Mark Ragan is the CEO of Ragan Communications and publisher of PR Daily and Ragan.com. A veteran political reporter, Mark worked for newspapers for 15 years and covered three presidential elections, The White House and Congress. He now presides over four daily news sites covering corporate communications, social media and public relations. His company is also known for its industry conferences, including the yearly Social Media Conference.
What makes a great candidate, according to Mark: "Today's successful PR professional needs to excel at every form of communication. What differentiates the college graduate today from my generation is the expectation that entry level candidates will already have the skills needed to hit the ground running. They will know how to write well, how to shoot, edit and distribute video, how to navigate social media sites and create content for press releases, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest."
A seasoned publicist, communications and social media strategist, Tiffany Guarnaccia serves as the Director of Communications for the Huffington Post, focusing on the innovative new streaming network, HuffPost Live. Prior to her role at HuffPost, she led PR for the indie music retailer eMusic. Tiffany previously held the role of PR Director for LimeWire during the final chapters of the history making Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC court case. With over a decade of communications experience, Tiffany has worked on the client and agency side of PR in the technology, consumer goods and entertainment industries.
What makes a great candidate, according to Tiffany: "Tenacity. The best PR pros that I've worked with have this quality -- getting a media "home run" is challenging and can take a while, but it pays off in the end. Great research skills are also a must. You should love to read and research media coverage relevant to your company's or your client's industries."
Lea-Ann Germinder, APR, Fellow PRSA is the 2013 president of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) New York chapter. She is also owner & president of Germinder & Associates, Inc., a communications firm and publisher of niche web sites including www.goodnewsforpets.com. Germinder is a communications veteran, consultant, speaker, editor and publisher, who has created award-winning campaigns in several industry categories for national brands.
Germinder, a native of Long Island, New York, is an accredited Fellow of PRSA, one of the most prestigious honors in public relations, recognizing her strategic counsel and early adoption of Internet strategies. She is also a member of the Women Presidents’ Organization, a national association of women presidents of multi-million dollar companies.
What makes a great candidate, according to Lea-Ann: "A great public relations and social media professional for today’s profession will have a superior combination of traditional communications skills – writing, speaking, pitching to name a few – and a superior understanding of not only what topics resonate across a variety of social media platforms, but why. Understanding of the why will allow that professional to successfully adapt to the next iteration of a rapidly changing communications landscape."
Sandra Fathi is founder and president of Affect, a public relations and social media firm located in New York. An entrepreneur at heart, Sandra has been helping companies achieve their business goals for the past 20 years. Her love of technology was sparked during her first summer working at her father’s company soldering parts onto a circuit board. From that humble beginning, she went on to become a technology journalist, corporate communications professional at Nokia, Radvision and VCON, and a PR agency executive working with brands such as Ericsson, EDS and Microsoft earlier in her career. Today, Affect serves a variety of clients in B2B and B2C technology, healthcare and professional services. The firm has been recognized for its outstanding work from the PR Daily Awards, Bulldog Stars of PR Awards, PRSA NY’s Big Apple Awards, Hermes Awards, O’Dwyer’s and Inc. Magazine.
Sandra is the past president of PRSA NY and past chair of PRSA's Technology Section. A celebrated speaker and active contributor to PR and business publications, Sandra’s commentary has appeared in Bloomberg, Bulldog Reporter, CNNMoney, DM News, Marketing Profs, PR News and PR Week.
What makes a great candidate, according to Sandra: “First and foremost, we look for great people to join Affect. It has to be a personal as well as a professional fit. We have an amazing supportive, fun culture of folks that genuinely care about each other and our clients. We can teach people skills, but we can't teach them to take pride in their work or feel accountable for the success of the team members. That has to be home grown. Second, we look for the three pillars of PR - strong writing skills, client service and media relations. Almost everything we do rests on this foundation and when one element is missing, the stool doesn't stand straight."
Katie Creaser is Vice President at Affect, a New York-based public relations and social media firm specializing in healthcare, technology and professional services. Katie believes in the power of strong relationships. Whether she is pitching a journalist or advising a client, she brings honesty, enthusiasm and value to all of her interactions. Katie’s passion for social media and public relations has resulted in successful campaigns for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and has translated into long-term client and partner relationships for Affect.
Katie works closely with Affect's clients to help make their value proposition resonate with customers by creating compelling content for every medium. Katie's integrated communications programs for Regus and Omni Hotels & Resorts have earned accolades from PRSA, the SABRE awards, and a 2011 BtoB Magazine Social Media Marketing Award.
What makes a great candidate, according to Katie: "Affect is looking for fearless, creative and highly-motivated individuals. The public relations industry is driven by professionals who take risks and want the best for themselves and their clients - that's the type of person who will thrive at our agency. Personally, I'm looking for someone who has a true passion for their work. I believe that when you enjoy what you're doing, your enthusiasm influences everyone around you - your colleagues, clients and professional contacts - and in turn, everyone is better able to do their job. We've created a supportive environment at Affect and we look at every new hire as an opportunity to build on that."