all my experiences, good

and bad.



How did you get into PR? In 1997 I was looking to make a job change (I

was working in the financial world and had a marketing background) and

started reading about tech companies in the Boston area. Collaborative

was a perfect fit because my job incorporated marketing-related projects

and working on PR campaigns that supported my clients' marketing

efforts.



What would you do if you didn't do what you do? Easy: I'd be a rock

star. Unfortunately, you actually need to have certain skills, like not

cracking windows when you sing. My sister Deborah is actually living

that dream of mine. Apparently she got all the artistic talent in the

Smith family. She recently put her first CD out, and I spend a lot of

time working with her to help market and publicize her music.



What would you like to change about the PR industry? Encourage less

mediocrity and more sharing of knowledge across the industry. And

vitally, I'd love to ask people to do their homework before calling the

press, which would help stop the PR industry from getting a bad name.

Just the simple things, like know your client, their products, and at

the very least investigate what the reporter's beats are before you call

them.



Who or what do you hate most? In no particular order: any type of

mushroom, any type of tequila, hypocritical people.



With which historical figure do you identify? Katherine Graham, the

publisher of The Washington Post, who piloted the paper through the

Watergate scandal. She totally rocked the publishing/newspaper world and

made a huge statement for a woman's ability to have a high position in

the business world at a time when there really weren't any female role

models in business. She really placed a huge stake in the women's labor

movement, whether she realized it or not at the time. I recently talked

to a reporter at the Post and he said she is rather frail now but she

still makes appearances in the newsroom from time to time!



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