Hispanic public relations agency VPE appointed Veronica Rodriguez as account director in the New York City office, following a recent expansion.
Ms. Rodriguez has served as a senior public relations and social media manager with some of the leading Hispanic advertising and PR agencies based in New York.
Ms. Rodriguez has managed major national campaigns for national brands, and has also overseen corporate PR initiatives in previous positions at Universal Motown Music Group and Atari. She will be responsible for overseeing the agency's Verizon Wireless account and building VPE's East Coast presence.
Established in 1998 and based in South Pasadena, Calif., VPE has represented McDonald's, Disneyland and Verizon Wireless for a combined total of more than 60 years.
HispanicBusiness asked Ms. Rodriguez how U.S. Hispanics are faring in the industry. During the past two decades Hispanics have had a significant impact within the public relations industry, but "disparity among Hispanic public relations professionals remains prevalent," she says.
"From comparable access to industry knowledge and professional development, to proportionate earnings compared to that of our general market counterparts," Ms. Rodriguez continues, "Hispanic public relations professionals are still carving out a level playing field to compete amongst industry colleagues."
A graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, Ms. Rodriguez is completing her master's of science degree in executive communications management at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.
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She describes PR as a game of chess, and offers this advice to budding professionals:
"Don't be afraid to roll up your sleeves, ask questions and work hard," she says. "Expand your interests and don't be afraid to take chances. ... In order to achieve optimal results, you must analyze, strategize, recognize patterns and be prepared to adapt to every changing situation."
Lastly, because social media is a prevalent tool in the PR game, we asked Ms. Rodriguez about its significance. She called social media a "communications vehicle." A PR professional's role in social media is to "serve as (a) strategic counselor and a communications choreographer" that engages discussions and encourages conversations.
"In order to accomplish that role, it is important for public relations professionals to have a seat at the executive table from the beginning," Ms. Rodriguez said. "This will enable us to frame the discussion, moderate and interweave content throughout the communications process, serving as a key facilitator of two-way dialog."
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