Spotlight: Dallas

Gabriela Bucio-Andersson, comms director at AT&T, says the growth of the tech market in Dallas is a major attraction for young PR pros.

Spotlight: Dallas

Cowboys and horses. That is what most people think when they hear someone talk about Dallas, says Gabriela Bucio-Andersson, communications director at AT&T.

"That is definitely a part of our heritage, but Dallas really has a sophisticated arts scene and night life," explains Bucio-Andersson, who has spent most of her life in the city.

She adds that Dallas "has a southern vibe and people are really friendly in that way, but it is still a big city and an international hub."

Within Dallas-Fort Worth, technology is a thriving industry with a number of large tech companies headquartered in the area, such as Texas Instruments, AT&T, and Celanese. Bucio-Andersson says the growth of the tech market has caused PR professionals from across Texas and the country to move to the "super hot and booming town."

Fast Facts

Eighteen companies based in the Dallas area made it on the 2013 Fortune 500 list, including AT&T (#11); AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines (#121); and Kimberly-Clark (#136).

Dallas has exceeded the nation in job growth since 2003 and is expected to grow faster than the nation through 2020, according to the City of Dallas Office of Economic Development. The city also had a lower unemployment rate than the country average in the last three and a half years.

Forty percent of Dallas' power is renewable energy.

Bucio-Andersson's go-to restaurant in Dallas is Jorge's Tex Mex Café because it has healthy baked Mexican food options, great drink specials, and is located in a trendy area next to the Arts District.

Klyde Warren Park in Dallas unveiled a synthetic ice skating rink in December 2013. The Kelly & Norman Green Skating Rink is made of an eco-friendly surface called Super-Glide, rather than ice.

The integrated circuit computer chip, now known as the microchip, was invented in Dallas in 1958 by Jack Kilby, who worked at Texas Instruments.

In addition to technology, growing sectors include trade, transportation, utilities, health, hospitality, and engineering.

Some large corporations that have their headquarters in the Dallas-Fort Worth region are American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Brinker International, ExxonMobil, Tenet Healthcare, Energy Future, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and GameStop.

The Dallas arts scene is thriving. Residents and visitors are able to enjoy the Dallas Museum of Art, Kimball Art Museum, and the AT&T Performing Arts Center, which presents everything from dance and opera to comedy and theater shows.

A market with high demand can lead to turnover because professionals have more options and changing jobs can lead to a promotion and an increase in one's salary.

"I see higher turnover on the agency side because, generally speaking, the hours tend to be longer and the pay is not as competitive," says Bucio-Andersson. "On the client side, jobs are harder to get, but once people are in, they tend to stay longer. People spend their careers at AT&T for a reason - work-life balance is valued, salaries are competitive, and your work day isn't measured by being billable."

She adds there is a large pool of mid- to upper-level talent in the city. Dallas-Fort Worth salary expectations are reasonable at about 5% above the national average, according to the 2014 Salary Guide from staffing firm Robert Half. However, since the cost of living is lower than other top media markets, income goes a long way.

A low cost of living and good quality of life are also why "a lot of San Francisco transplants," especially people in their 20s and 30s, have come here, she adds.

With industries continuing to expand, new businesses and restaurants popping up all the time, and many opportunities available for young professionals, Bucio-Andersson says Dallas is "a great place to be right now."

Reach Out

Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau
325 North St. Paul Street, Suite 700,
Dallas, Texas 75201

Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce
500 North Akard Street, Suite 2600,
Dallas, Texas 75201

Local PRSA chapter

Dallas City Hall
1500 Marilla Street,
Dallas, TX 75201

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