Boss Babes: The Badass Women of the PR World

Feature image via Ashley Dillahunty

Within every industry lies a handful of women who are laying down the foundation. They hustle, sweat, and overcome every obstacle to make it in the industry of their choice to become the best, to become rich in knowledge. In every industry, there are a group of women who do not believe in accepting what they’re handed. They take what they’ve been given and mold it into a cocoon so their craft and work can eventually become the butterfly they always knew was there to soar above the status quo.

Women like this are who we aim to highlight for our Boss Babe series. We showcase the ones who are doing more than they’re asked to do, who go above and beyond their limits. This time, instead of focusing on a woman whose killing it in her industry, we decided to highlight a group of women who are switching things up in the PR world. From Boss Babe who’ve created their own businesses to relative newcomers, here are the crème de la crème of ladies who work in the public relations industry.


Photo via Sheiva Shideh

Title: Senior Manager at BOLD PR

How do you hope to challenge the stigma that comes with the PR industry?

Challenging this PR stigma starts with informing as many people as I can about the realities of working in the beauty PR industry. Some people may view PR as fluff and glamour, but there is so much hard work and strategic thinking that goes into producing a successful product launch event, editor press trip or placement in a magazine for our clients. Although most people only see the finished piece for these projects, there are typically months of planning and so many different elements that happen behind the scenes to make everything look seamless.

Right now, working in PR also means a lot more than just getting press for our clients. It requires always staying up to date on the latest beauty industry news and trends, maintaining and building editor relationships, and communicating with multiple clients on a daily basis. Since there are so many great beauty brands out there, we have to consistently be thinking of new and creative ways for our brands to stand out from the crowd to both editors and consumers. Also, it’s important to understand that PR is different from advertising and marketing! 

Where do you hope to see the industry go in the next few years? 

The media landscape is changing every single day – more print magazines are unfortunately closing and there is a rise in the importance of digital and social media. There is a level of uncertainty for the future of common PR practice over the next few years, but I can see traditional PR agencies working more in the influencer space as these influencers have become an extremely valuable source of exposure for brands. My hope is that this increasing blend of PR and social strategy will result in one fluid campaign that can successfully partner with both influencers and editors for maximum brand awareness. 

What do you love about being a PR Boss Babe?

I love working in beauty because it’s an industry that appeals to everyone — whether you’re a beauty junkie who loves trying new products to experiment with your look or you’re someone interested in the science behind certain products or treatments. Beauty is for everyone and spans all ages, genders, and races. I personally feel very lucky that I get to work with incredible and innovative beauty brands that celebrate inclusivity and diversity in their products and campaigns. I’ve had the opportunity to travel to a variety of amazing places with our clients, as well as work with some of the top makeup artists in the industry. Plus, while the hours may be long in beauty PR, I have access to some phenomenal skincare products and concealers that can truly hide anything.    

What do you feel is the most valuable skill one should have if they want to enter this industry?

Putting on lipstick without a mirror. But also creativity, an attention to detail, high energy, good writing, organization, and superb multi-tasking skills.


Photo via Gabriela Lawrence

Title: Founder & President at PushingSix

How do you hope to challenge the stigma that comes with the PR industry?

By representing influencers, digital publications (Hi, TTS fam!), and brands under one roof, we hope to bring a more 360 and cyclical approach to traditional PR.

Where do you hope to see the industry go in the next few years?

These days, everything and everyone has a “brand” of their own. I hope that PR firms begin to recognize that their agencies are a personal brand as well and in turn leverage that in creative ways for themselves and their clients.

What do you love about being a PR Boss Babe?

My favorite part about PR is that you’re able to work with so many people across different sectors of the industry. From editors to influencers, stylists, photographers and more, there are some really talented people that make up this ecosystem. It’s very motivating to be surrounded by so much incredible energy!

What do you feel is the most valuable skill one should have if they want to enter this industry?

Always be polite! PR Girls have a reputation for being catty and this industry is super small. It’s important to remember that an assistant may be a CEO one day, so make sure to be nice to everyone you encounter on AND offline.


Photo cred: Lauren Kallen

Title: Founder of RVD Communications

How do you hope to challenge the stigma that comes with the PR industry?

Great question. For a long time, I was hyper-aware of the PR girl stereotype and would overcompensate by not-so-casually hinting at where I earned my degrees, the books I read, the movies I love, the music to which I listen. Now, I’m consciously making an effort not to do those things. For one, out of respect for my amazing team, their intelligence, grit, and general awesomeness. And, of course, out of respect for myself – I work my ass off on behalf of my clients, and I’ve built my business with my own money and via word of mouth. I shouldn’t apologize for what I do.

I hope that RVD (and other agencies like ours) will continue to prove that it takes a savvy and emotionally intelligent human to expertly navigate the space between clients and media. Publicists are writers, communicators, therapists, and magicians, and our number one goal is for the world to ignore us and focus on our clients. I’m proud of my kind.

Where do you hope to see the industry go in the next few years?

It’s both a frightening and exhilarating time to work in this industry. For one, we’re seeing the print media institutions of yore losing their luster, with new kids taking their crown. The changing of the guard means that publicists have to be more creative and refuse to run outdated practices into the ground.

