Interview with 2018 Ringer Award Winner, Julie Staadecker

Julie Staadecker is a Vice President at SHIFT Communications where’s she’s been for more than seven years. A dynamic PR and communications professional, Julie has spent the latter part of her career rising the ranks at SHIFT Communications, holding a variety of roles at the agency from Account Manager, to Account Director and now Vice President. She has an impressive track record with her clients and is known as an exceptional leader to her teams, so it’s no wonder she was named the 2018 Ringer Award Winner for mid-level practitioner of the year.

Here’s what Julie had to say about her experience winning the award and her perspective on the PR industry:

  1. As the winner of the Ringer Award for mid-level practitioner of the year, what did this award mean to you personally?

I was honored to be selected for last year’s Ringer Award. As our industry evolves, I’ve been surrounded by colleagues who are eager to stay at the forefront of innovation in our field; they encourage me to learn and lead, and I’m appreciative of the acknowledgement of these efforts.

  1. What are some of the key lessons, either personally or professionally that you’ve learned since starting in PR?

The most important lesson I’ve learned in PR is to prioritize strategy over execution. As PR professionals, our day-to-day roles keep us moving a million miles a minute. Yet, if we focus on checking off tasks versus bigger picture thinking, it’s more likely we’ll falter on achieving our clients’ goals in a smart way and responding proactively to any challenges.

  1. What motivates you most about PR and a career in this industry?

My favorite thing about PR is its rapidly-changing nature. For those who are intellectually curious and like a fast-paced environment where no day is the same, a career in PR may be a great fit. You’ll never be bored, even at a desk job!

  1. How has the industry evolved since you first started your career in PR?

The biggest change since I started my career is the way we approach media relations. From the days of faxing press releases, cutting out coverage for clip books and dialing for dollars, now we need to be more creative and targeted in our outreach efforts. Particularly within the last 2-3 years, the need to leverage data and analytics, as well as merge with digital marketing tactics, has become increasingly vital.

  1. What do you look for when hiring talent at SHIFT Communications?

The most important traits I look for when hiring in a candidate are smart and scrappy. The former means someone – regardless of their experience – will be able to learn and grow quickly, adding value to the team at any level. The latter shows they’ll also be able to get their hands dirty, diving into the hectic, creative and tactical nature that our jobs sometimes take on.

  1. What advice would you offer to the selection committee in identifying the next Ringer Award for mid-level practitioner of the year winner?

In choosing this year’s Ringer Award, I’d suggest that the selection committee look for nominees who place the value of team above client work. I’m a true believer that if you keep the people you oversee happy, great work with follow. I’d also look for someone who can use both the left and right sides of their brain, someone whose shown they can think both creatively and systematically.