What’s your background and what are you doing now? Most recently, I managed public relations for a global leading-edge software company, overseeing seven PR agencies worldwide. As a result of my efforts, the company increased U.S. media coverage by 53%, global coverage by 93%, and tier-1 coverage by 32%, including Forbes and TechRepublic.
Currently, I’m open to new opportunities. In my next position, I’m looking for a role that combines what I excel at most – driving PR strategy and putting out the highest quality communications that achieve tangible business results.
What’s your biggest accomplishment? My biggest professional accomplishment to-date was managing an integrated marketing communications and PR campaign for Kaiser Permanente (during the implementation of the Affordable Care Act) that resulted in a 40% increase in new member applications!
What is it like to go through the APR process? Any advice for future
candidates? I found going through the APR process affirming, both of my successes and my passion for the field. My advice for future candidates is to allow PLENTY of time to prepare and take advantage of the expertise of the APR Committee (who are more than happy to help you!).
What do you like about PR?Crafting stories that impact peoples’ lives and driving multi-faceted PR and communications strategies that move the needle for businesses, impacting sales, marketing, etc. When a story or event finally goes live it’s such a rush, especially given the amount of time and strategy behind it.
Tell us 2 truths & a lie about yourself…
1) As a child I was always scared of heights. Determined to change this shortly after my 21st birthday, I decided to conquer my fear and bungee jump. It just so happened that year at the annual Puyallup State Fair (in Washington State) featured a bungee jump. To say I was terrified would be an understatement. But it was the best rush of my life!
2) I sang classic jazz at a 1940s style supper club in San Diego. The kind of club you can imagine Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. hanging out in smoking cigars and drinking martinis. One of my favorite nights was when I nailed the song At Last, made famous by Etta James. The crowd loved it.
3) Watching cooking shows has always been a bit an obsession for me. It started in my teens. For hours I’d watch chefs creating culinary works of art ranging from soufflés to seafood gumbo. I find it thrilling to learn about new ingredients and ways of cooking. But my biggest soft spot is the baking contests. I have quite the sweet tooth.
What have you learned in this business that you’d give as advice to others? Show respect to people of all backgrounds, cultures, job titles, etc. No matter what it is, being respectful will get you far.
If your life were a movie, what would it be called?Driven with Heart! Kind of sounds like it could be a Hallmark movie about a race car driver that finds love, right? (I’ve always wanted to drive a race car!)
And who’d play you in this movie? I’d want a hybrid (they can do anything with CGI now, right?). A mashup between Audrey Tautou (Amelie & The Davinci Code) and Jennifer Lawrence to balance my sensitive side with my silly, athletic side.
(Two truth & a lie answers) Jazz singer? True! On a whim in my late twenties I took singing lessons and discovered that I had a pretty good set of pipes. Soon after I joined a local community choir, ended up touring with them in Europe, and, after singing at local open mics, I became a regular at the supper club.
Bungee jumper? False! Not sure I’d even do it if someone paid me millions.
Cooking-show-aholic? Sweetly true! I adore cooking shows. My favorite shows usually involve making a dessert of some kind – elaborate cakes, tarts, cookies etc. Often the recipes end up looking too beautiful to eat – but that wouldn’t stop me!
Meet PRSA SV Member: Elisabeth Handler, APR! 04.15.2019