I’m always asking people, “Where did you hear about that? Why do you love that brand? Why do you eat at that spot?” etc. The game changes daily, and it’s important to think about what actually influences people’s purchasing behaviors. Good PR isn’t just about ego, it’s about exposing our clients to new fans and getting their fascinating stories out into the world. No matter what medium, the goal is to give people something to talk about – to tell a compelling story.

What do you love about being a PR Boss Babe?

I love being surrounded by creative weirdos all day. And working with entrepreneurs is exhilarating – no day is the same.

What do you feel is the most valuable skill one should have if they want to enter this industry?

I’ll give you three! Curiosity, a command of the written word, and a near-obsessive need to please people. The best publicists are wildly different, but (I think, at least) possess those three things.


Photo via Ashley Dillahunty

Title: Founder of Inspire the Now

How do you hope to challenge the stigma that comes with the PR industry?

I have built my company based on some [of] the challenges I think are currently happening in the space. As a former editor, I come from a very different place and mindset when it comes to public relations and working with clients. I was the one who was being pitched all day, every day — I have seen it all. PR is an ever-changing industry and you constantly have to evolve and adapt as a company to stay fresh and innovative. This involves always being authentic, telling the brand’s story, working on strategies, marketing initiatives and putting the client first. It’s about clients achieving their goals above and beyond what they thought was possible and staying ahead of the game.

Where do you hope to see the industry go in the next few years?

There is nothing traditional about Public Relations today, PR is just a small part of what my company does. PR is not what it was five years ago or even five months ago. Inspire the Now is very forward-thinking and I know that is where PR is headed. We have a 360 approach when it comes to branding. It’s about creating incredible content, strategic partnerships, speaking opportunities, and always thinking of what’s next.

What do you love about being a PR Boss Babe?

I like and enjoy every aspect of my job, but what I really love is being an extension of my client’s core team, we are like family. Building a brand and being there as we move through challenges, applying creativity and achieving milestones together is what really makes me thrive. My clients are predominately women-owned and operated businesses and I feel so proud today to be by their side as we grow our businesses together.

What do you feel is the most valuable skill one should have if they want to enter this industry?

You definitely need to be a focused hustler, especially if you want to be an entrepreneur and have a company. In PR, you must be able [to] problem solve on the daily, and just make it happen!  


Photo via MJ Johnson

Title: PR Manager, Milk Makeup

How do you hope to challenge the stigma that comes with the PR industry?

I think saying there is a stigma on PR is a little outdated. PR can sometimes have a negative perception but that is mostly because people don’t actually know what it is. My job isn’t to trick people into thinking something or someone is great. With all the bad in the world recently, my hope is that everyone is doing their best and working with companies that they actually believe in with a purpose and positive mission.

Where do you hope to see the industry go in the next few years?

I have been working in beauty PR for only four years, and it has already changed so much. When I first started, seeing a product from a brand I represented in the glossy pages of Vogue or Vanity Fair was huge. With the rise of beauty influencers, bloggers, and YouTube tutorials, information is reaching the public faster with a better understanding of what the product can actually do. I think we will only get better at communicating with our audience and being able to listen to their needs and acting on it quickly.

What do you love about being a PR Boss Babe?

Meeting other Boss Babes! I feel lucky to work at a company I love, where I get to meet and collaborate with other creative, innovative, and empowering people, and call it a “job.” I also love seeing other people’s unique interpretation of beauty while using our products. At Milk Makeup, our anthem is “#LiveYourLook”—look it up on Instagram! It’s so powerful.

What do you feel is the most valuable skill one should have if they want to enter this industry?

Personal communication and connections. It is so important to constantly network and look for opportunities where you can expand your professional relationships. In this digital day, it is easy to get stuck behind your computer, chatting digitally through email and Instagram; but your energy, personality, and love for your brand truly shine best in real life.


Photo cred: Sam Steele

Title: Founder and Director of RK PR

How do you hope to challenge the stigma that comes with the PR industry?

I think PR, particularly fashion publicists, get a bad rap in no small part because the industry has been resistant to changing course away from solely media coverage to being a part of an integrated plan. As far as our roster goes, we are always looking to work with brands that stand for something that’s a little different—not just making clothes and accessories to make a buck, but because they truly have a unique voice and point of view. I think consumers and media are past the point of just being interested in what the latest trend is. If they are going to buy any item, it’s going to be because the story around it speaks to their lifestyle and personal ethos—not just something cute that’ll be thrown away in a season.

Where do you hope to see the industry go in the next few years?

I hope the industry continues to experiment and be creative! This is a period unlike any other, at least in my time in PR, with the evolution of digital media companies and invent of social platforms that are new vehicles for storytelling. Our job is truly about telling stories and there are so many interesting ways to do it now that the sky is the limit. 

What do you love about being a PR Boss Babe?

The team I work with is incredible—both my colleagues in the office as well as our clients. My day is filled with inspiring conversations with brilliant men and women who are rethinking what fashion means today and it makes each day exciting.

What do you feel is the most valuable skill one should have if they want to enter this industry?

A strong writer and good communicator is invaluable in PR but also in the business world in general.


Written by Raven Ishak

Feature image via Ashley Dillahunty

Share on Facebook59Tweet about this on TwitterPin on Pinterest0Email this to someone