Brianne Murphy Miller
Landis Communications Inc
San Francisco, USA
Years at the agency:
20 years (!)
1. What did you do before PR? : I’ve worked at start-ups (all failed – very Silicon Valley), publishing (Glamour and Sunset) and in fashion.
2. Why did you choose to enter PR?: I’m not sure if I chose PR or if PR chose me. I was working as assistant to the Editor in Chief at Glamour Magazine and our PR agency needed a new in-house contact. I volunteered, and the rest is history.
3. What’s your “must visit” spot in San Francisco?: I just love the SF waterfront – Land’s End, the Ferry Building, Embarcadero. San Francisco is a strange world, even to me. It’s the land of stupid expensive – well, everything – and crazy picture postcard views. Getting dressed up means wearing your clean sneakers. And it’s all about food – this is the place that invented the cruffin (croissant/muffin which is ridiculous since they were both perfectly delicious the way they were!).
4. Since moving to PR, what’s been your biggest “win”?: Currently it’s a tie – our on-going partnership with HGTV’S Property Brothers for client Native Trails, and CBS Sunday Morning for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford.
5. How do you measure PR’s value? : This is a BIG deal to me – ROI has always been vital to proving our worth and upselling clients. We sit down with clients at the beginning of an engagement, decide on goals, and agree on metrics. I don’t care if it’s sales, engagement, brand awareness, thought leadership – but it needs to be measurable. I’m a data junkie.
6. Once you’re in the C-Suite, what’s the most powerful new technology or approach you use for clients?: I think thought leadership is a little overrated unless it’s employed with human pathos and emotion. I see post after post on my LinkedIn feed of people “trying” to be thought leaders. What if they were just humans and sincerely excited about what they were sharing instead of some corporate line? I also believe in incorporating CSR programs everywhere and anywhere – it’s not new, but it’s unused by way too many…and we all need to show a little more compassion these days. Technology-wise I love marrying SEO/SEM and PR for greater “bang for the buck.”
7. Do you have a view on monthly retainers?: I’ll hate to see them go…being partners with a client is so vital to success, and without on-going relationships it’s hard to foster that trust. But I do think there’s a viable business model out there somewhere for project based work. Right now, to me, that seems too tactical.
8. What are your keys to leadership?: Understand the whole person, not just the employee. I love it when someone admits that they have weaknesses – it’s a way we can help them grow. I think a great employee base is a big complementary puzzle of talent. When the pieces fit well together, it’s magic.
9. How do you choose the best job candidates?: It’s all in the first 5 minutes of an interview. If they have a strong “open” – that’s what seals the deal for me. Our job is fast and crazy so I value people who can make a powerful first impression.
10. What is your most memorable PRGN moment?: A bunch of US based PRGN agencies worked together on Carrington College for a while and we did fantastic work. And I’m looking forward to working at our NY affiliate agency, Cooper Katz, for a few days in April. It’s great to visit other offices and share ideas.
11. What’s your favorite food?: Anything Italian and I love to cook. Restaurants are fun, but I really value sitting around my worn out dining room table with family and friends enjoying something homemade.
12. Can you share any insights to your life outside work?: Native NYC girl who moved to SF 27 years ago with my husband. I have two kids – 18 and 14. My only hobbies are reading (because I can do it in the car while waiting to pick up my kids) and dancing (for exercise because it’s one hour and it’s done and I can hop around looking like a fool and no one cares). And I’m a nerd – we go to Comic-Con every year and I fangirl around the Star Wars people. I even have a Darth Vader purse.