PR pro’s advice: Read everything, and be mindful of the power and responsibility of social media

Jennifer Bradley

“My favorite quote is, ‘Tell your story before someone tells it for you,’ ” says Jennifer Bradley, owner of JB Public Relations. Bradley, who has worked in Las Vegas for 18 years, has represented Vegas PBS, Nevada State College, Claire Sinclair and Carla Pellegrino, among others, and has been a stalwart supporter of the nonprofit sector.

How involved are you with nonprofit organizations and what services do you provide them?

I am a board member and the PR representative (with media relations and social media) for three nonprofits, including the American Cancer Society-Las Vegas, St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital Leadership Board and Sunrise Children’s Foundation. Additionally, I help media outreach for Vegas Golden Knights Foundation/Folded Flag Foundation, Save Red Rock and Lion Habitat Ranch.

This year, I served on the committee for the Heart Ball for the American Heart Association and assisted with PR for the St. Jude’s Fashion Gala, Boulder City Hospital Foundation Gala and the Rock ’n Roar event at the Lion Habitat Ranch 5, which benefited Sunrise Children’s Foundation and supported its early childhood programs.

What are the benefits of being your own boss instead of working for a larger firm?

I prefer the flexibility, as while I also tend to work more frequently, the hours can be modified to fit client events and needs, rather than the standard 9-to-5 office hours.

There seems to be a trend of PR specialists leaving agencies and finding a niche with clients who only desire PR services, such as: media outreach, grand openings and social media. Coming from three prior full-service agencies, I have developed partnerships with fellow PR reps for additional services, such as creative design and media buying. If a business only need earned media, I am a boutique hands-on agency option for providing agency expertise.

How do you stay on top of the media landscape in Nevada?

It’s teamwork with the media, and keeping in communication for their preferred story topics, developing creative angles and being mindful of editorial calendars. Nurture relationships and never burn bridges; most of my clients are referrals and my database of media contacts has been built over the years, and based on recommendations to new producers or reporters as a reputable story resource.

Social media is also key. I am constantly monitoring social media buzz for breaking news or national stories that may applicable for clients locally.

What has been your most exciting PR campaign?

This past February, I was the PR liaison included the inaugural Construction Vs Cancer event for American Cancer Society, which raised more than $280,000 and celebrated 500 VIP Survivors and had more than 1500 guests. Money raised helped fund a pediatric cancer navigator in Las Vegas. It was inspiring to see the construction industry come together for this momentous event.

Additionally, last year, I was involved with an award-winning press conference with inspirational speeches by supporters, including Imagine Dragons, as we pleaded with the county commissioners and the community to save Red Rock Canyon and halt the development of homes being built in the majestic natural recreational area.

Some of my other memorable PR campaigns with the team at Preferred PR included the “These Boots are Made For Rockin’ ” campaign with the opening of Kiss Monster Mini Golf, where we had several Las Vegas celebrities wear the Kiss boots in honor of the new entertainment venue opening. Another favorite campaign included the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Margarita, which was a pink hue to benefit Susan G. Komen, for Ricardo’s Mexican Restaurant.

What advice do you have to offer those who want to break out in the PR sector?

Stay relevant, network constantly and be knowledgeable of industry trends. Read everything and read daily. Social media is a great tool to quickly peruse headline news and top stories. Be mindful of your own posts, as they can act as press announcements. Join the Public Relations Society of America — the media roundtables are so helpful!

Where do you like to explore in Las Vegas?

I admire the beauty and serenity of Red Rock Canyon. Our sunsets are breathtaking. I love to find hidden shops and new restaurants or places that have good music.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

I love Las Vegas, yet my goal is to travel more overseas. My daughter recently studied abroad in London and I vicariously lived through her European travels. Yet, San Diego is tempting; it would be the perfect tranquil part-time office.

Whom do you admire?

Visionaries and dreamers. Also, my dad, who inspired me to major in business and also encouraged me to take a chance and venture off on my own.

What is something that people might not know about you?

I used to be in show choir. I was always a dream to be in a musical on Broadway. I wish they had “American Idol” back in my high school days.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

The next decade will be an exciting time to be in PR in Las Vegas, especially with the new sports landscape. We are not only the entertainment capital, but also are leading the way in medical tourism and technology. I love the partnerships with our current and upcoming professional athletic teams and admire the spirit it brings to our community.