Name: Amanda Haines
Job title: Owner & Director
Company you work for: Reformation PR
Career background: I started out as a temporary intern at a small Vancouver-based PR agency. Two weeks turned into 10 hours a week and eventually became a full-time gig.
Two years later, I made the switch to an in-house position at Earls Restaurants Ltd., Western Canada’s largest premium casual dining chain, where I managed strategic marketing for a region of restaurants while directing branding and public relations initiatives company-wide. I was there for nearly four years before deciding to strike out on my own.
Career aspirations: I’ve always wanted to make my mark in the consumer lifestyle industry. I’ve been a popular media junkie since I can remember! When I started out, my sights were set on eventually having my own PR boutique; now that it’s a reality, my goal is to grow the company and add to our solid list of clients, eventually hiring staff and – gasp! – opening a real office.
Greatest career challenge: I’m right in the middle of it! Having my own company has been a thrill, but it also has its fair share of challenges. Right now, I wear a variety of hats – I’m the director, the book-keeper, the administrative assistant and the business development manager! It’s a tough task to keep everything balanced, but luckily I’m quick on my feet and thrive under pressure.
Greatest career success: Taking the plunge and starting my own PR firm.
Biggest career mistake or regret: I don’t believe in having regrets – we’re meant to learn from our mistakes and be better for it.
Favourite PR/communications campaign: Anything to do with PAPYRUS and its incredible collection of haute couture, wearable paper dresses. We’ve staged a few fashion shows, hired live mannequins and wowed consumers with them in Calgary, Saskatchewan and Salt Lake City.
PR role model: I have a few! Tara Parker Tait gave me my start and I’ll always be grateful to her for taking me under her wing. Jane Gill is one of the loveliest people I’ve met in the industry and I greatly admire everything she’s accomplished.
I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Kelly Cutrone – her books gave me the confidence to start my business (I’ve also been known to repeat her mantra, “if you have to cry, go outside!”).
Best career advice: Be prepared to slog it out. The only way to the top in this industry is through hard work, determination and a never-say-die attitude.
Best place to ‘do coffee’ in Vancouver: Coffeebar in Gastown makes the best latte in the city, hands down! Add free unlimited Wi-Fi, great people watching and some seriously tempting desserts to the mix and what’s not to love?
Favourite journalist to pitch to: Great question! I’m fortunate to have strong relationships with a lot of media in Vancouver, Calgary and elsewhere. If I had to choose, I’d say Fiona Hopewell-Jensen at Global BC. She is always open to my ideas and a total pleasure to work with.
Favourite website: Gawker is always good for a laugh. How can you resist headlines like “Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison Are Once Again Living in Sin”?
Favourite social media site: I’m a reformed Facebook user – Twitter is my new addiction.
Fun fact about you: I’ve been mistaken for Lindsay Lohan more than once. Thank goodness I’m in PR or else that might be a tough situation to diffuse!