Member Profile: Serena Ingre
Meet Serena Ingre,
International Communications, Clif Bar
We periodically feature veteran and new PRSA San Francisco members and tell the story of their public relations career. If you would like to suggest a PRSA San Francisco member for a profile, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why did you join PRSA and what is one of your favorite benefits that the organization provides?
The group helps me stay up to date on trends and stay plugged into our broader industry through PRSA's various trainings, conferences, webinars and other events. Generally, it offers good content and connections and helps expand my perspective outside of my current role.
You have been in PR for more than 10 years. Share a few ways it has changed over the years and where you see it going.
The PR landscape has changed and continues to evolve but a lot of the foundation remains the same. Here are areas where I see the most change and where it's going:
- Personalization: Consumers are seeking brands and products that they can connect and engage with at a more personal level. Brands that can provide consumers with meaningful and customized PR experiences will be ahead of the pack.
- Values: Similar to the above, brands that have a strong values-based culture and/or that focus on actively communicating around values held by their consumers, will be able to spark those emotional connections that can lead to long-term consumer loyalty.
- Influencers: While traditional media relationships are still relevant, influencer relationships are equally or more important today. Influencers often have as much authority and reach as traditional media, and come with an extremely loyal following. Leveraging those relations in a strategic way will be key to any successful brand and/or product PR campaign.
- Technology: The shift to digital and mobile changed the ways of engaging and consuming information – and dropped attention spans – making it both easier and harder to really connect with your audience.
Tell us about one of your most memorable experiences during your career.
One of my most memorable PR experiences was during my time at the Natural Resources Defense Council. In the wake of the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, NRDC sent a team to Louisiana to support local groups, monitor air quality and human health impacts. Through a collaboration with StoryCorps and its MobileBooth – an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio – we launched an initiative to collect stories and document the experiences of those living through the largest U.S. oil spill on record. With New Orleans public radio station WWNO as a media partner for these recordings, the station aired a selection of the interviews and created special content around this project. While it was heartbreaking seeing firsthand the impacts of the oil spill on local communities, I was also proud and grateful to be part of such an important PR effort to give a voice to those people and communities.
What's your best advice to the new generation of PR professionals?
My advice would be to invest time in building strong relationships at work and with external partners as these are critical both in your current role and into the future. Communications expertise is needed across all sectors so you never know where the next best opportunity may be. In my career to date, I’ve worked in government, agency, environmental non-profit and consumer packaged goods. Also, take pride in your work – no matter how small a task may seem, it is a representation of who you are.