Every day, I talk to college students and industry professionals who want to work in PR. And the one common denominator they share is that their interests and talents are varied.
Being passionate about a multitude of things is an essential characteristic of the type of person who can succeed in a field where your clients work in a variety of industries and you have to become an expert on those industries overnight.
That’s why I love hearing stories about people who work in PR but also have a dual career, projects on the side or have left the profession altogether to pursue an entrepreneurial venture.
Last Friday, Women’s Wear Daily reported that Kerry Diamond, the VP of public relations and collaborations for Coach was leaving the company to focus full-time on the restaurants in Brooklyn she co-owns with her boyfriend and on Cherry Bombe, a new fashion-focused food magazine she’s in the process of launching.
This got me thinking about other women in PR who’ve found success in other fields. Here are a few that I could think of off the top of my head:
2. Marvet Britto
Marvet Britto is the president and CEO of The Britto Agency. In addition to helping brands build equity over the almost 20 years that TBA has been in business, Britto has also made waves in the movie industry finding success as a producer on films such as The Woodsman, Shadowboxer, and Mama I Want to Sing. And she recently became a Tony award nominee for her production work on the Broadway play The Trip to Bountiful.
“Cancel your subscription to mediocrity,” – Marvet Britto
Marvet has always been a huge inspiration for me and set a precedent of excellence and a blueprint for how far you can go if you just work hard enough. I had the pleasure of interning for her a few years ago and it is an experience that I will cherish and appreciate forever.
3. Kelly Cutrone
Kelly Cutrone is the founder and CEO of People’s Revolution, one of the most influential fashion PR firms in the world. In addition to working with top fashion brands, Cutrone became a fixture on reality television with roles on The Hills and The City, her own Bravo show Kell on Earth and more recently as a judge/mentor on America’s Next Top Model. She’s also written two best-selling books and has a clothing line in the works.
4. Lauren Conrad
Lauren Conrad may have gotten her start on reality television on MTV’s Laguna Beach, but she became a bonafide star as soon as her spin-off show, The Hills hit the airwaves. On the show she worked as a PR intern for Teen Vogue before getting a full-time gig at People’s Revolution. After leaving the show in 2009 she also left her PR career behind and in just a few short years has become a best-selling author, clothing designer, spokesperson for Mark and other brands, a beauty influencer and remains one of the most successful magazine cover stars in the U.S.
5. Tory Burch
Tory Burch is the founder and CEO of the eponymous lifestyle brand Tory Burch, which reportedly brought in $800 million dollars in revenue last year. But before Burch became a fashion tycoon and the world’s second youngest woman to become a self-made billionaire (she made the list earlier this year) she handled the PR for well known brands such as Vera Wang, Ralph Lauren and Narciso Rodriguez.
All of the women above should serve as inspiration for the dreamers who are often told that they’re “doing too much,” or that they “should pick a career and stick with it.” Times have changed and it’s easier than ever to create a life and career that closely reflects not only your core values but your inner passions as well.
So if your dream is to work in PR, go hard and make that happen. But if at any point along the way you decide to focus on something else you love, don’t let anyone stop you.