D'Arcy Rudnay: PRWeek Hall of Femme 2016

EVP and CCO, Comcast

What would you do if you were not in PR?
I love fashion. Who wouldn’t want to be Ralph Lauren, spending their time traveling the globe, and using their creativity to design fabulous clothes, accessories, and home goods? What could be more fun?

Talk about the last time you experienced a truly fist-pumping victory moment.
One moment that really stands out is when our CEO Brian Roberts unveiled the X1 Platform for the first time. He demoed it live on stage in front of a crowd of thousands. X1 had been in development for years and this was the grand reveal.

We knew that it was a true game changer and would revolutionize the TV experience for our customers. But it wasn’t until I heard the "oohs" and "ahhs" that I knew we had a winner. It was an incredible moment for our company and to be part of it made me so proud. 

When was the last time you endured a real "agony of defeat" moment, a total wipeout? What did you learn from it?
Not a wipeout, but without a doubt the hardest thing we had to do last year was say goodbye to our founder, Ralph Roberts. He was one of the nicest and most respectful people I have ever met. He had a smile and a kind word for everyone. I learned so much from him about the importance of kindness, respect, and integrity that I will take with me, always. 

How long ago was the last time you truly took the time to recharge your batteries? What did you do?
With 24/7 global communications and news cycles it’s nearly impossible to unplug these days. But when I hiked the Inca Trail with my husband and daughter the year she graduated from college, I was forced to truly recharge. First, because there is no cell service at the top of Machu Picchu. Second, I was too focused on breathing and not falling off a cliff to worry about what was going on back at the office.

What is it about the communications industry that frustrates the hell out of you sometimes?
What frustrates me about both the media and technology industry and the PR sector is the same reason I’ll never leave: the pace of change is just stunning. There is always a new innovation to talk about or a new way of thinking. It can drive you crazy, but the honest truth is I wouldn’t have it any other way.

When have you seen this industry or your organization really shine?
Bringing the Olympics to American audiences is such a profound moment of pride for our company. For me personally, being there in London for the 2012 Games was one of the best and most amazing experiences of my professional life.

The joy, excitement, and patriotism, combined with the enormity of the work at both NBC and Comcast Cable, was just extraordinary. And we’re at it again, with the entire organization gearing up for our best year yet this summer in Rio.

Words to live by?
Act like a duck. I always say that to my team. Be calm on the surface, but paddle furiously underneath.

Favorite drink?
Scotch. Johnnie Walker Black. Always has been, always will be.

What would you tell your 20-year-old self?
A job is like couture. If it doesn’t fit perfectly, it’s a disaster.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say to you as you enter?
Don’t worry.  Your girls will be ok.

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