Every month, PRSA-LA highlights members who are making an impact — sharing their ideas, information, and stories about their experiences in PR. This month, we are featuring Shawn Smith, Director of Worldwide Public Relations for Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
What do you love about PR/communications?
I love that no day is ever the same. You’re writing an announcement one moment, pitching media the next, managing an issue or coming up with the next great PR campaign. Every day there’s a new and exciting challenge.
What motivates you each morning?
I’m motivated by love… God, family, career, community, and service… at the foundation of all of the things that are important to me is love.
Who has been the most influential person in your career?
I’ve had the blessing of having many great mentors throughout my career, but the most influential was Pat Tobin who was the co-founder of National Black Public Relations Society. She gave me my very first PR job at her agency Tobin & Associates.
What’s your PR secret weapon?
Staying calm under pressure! It’s PR, not ER!
What is the best piece of career advice you have ever received?
When I was an account executive at Rogers & Cowan, my boss told me to own my decisions. He trusted my judgement and explained that even if he challenged me about a decision that I made I needed to be able to articulate my thinking, even if we ultimately went a different direction. It was an important lesson to trust my own judgement and believe in myself.
What was your favorite PRSA-LA event/program and why?
I can’t name just one, but the standouts for me have been PRisms and State of the State: Diversity and Inclusion.
What do you like most about PRSA-LA?
PRSA-LA gives me the opportunity to build camaraderie with colleagues, and I continue to learn how multi-faceted our industry is through the people that I meet.