We wear our title of female-led business proudly every day, but especially during Women’s History Month. Our own fearless female leader, Darlene, founded Hollywood Public Relations in 2011 when she put a sign on a door in Scituate Harbor, Mass. And today, we’ve grown to a team of 12 kickass PR pros (a majority of us are women, go figure), who fiercely believe in the power of women.
Over the last month, we’ve been dishing on our choices for female leaders who inspire us most, here and here. And we’re rounding those all up today. Without further ado, here are some of the most inspiring boss babes the world has seen.
The definition of a role model, Malala Yousafzai was able to not only find her voice, but use it to fulfill her calling as education activist at only 17-years-old. After facing ultimate adversity for her cause in the form of an assassination attempt, she went on to be recognized globally for her work as an advocate for the right to educate women. Malala proves that there is no minimum age or experience when it comes to changing the world. All it takes is courage.
Darlene chose Madeleine Albright as her most inspiring female leader, and we’re totally on board. Madeleine blazed the trail as our country's first female Secretary of State and the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government at the time of her appointment. And the phrase she coined still rings true today: "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." PREACH.
Has there ever been a list of influential women that didn’t include Oprah Winfrey? Courtney nominated Oprah because she has overcome many obstacles and adversity to become an amazing woman – not only on-screen but as a philanthropist for children (and animals too).
“I’m going with Ellen DeGeneres. My mom and I used to say, ‘WWED’ – what would Ellen do – because she is always positive and looking to make light of a situation, but never at someone else’s expense.” We couldn’t agree more. Ellen straddles the line between humor and humility with grace. She is an excellent role model for women and advocate for the LGBTQ community. Besides, what would Finding Nemo be without Dory?!
As a black woman, fitness guru and business owner, Hannah Bronfman defines “cool girl.” She is the founder of her own website, HBFIT, which features fitness tips, healthy eats and other changes you can make to lead a more positive lifestyle. She’s also an Adidas ambassador and a DJ at fashion parties by night (how cool is that?!). This girl boss does it all, proving to be a major source of inspo (if not #fitspo) for HPR’s resident millennials.
Not that we’re biased toward the woman who created the most-loved book series in the universe (any PotterHeads here?), but J.K. Rowling made this list with ease. Aside from her relentless determination to get her work published and crazy success since, she is also a philanthropist, starting her own charity and supporting many others in anti-poverty, children’s welfare and multiple sclerosis. Not to mention, she loves roasting trolls on Twitter.
Going against the grain, Brooks’ pick is her mother, Jane. A two-time entrepreneur who taught Brooks and her sister that women can have career and family, Jane led by example. A born feminist, she hosted bonfire parties where she manned the chainsaw, threw back whiskey with the boys and wasn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty. She created and sold two successful businesses, all while raising two daughters. Every day she reminded them that strong women can do anything they put their minds to and rise through any ranks, regardless of gender. Still to this day, she’s their biggest cheerleader.
And, of course, no round-up of strong women would be complete without one of our very own. Our boss babe, Darlene, is a true trailblazer for female small business owners everywhere, who allows her employees to make mistakes, to learn and grow. She’s a rock-star mom to two girls and several animals, both furry and scaly, inspiring all of us to lead with the same poise – and to never shy away from a cocktail.
But, we’d be remiss to leave out our male colleagues, Jeff, Palmer and Jon, who gracefully handle 40 hour workweeks with a pack of alpha females. For safety’s sake, let’s just say they think all of us are equally inspirational.
Here’s to the women who’ve raised us, known us and inspired us. Happy Women’s History Month.
- Brooks Wallace and Deanna Haas
"I'm studying PR in school."
"When I graduate, I really want to work in the PR field."
"I work in a PR agency."
Those of us who work in public relations have seen the look that says, "That sounds cool, and I feel like I should know what PR is, but, honestly, I have no idea," when explaining to people what we do for a job.
Public relations is an interesting field, but also one that invites a lot of questions and is covered in a small cloud of mystery. When I first started thinking about a career in PR, I had many questions. Is it the same as journalism? What exactly do you do? How do you find a job?
Sometimes, even clients or colleagues have a hard time understanding exactly what it is we do.
