Member Profile: Anthony Harrison
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Sprauve-Harrison Communications, Principal
Why did you join PRSA and what is one of your favorite benefits that the organization provides?
I’ve been a member of PRSA two separate times in my career. First, at the start of my career after I graduated from Boston University, to meet other people in the field and increase my skills through training and development. I rejoined six years ago when I moved back to the Bay area to connect with local professionals and rebuild my PR network.
You have been in PR for decades – can you share a few ways it has changed over the years and where you see it going?
The biggest change has been the rise of influencers who are not traditional journalists writing for traditional media outlets. Add in decreasing staffs and budgets at news outlets and paid content and the world of PR is a very different place today. Another significant change is the blurring of lines between PR and marketing.
Tell us about one of your most memorable experiences during your career.
I have had the privilege of working for some amazing brands when they were struggling and on the ropes – The New York Times as it was trying to sort out digital and online media; Verizon as it was breaking away from the old Ma Bell; Starbucks the first time that Howard Schultz left the company and it lost its way; Microsoft as traditional boxed software was dying and the cloud was emerging; and Disney as it tried to enter a new market by selling mobile phones to families. These are the kinds of communications challenges that get me out of bed in the morning.
What’s your best advice to the new generation of PR professionals?
Don’t believe the hype. Know yourself. Know your limitations. Know what you still need to learn. Be self-analytical and self-critical. Don’t mark your success or career progression by others. Create your own career path.