PR Up-and-ComersBy Gini Dietrich

On the eighth day of Christmas, Spin Sucks gave to you… eight PR up-and-comers, seven must-listen podcasts, six communicator gifts, five communications trends, four free webinars, three strategy games, two Crazies secrets, and the PR win of 2014.

Friday afternoon, I posted on Facebook that I was looking for the PR up-and-comers and received nearly 150 comments.

Granted, not all of them were nominations because, well, my wall is crazy, but a good majority were, which meant I had to determine only eight I could use here.

It was not easy so I made my determinations on two criteria: Do they read Spin Sucks and do I know them?

The Eight PR Up-and-Comers

Without further ado, the eight PR up-and-comers.

  1. Liza Butcher. Liza and I met in Toronto a few years ago and became fast friends. She keeps me updated on the PR industry in Canada by sending links and her thoughts every month or so. She’s the community manager for the Canadian Public Relations Society—Toronto (their version of our PRSA) and has non-profit experience. She is an award-winning communicator and someone to watch in the Great White North.
  2. Betsy Decillis. When Betsy and I met in Columbus a few years ago, she insisted we go get ice cream (Jeni’s, for the win!). I didn’t have time that trip, but when they opened a location a few blocks from my house, I knew Betsy and I were sealed as lifelong friends. She has her own business, where she focuses on travel and tourism. Plus, she’s an absolute riot and very much worth getting to know.
  3. Jessica Lawlor. A young lady with both non-profit and tourism experience, Jessica is a graduate of Temple University and a proud Philadelphia PR supporter. When young professionals ask for my advice, I always tell them to write and Jessica has taken that to the extreme (a woman after my own heart!). She writes for Brazen Careerist, PR Daily, Muck Rack, Mediabistro, Business Insider, and AOL Jobs. She’s even been seen writing on good ol’ Spin Sucks.
  4. Alicia Lawrence. Though very young in her career, Alicia is one of those professionals who has seen the future and decided to do something about it. With a triple degree in communications, journalism, and broadcasting (I mean, really), Alicia has experience doing all three plus she handles content for SEO firm, WebPageFX. But what’s even better about her? She is a princess for hire! Seriously, if you want Elsa or another Disney princess to attend your daughter’s birthday party and you live in Pennsylvania, call her!
  5. Taylor Masura. Taylor works for SKPR and was recommended by Stephanie Krol, her boss and my friend and former PRSA board colleague. I recently met Taylor when I spoke at the PRSA Chicago luncheon last month and she’s the real deal. With a journalism degree, she works her connections for solid media relations and corporate storytelling.
  6. Samantha McCain. I have recently gotten to know Samantha a little bit better because she was commenting on my public Facebook posts and she made me laugh. We quickly became friends and I’ve spent the past few months getting to know her better. She is a graduate of University of Southern Mississippi and jumped out of school with both feet. She has experience working for the Highway Patrol and the American Red Cross, both places I’m fairly confident she was thrown far into the deep end, where she learned to swim. Today she is the PR and content manager for The Focus Group, an advertising and marketing agency in Hattiesburg.
  7. Stephanie Vermillion. To train for the Disney marathon next month, Stephanie ran 22 miles in the Cincinnati weather this past weekend. Granted, it wasn’t below zero, but it wasn’t super warm either. Twenty-two miles. She is a graduate of Boston University and her list of projects, publications, and awards is long. I mean, really long. Today she is a senior account executive for Wordsworth Communications and she also is the 2014 Young Professional of the Year for the PRSA Cincinnati chapter.
  8. Sadie Wolfe. The second Canadian on our list, Sadie works for the Canadian Beverage Association as communications coordinator, where she started as an intern and grew her role into a full-time position. She also is involved in CPRS and is a Top 30 Under 30 recipient. She has an undergraduate degree from Brock University and a post-graduate certificate in PR from Mohawk College.

I have to say…this wasn’t easy. There are lots of other professionals who deserve to be on this list. Because of that, I’m going to keep a must-watch list for myself and do a bigger, more full list late next year.

So who would you add to the PR up-and-comers list (we need some men!)? Let me know in the comments or any other way you prefer to contact me and I’ll keep a list going.

photo credit: Shutterstock

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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