After multiple public relations courses and a two-semester long internship here at HPR, I can tell you that no, PR is not the same as journalism. The two fields are commonly confused, but they are more complementary to one another than you might think. Journalism's goal is to tell a story to the public. Journalists gather the facts and report the news. In a public relations agency, the goal is to create buzz for your client. This means you’re pitching journalists, arranging media events, creating content calendars, scheduling social media posts, keeping on top of current events and managing crises, all on a daily basis.
PR requires a nose for details, an ear for relevant news, an eye for a creativity and a taste for excitement.
It’s difficult to narrowly define and explain PR to people who ask you what you do, like an accountant or doctor easily can. A question I often asked myself was how I would find a job. So many people I knew entering college were going to be nurses or teachers. These fields, and many others, are so clearly defined that you know exactly where to job-search when you graduate. Likely, a nursing major would work in a hospital and an education major would work in a school. A PR major would clearly work in...?
Not knowing the end of that sentence was daunting. However, I have learned that the end of that sentence has an infinite amount of possibilities. And that’s what’s exciting about it. Any brand or industry that intrigues you — sports, fashion, television, music, food – needs a good PR strategy. That’s where you’ll come in.
As an intern, I have already learned so much about what happens day-to-day in a PR agency, and I have to say, it’s challenging but rewarding. Not many professions can offer you a job where every day is different and presents a new challenge. Reacting to breaking news stories, engaging with others and writing formal and creative pieces are all key components of working in PR.
If you are unsure of what career path you want to take, you should consider taking a communications class. Nearly any industry that excites you needs PR, and having a job in which you don’t have to do the same tasks everyday is beyond worth it.
- Sierra St. Pierre
A version of this article originally appeared on The Odyssey.
One word here: awkward! It’s difficult to talk about the 89th Annual Academy Awards without mentioning the big A-lister mix-up. Forget the Miss Universe pageant (Steve Harvey, we’re looking at you). The announcement for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards was, for a fleeting moment, record-breaking for everyone’s favorite new movie-musical. When it was revealed that the actual winner was Moonlight, the La La Land cast and crew were nothing short of gracious. (Quick crisis PR lesson here: will PwC’s quick reaction and taking of the blame save its brand?)
But one of the primary reasons the world tuned in was to see which designers shined as brightly as the movie stars they style. Below, we dive into Hollywood PR’s favorite moments from the red carpet and beyond.
Best Moment of the Night: Denzel Washington Married a Random Couple
Host Jimmy Kimmel’s stunt of the night led to a tour bus filled with un-knowing guests. According to our host, it took a lot of coordination and thousands of dollars to make this happen (PR professionals know your pain, Jimmy). An engaged couple, enthralled with a front-row Denzel Washington, was given the honor of having him utter the words, “You may kiss your bride.” Talk about something borrowed.
Best Speech: Mahershala Ali
The first winner of the night, Moonlight Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali, gave the cutest nod to his wife and newborn baby. Charming and humble, he delivered a heartfelt message about being in the “service of [telling] the stories of these characters.” Whether it was due to his newly found fame, his second award this year, or perhaps his being the first Muslim actor to take home an Oscar, he held back tears the whole time. Plus, he was looking especially dapper in his all-black Ermenegildo Zenga Couture tux.
Best Couple: Chrissy & John
We don’t have to say much more than that this couple SLAYS. From Chrissy’s sparkly, leg-bearing Zuhair Murad gown to John’s Gucci suit with an exaggerated bow tie, they killed the carpet. Her one-shouldered illusion gown still has us buzzing, his piano performance was dynamite, and that nap during Casey Affleck’s speech will live on in Internet history forever. #RelationshipGoals
Best Suit: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
While all the men of Hollywood came dressed to make us swoon, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson proved that the velvet trend isn’t just for those of us who miss the days of Juicy Couture jumpsuits. Blue tuxes were trending, but this guy showed everyone else how to rock it.
Honorable mention: Lion's Sunny Pawar, who is just TOO freaking cute.
Best Dress: Brie Larson
The theme of Sunday night was in vogue. A spectrum of dresses ranging from tame to sexy and subtle to sparkly walked the carpet, many with warmer tones for February.
