Interview with 2017 Ringer Winner, Meredith L. Eaton

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Congratulations! As the winner of the 2017 Ringer Award, what did this award win mean to you personally?

Thank you! It was such an honor to even be nominated by one of my long-time clients (thanks Kristin!), but to actually receive this recognition for the work I’ve done on behalf of my clients, agency and peers is something I’ll cherish throughout my career.

What are the major differences in the PR industry between when you started your career and now?

Where to start? For one, people were only just starting to hear about something called Twitter!

Things have changed so much over the last decade. Overall, there’s a lot more noise to break through, and PR pros need to use their best creative strategies to stand out. Amid the shrinking media landscape, increasing competition for news hijacking opportunities, and need for provocative thought leadership perspectives, PR pros need to find ways to mix earned, owned and paid strategies to maximize the impact of their campaigns.

We used to always say that PR is prayed for, not paid for. After all, “paid for” is advertising, right? Wrong. That mantra is rapidly changing as the “prayed for” editorial coverage and reliance on journalists’ decision to run your story (or not!) weans.

What is the most important characteristic or skill set you think a PR pro needs to be successful in the industry?

You must be willing to adapt. It’s so crucial to be able to change and innovate alongside market trends in an industry that’s as rapidly evolving as PR. And, to be a part of an agency or team culture that embraces change and stays ahead of the curve is necessary to survive.

What makes New England, and Boston specifically, unique in the PR industry?

New England certainly has its advantages due to its location. After the recent snow storm, not everyone may agree. But, our geography and proximity to Europe and the West Coast makes us an ideal region for PR support for international brands trying to span multiple time zones and coasts.

Boston, in particular, has been a growing hub of innovation, too. With major companies like GE breaking ground on new headquarters here, and the startup scene growing year over year, many investors, entrepreneurs and established CEOs have their sights on Boston… all of whom will surely need PR support.

What is your favorite thing about PR?

Working in PR for tech companies helps me stay on the cutting edge of new innovations, technologies and trends. I’m always learning something new, often before it’s mainstream. And, to me, that is just so cool.