PR Profile: Melissa Orozco

Melissa OrozcoName: Melissa Orozco

Job title: Director of PR/Principal

Company you work for: Yulu Communications

Career background: I have worked in communications since 2004. Prior to starting my own PR agency in 2011, I worked with leading PR agencies both in Vancouver and in New York City.

Career aspirations: I’m doing it – to own my own agency!

Greatest career challenge: Starting a business without a business partner to share the workload.

Greatest career success: As we are a small team, my greatest career accomplishment was when I made my first hire, as to me, it represented growth, success and a bright future.

Biggest career mistake or regret: I don’t think I’ve made it…yet. I have to often remind myself to grow at a comfortable pace, as that’s where I could see a mistake or regret come in, if there were to be one. When you’re a growing company, it takes extreme discipline to not take on every client that comes your way. However, this discipline is what keeps my team level-headed, and my clients well-serviced and happy.

Favourite PR/communications campaign:

Working with our client F Cancer, a Vancouver-based cancer detection education charity, Yulu Communications has had many opportunities to execute exciting and impactful community outreach campaigns. To date, the most audience-captivating campaign we have executed with F Cancer is “The Cancer Talk.”

The aim was to motivate Gen Y (AKA millennials) to make a difference in fighting cancer by talking to their parents about early detection. With 90 per cent of cancers being curable if caught in stage one, it's extremely important to take a proactive rather than reactive approach to this disease. “The Cancer Talk” title roots from the awkward "sex talk" our parents had with us growing up. The message we're trying to share with today's youth is: "hey, your parents took the time to have the awkward sex talk with you, now it's your turn to pay it forward and have the awkward cancer talk with them.”

To execute this campaign we have established relationships with influential celebrities to have them share the story of when their parents had the sex talk with them. The stories are personal and funny and each celebrity-featured video ends with the star bringing the attention back around to the main goal; to have today’s youth now pay it forward and have the cancer talk with their parents.

You can see many of these “Cancer Talk” videos online at cancertalk.letsfcancer.com. Through just one of the 16 celebrity endorsement videos that were facilitated for the campaign, F Cancer was able to spread their message to more than 54 million followers in less than three weeks.

Wanting to capitalize on the massive success we were experiencing with our the digital media campaign, Yulu Communications suggested that we send F Cancer’s founder Yael Cohen on a New York City media tour. With less than one week’s notice, Yulu secured Yael interviews with leading media outlets including: CNN, VOGUE, Forbes, ELLE, Teen VOGUE, Fitness Magazine, Fast Company, Marie Claire and more. We are now looking into doing the same type of media tour for LA media and are hopeful and confident we’ll have a similar response. Click here to see Yael’s interview on CNN talking about “The Cancer Talk”: http://youtu.be/TzAP8WBbbAI

PR role model: Florence Quinn, the CEO of a creative PR agency I worked at in New York City.

Best career advice: Bite off more than you can chew – Advice from my mother.

Best place to ‘do coffee’ in Vancouver: When I’m not telling my clients’ compelling news stories, I’m stirring up a mean cappuccino in the Yulu office. I read once that an espresso machine was a luxury that small companies do not need. I completely disagree. That little machine gives us the 3pm jolt we often need to get thought a busy day!

Our office is located in Granville Island so clients and guests often enjoy meeting with us in our water-view office. Aside from that, we have a plethora of delicious coffee joints on Granville Island that we indulge in often.

Favourite journalist to pitch to: Dan Cassidy with the Vancouver Sun and Carrie Stephenson with CTV are both a real pleasure to work with.

Favourite website: My internet browser homepage is the Vancouver Sun so I suppose that would be it. Though for pleasure purposes, I read the Sunday NY Times’ Style section religiously.

Favourite social media site: Twitter has become in the last year a huge news source and story lead source for us so without question it’s Twitter. Facebook comes in at a close second as it’s a great tool for sharing our clients’ news, as well as building communities for them.

That said, Twitter is the only site I have streaming on my computer screen all day. I would say at least once a week, we get a story lead or idea for a client from the Tweets that we follow.

Fun fact about you: While living in New York City, studying communications, I worked as a photo re-toucher for Victoria Secret catalogue. Don’t believe what you see on magazine covers!

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