Opening her own public relations agency was something Mindy considered doing for more than 10 years. She took the long road to get here, though. That’s because she wanted to be absolutely sure it was the right step for her. Along the way, she had lots of experiences that made her a better PR practitioner, and that’s a good thing for everyone – clients, journalists and Mindy herself. Here’s how and why she created MBPR, in her own words:
The Route I Took
At the heart of it all, I consider myself a journalist. Tracking down facts and weaving them into interesting and entertaining stories are skills that come naturally to me. Though I’m told not many people actually end up staying on a career path that’s in line with what they studied in school, right from the start I seemed to know what I wanted to do – with a slight modification along the way. Here’s how I got to where I am today:
- Got hooked on the idea of working with the media at age 16, when I took my first journalism class in high school.
- Majored in both print journalism and broadcast communications at Elon College (now Elon University) in North Carolina.
- Worked for a daily newspaper and two travel magazines.
- Took a PR job at The Baltimore Zoo (now the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore) in 1994 simply to make ends meet. I was shocked to discover that PR was what I was meant to do; it was as if I’d found the final piece of a puzzle I’d been working on for years.
- Coordinated PR efforts at the Maryland Office of Tourism Development for more than 10 years.
- Served for seven years as the public relations director at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts in Pennsylvania.
- Spent four years as the executive vice president of a small PR agency that focuses on travel clients that range from cruise lines to resorts.
- Launched Mindy Bianca Public Relations on August 1, 2016 ... and have never been happier!
My Work Philosophy
Being a PR person for the travel industry just feels “right” to me. There may be easier ways to make a living, but I can’t think of a single one that’s more gratifying. I think the people who are best at what they do are usually the most passionate, and a few things I really love have managed to collide beautifully in this job I’ve created for myself:
- Travel: I feel most at home when I’m not at home and believe that travel is the best way for a great big world to become a much more intimate place.
- Media: I admire great reporting and am thoroughly disappointed by the concept of “citizen journalism.” It’s been more than 20 years since I was a journalist, but I still like to follow the story.
- Connections: If you ask my peers to identify my “personal brand,” they’ll likely mention that I know lots of people … and am eager to introduce them to each other for the benefit of all.
- Details: I’m probably the most anal-retentive person you’ll ever meet, and I think that’s a big part of what makes me good at what I do. I’m fantastic with details, and the world of PR is filled with lots and lots of those.
One of the best ways to get to know travel journalists and fellow PR practitioners is by joining organizations designed to bring all of these professionals together. I’m pleased to be affiliated with the following groups:
- Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) – Member since 1997, former board member on both the chapter and society levels
- Public Relations Society of America’s Travel and Tourism Section (PRSA) – Member since 1996, former board member and chair of the section
- Mid-Atlantic Tourism Public Relations Alliance (MATPRA) – I founded this partnership of state and local tourism offices in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia in 2002 and now serve as its “member emeritus”