Each and every team member at The James Agency brings their own personality and skills to the table to help create stunning work for our clients. In this month’s TJA team talent, get to know TJA’s director of public relations, Jennifer Adler!
What college did you graduate from? Major?
I went to UCLA and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Go Bruins!
Where did you grow up?
Ventura County in Southern California
What got you interested in the marketing/advertising agency?
I have always had an interest in PR, but initially fell into real estate development when I moved to Arizona during the market boom in 2005. When the real estate market crashed in 2008, I got my first job in PR at Martz Agency, which no longer exists. It was there that I discovered my passion for PR and decided to make it my career.
What are some challenges you face in your role at TJA?
The challenges I face in my role at TJA are the same challenges most PR pros likely face. The shrinking media landscape, especially locally, is challenging because there are fewer outlets and reporters to pitch our clients’ news. Quantifying PR results also can be challenging at times, since it is often difficult to tie PR efforts directly back to sales.
What success have you had in your role at TJA?
Since I’ve been at TJA, the PR team has been fortunate to work on some really cool campaigns that produced great results and moved the needle for our clients. One project I’m particularly proud of is the Hunger Action Month campaign we executed for Pei Wei last year. We recommended a title partnership with St. Mary’s Food Bank and coordinated a donation of more than 600 Kids Wei meals to a Title I elementary school in Phoenix. These efforts not only resulted in an impressive amount of earned media coverage totaling more than 4 million impressions but, more importantly, they funded more than 70,000 meals for Arizonans in need. The campaign was so successful locally, that Pei Wei decided to roll it out regionally this year.
What is your favorite part about your job?
There are a lot of things I love about my job – I love that every day is different and unpredictable, which keeps life interesting. I love the people I work with – both TJA team members and clients. And, I love producing great work and securing valuable media coverage for the brands we represent.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at the start of your career?
I wish I knew how quickly things can change in business – To appreciate the good things while they last, whether it be a good boss or cool client, and that challenges are fleeting. In hindsight, there are many things in my career I took for granted, and other things I unnecessarily stressed about.
What are some tools you use everyday that are specific to your role at TJA?
The media database and clipping services we subscribe to, as well as Google alerts. These tools help us compile target media lists and capture the coverage we secure for our clients.
What’s trending now in your department? What do you see happening in the future?
Similar to all other industries, technology has significantly changed PR as a practice. With more and more media bolstering their online presence or moving to an online format completely, it has become necessary to educate clients who still want to see their name in print on the significant value of online coverage. The line between PR and digital is now more blurred than ever and will become even more so in years to come. At TJA, we keep our clients relevant by staying on top of industry trends and integrating new technologies with tried and true traditional strategies.
What kind of work were you doing prior to TJA?
Before joining TJA, I worked in PR at two other full-service advertising agencies – LaneTerralever, the largest marketing firm in Phoenix, and Martz Agency in Scottsdale. Prior to going into PR, I worked in real estate development and still hold a current Arizona state real estate license.
What would you tell someone who wants to start a career in PR?
I would advise them to get a PR internship first, either with an agency or in-house. Real world experience is priceless and the best way to determine if a career in PR is a good fit. It’s a fast-paced and often stressful profession that isn’t for the faint of heart. However, most who choose to make it their career live and breathe it, and find it extremely rewarding.