Jayme Says…

Posts Tagged ‘interviews

For my informational interview, I chose to interview Mr. Leo Bottary. He was the only one from PROPENMic to respond to my interview request. I interviewed Mr. Bottary over the phone on Monday, October 26, 2009. We spoke briefly because he was at Midway Airport in Chicago waiting on his flight and having a meal with his colleagues. He gave a lot of helpful information as far as the PR field, and I am glad I chose to reach out to get his professional advice.

Mr. Bottary has his B.A in Political Science and German from Jacksonville University, his M.A in Strategic Communications and Leadership from Seton Hall University, and is working on his Ed. D in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University. He worked for a couple of companies and also headed his own PR firm called Bottary &Partners Public Relations. He’s now a private consultant and an adjunct professor at Seton Hall. He has been in the PR business for 25 years and this is what he had to say:

1.       What is a project that you worked on that you are proud of?

Ans: Well…there are a lot of things that I’m proud of, but if I had to narrow it to two…the first is helping Winn-Dixie Supermarket with the primetime live pricing issue. Customers were being charged differently than what was on the shelves.  Diane Sawyer actually did a 30 second blurb in support of Winn-Dixie so that was a success. I’m also proud of the New Orleans sponsorship by major league baseball, the Diamond of Dreams. This was ball park revitalization. This helped in reclaiming the neighborhoods because they were in rough neighborhoods.

2.       How important is writing in your career?

Ans: Writing is very crucial; it’s very high on the list. Good writers are people who know what they want to say and can say it effectively and persuasively.

3.       What are some tips that you would offer someone just starting off in PR?

Ans: Just to work on PR related skills…three come to mind as being the most important. First is writing, then you have to understand the tools available to you such as marketing tools, and also how do you communicate what your client wants.

4.       What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

Ans: I keep social media around me. I follow people on twitter. I keep up with Regan Communications, and I read Paul Holmes’s writings.

5.       What do you wish you would have known before starting your career?

Ans: I tell my daughters this all the time…the more educated you are versus experienced is more helpful.

6.       Did your education prepare you for working in PR?

 Ans: Sure, political science gave me understanding as well as the ability to write.

 7.       How has PR changed since you entered the field?

Ans: Well, I entered the field 25 years ago. So now, there are more tools available. Tools are more available and they are expanding.

8.       Are you involved in any professional organizations?

Ans: No, because I didn’t find them particularly helpful.

9.       How many hours do you work a week?

Ans: That’s the luxury of being an independent consultant, I probably work 35 hours a week now. When I was running my own firm, I worked anywhere from 60 to 75 hours a week.

10.   Do you travel a lot?

Ans: I would say I am travelling 15-20 percent of the time.

**This is where our interview ended and I thanked him again for his time and also letting me interview him.

Mr. Bottary was very helpful and he is willing to help anyone in our field that needs his help. He wants to make sure that new PR representatives are educated in a number of areas versus just being trained in PR. And after talking to him, not only do I want to work in PR, I want to work with him. It was unbelievable how nice and helpful he was. I really enjoyed talking with him and I appreciated him allowing me to get a little snapshot of what his life is like. His modesty was great and he told me I could even use his picture.

To contact Mr. Bottary, go to his linkedin profile: www.linkedin.com/in/leobottary

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