While we were torn on 2016’s best dress, this year, the results are unanimous. One look stood out as more than a dress, but a gown, and that was Brie Larson (2016 Best Actress winner and 2017 presenter) wearing a black, sculptured Oscar De La Renta. The dramatic neckline is a stand-out without being all-out (if you know what we mean), and her relaxed, pinned back up-do and red lipstick screamed Hollywood glam. Bonus points for subtle side-eye.
Honorable mentions are deserved: Emma Stone in a golden flapper-esque Givenchy Haute Couture sheath dress dazzled almost as much as her LaLa Land performance (hello, matching gold Oscar statuette). But we also loved Taraji P. Henson, who was ravishing in a skin-tight, navy blue velvet custom number by Alberta Ferretti, and Nicole Kidman who resembled an angel in a sparkling Armani Privé (wait...she’s not in Chanel?)
Hollywood’s biggest night has come and gone once again, and with that, we have just one more, semi-related thing to say: Emma Watson, can we be you?
-Deanna Haas and Linnea Kennison
(P.S. We did this last year, too. Click here for a refresher on our 2016 Academy Awards round-up).
Now that we’ve had a moment to digest and celebrate the unbelievable Pats comeback and win, it’s time to dish on the other highlight of the night: this year’s Super Bowl commercials. Like the big game, this year’s entertainment certainly didn’t disappoint.
Over the course of the night we saw lots of star power, a fair share of political statements and a touch of spiciness making a few spots NSFW or, in the case of T-Mobile, #NSFWireless.
Potluck dinner duo Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg kicked off the night with a touch of humor in T-Mobile’s first ad of the evening followed by comedian actress Melissa McCarthy, who in Kia’s ad, showed us that although funny, a hero’s journey is never easy. If you lost touch with physics and chemistry, our favorite science guy made a comeback as Persil tapped Bill Nye for its “science of clean” spot. Other big names of the night include Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken for Bai, Terry Bradshaw and Jeffrey Tambour for Tide, LeBron James for Sprite, Morgan Freeman for Turkish Airlines and even our own Brady himself scored a touchdown during the breaks making an appearance for Intel.
This year’s Super Bowl was also an opportunity for advertisers to make a statement on hot-button issues. Audi stuck to its #DriveProgress campaign with its 60-second spot tackling the topic of gender equality. The ad ended with Audi letting viewers know it is “committed to equal pay for equal work.” Airbnb also took a direct approach to its mission of diversity and inclusion with the “We Accept” spot that let viewers know that all are welcome.
Perhaps the most emotional ad of the night was from a lumber company you and I have probably never heard of. 84 Lumber followed a mother and daughter’s symbolic migrant journey toward becoming legal American citizens. The ad, deemed too controversial for TV, caused FOX to run a 90-second teaser directing viewers to finish the story online. Traffic to 84 Lumber’s page caused the site to crash almost immediately after airing. Luckily, the company’s YouTube page had the ad in its entirety.
The story ends with the family arriving to a tall concrete fence on the border; when all hope seems lost, the mother finds a wooden doorway. With a push the doors open and the ad ends with the brand’s message of “the will to succeed is always welcome here.”
What’s a Super Bowl without a little touch of controversy?
The night wouldn’t have been complete without a touch of naughtiness. 2017 will be known as the year that Mr. Clean was dirty. Yes, you read that right. Mr. Clean channeled his inner Magic Mike to give the brand one of, if not the, most-talked about ads of the night. I will probably never see my disinfectant spray the same way again. Also heating things up was T-Mobile with two semi-uncomfortable but hilarious 50 Shades of Grey spinoffs including actress Kristen Shaal. With the spots titled #Punished and #NSFWireless using the hashtag #TheSafeWordisUnlimited, you can see T-Mobile had no inhibitions about letting viewers know that Verizon is for financial masochists. Unexpected and hilarious, these commercials were the ones you couldn’t take your eyes off of. It’s safe to call them the guilty pleasure of the night.
The ads were for the most part entertaining and winners in their own right, but if there’s one clear champion of the night it’s not any of these ads; in fact, it’s not even an ad at all. The true winner of Super Bowl LI, after the Pats of course, is FOX. As a result of the game’s overtime, the network generated an additional $20 million in ad revenue. How’s that for an added bonus? FOX, Gaga, Pats, brands; it seems like everyone won at this year’s big game, everyone except the Falcons that is.
- Jon Salas
A behind-the-scenes look at life in PR from the team at Hollywood
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