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
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
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
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
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!