Habits: Jon Harris, global comms SVP, Sara Lee

Jon Harris talks to 'PRWeek' about his first PR job, proudest career achievement, and most regrettable career moment.

Morning ritual
I usually start my morning around 5:30am with a quick workout. I move into dad and husband mode at about 6:30am and help my wife get our kids out of bed and ready for school. Quick breakfast and then I am in the office around 8am.

Required reading (print, blogs, etc.)
Start every day with The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune – online and offline. I also read political, entertainment, and industry trade magazines, as well as blogs. I also get my daily dose of celebrity news from perezhilton.com and tmz.com. This is a must for me to stay up to date on the news everyone will be talking about in the office.

First PR job
Internship at WXRK-FM in New York in 1989. I was interning for the station that featured the infamous Howard Stern Show and it was incredibly rewarding. So much so, that almost 20 years later, I'm still friends with the folks I met there.

Proudest career achievement
Building and retaining very long-lasting friendships with peers and media contacts. I am also very proud of my work at The University of Chicago teaching media relations.
Most regrettable career moment
Not taking a friend up on her offer to sit in on her interview with Bruce Springsteen for CNN. Had the same opportunity with Paul McCartney, but it was the same day my youngest daughter was born. I have never regretted that... not even for Paul McCartney.

Favorite city to travel to for business
London. I love the music, restaurants, pubs, bars, shopping, attractions, parks, and people. New York is also right up there, as it is my original hometown.

Best career advice you've ever given
A good leader is tough, but fair and never mean. You are your reputation. Never go against your beliefs, ethics, or morals. Trust is something that is easy to lose and almost impossible to gain back.

Most distinct aspect of your personal office
My guitar and memorabilia, everything from an autographed Frank Sinatra poster to an Elvis bust to an exact replica of Barbara Eden's 1964 Jeannie bottle from I Dream of Jeannie, which many threaten to steal.

I am very lucky to have a few mentors that include Brenda Barnes, Sara Lee CEO, and my father-in-law Rick Sharfman.

Ideal job, if you didn't work in PR
TV personality, musician, or pro wrestling commentator.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in

Recommended for you

Recommended for you

Explore further