PR Profile: Marisa Cuglietta

Marisa2 0Name: Marisa Cuglietta 

Job title: Senior PR Account Manager & Social Media Specialist  

Company you work for: Hawksworth Communications

Career background: 7 years PR agency experience: 1 year at a local consumer PR agency (Milton Keynes, England); 3 years at Hills Balfour Synergy (London, England) with clients including Kenya Tourism Board, Hawaii Tourism Europe and North Carolina Division of Tourism & Film; 3 years and currently at Hawksworth Communications (Vancouver BC) with clients including Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Hawksworth Restaurant, West Coast Fishing Club, The Magnolia Hotel & Spa and Le Creuset Canada.

Career aspirations: Eventually I would like to move in-house with a luxury hotel, tourism bureau or tour operator, but for now I am very happy with the fast and varied pace of agency life.

Greatest career challenge: Balancing seven clients and making sure they all receive the very best attention and personalized experience with our agency.

Greatest career success: Establishing myself in a new country within an admired agency, doing exactly what I love to do. Growing my Canadian and US national media relationships to be on par with my existing London connections.

Biggest career mistake or regret: Agreeing to work on a media mega-fam to reestablish Kenya as a safe and viable tourism destination. It was more work than I could have ever imagined - 30 media from 12 key markets, all organized through our London team. It worked though and Kenya went from being black listed by the FCO in January 07 (following the terrible uprising after the 2006 elections) to returning to 75% of tourism arrivals by September 07.

Favourite PR/communications campaign: World’s Greatest Job by Tourism Queensland – I worked as part of the team to launch and establish the campaign in the UK, a campaign which grew into one of the most talked about and successful the world over.

PR role model: I have two – my current boss, Annabel Hawksworth who inspires me everyday by seeing potential and scope in every opportunity but knowing when something isn’t necessarily a fit for our client; and my past boss at Hills Balfour Synergy, Jonathan Sloan for believing in me at an early age.

Best career advice: Ask questions; allow yourself to be impassioned by your clients, get to the heart of what they are and what they aspire to be; celebrate your achievements (press coverage, successful events, securing interviews, overcoming a crisis) - they are what makes the hours and hard work all worthwhile; and smile!

Best place to ‘do coffee’ in Vancouver: Bel Café at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia (slightly biased but their Cappuccino and macarons are second to none)

Favourite journalist to pitch to: Patrick Dineen, Travel Deals Editor at the Globe & Mail because he is a huge UK football (soccer) fan and always reminds me of home.

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Favourite social media site:

Fun fact about you: I have travelled across six continents: hiked to Macchu Picchu, sky dived in New Zealand, white water rafted in Borneo, qualified PADI on the Great Barrier Reef and rode a Yak in India…