Women’s History Month Interview | Deirdre Breakenridge President of Mango! Marketing

For the month of March which is Women’s History Month, I will be featuring some women on my blog that I think you should know about. For me Women’s History Month it is not only about honoring those women who are already famous or notable. But those everyday wonderful women in our lives.

First up is Deirdre Breakenridge President of Mango! Marketing, author of PR 2.0 and Putting the Public Back in Public Relations, she is also an adjunct professor, and co-founder of #PRStudChat. You can follow her on twitter @dbreakenridge. You can read the interview below.

Deirdre Breakenridge President, Executive Director of Communications

The questions:
Q: What do you want leave as your legacy. What do you want to be remembered for?
A:  For my legacy, I hope to leave behind a spirit of giving.  We all grow into our professional roles;  constantly being helped and mentored by wonderful professionals that surround us throughout our careers.  I believe that each and every one of us reaches a critical point when it’s time to give back…to selflessly help others and to become the guiding light that we once relied on in earlier years (as we were learning and growing). I hope that I’m remembered for the different ways that I tried to give back over the years including my pro bono work with non-profits, mentoring students and even more seasoned professionals, and building opportunities for PR and communications professionals to collaborate (one of the main reasons for the creation of #PRStudChat community on Twitter). Giving back is one of the most important things we can do over the years. If I can leave behind a “pay it forward” attitude, then I will rest easy knowing that other professionals will continue a strong tradition of the “giving spirit.”
Q:  What challenges have you faced as a female business owner? How did you cope?
A:  When I think about the challenges in business, I’m not sure if I look at the gender issue.  Whether you are male or female and you’re in PR and marketing, business can be extremely tough in a recession when marketing and PR budgets are cut and during periods of change and unprecedented growth.  When my company, The Breakenridge Group was acquired by PFS back in 1998, I had two male partners.  I found the dynamics to be very interesting, as they never treated me like a woman or spared my feelings during tough times.  When things got rough, we sweat it out together and when they were good we celebrated.  Years ago I watched a speaker address a group of women business owners about  not bringing certain items into a boardroom when meeting with a client, for fear of appearing too feminine. However, I’ve learned over time, there will always be people who view you a certain way no matter what you do, how you act or what you bring into the boardroom.  I think the best thing to do in business is to be yourself and other professionals will either gravitate toward your personality and want to work with you or not. I can be an extremely “tough” professional when I need to be and I’m also a very human business person when dealing with past employees situations that require sentiment.  Today, I think being more human makes you a better business professional.
Q: What are some practical tips you can give for young female PR pros? Some Dos and Don’ts
A:  For young female professionals, don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.  It’s up to you if you want to accomplish a personal goal and not someone else.  I’ve always set goals and worked tirelessly to reach them. I remember when I received my first book contract in 1999.  At the time, a very close family member said to me, “You can’t write a book….you don’t know how.”  If I had listened years ago, then I wouldn’t have four books written and published.  It’s always up to you to start and finish something on your own.  You should always value opinions, but you can’t get so wrapped up in them that it stifles your dreams.  I also think it’s really important to trust your instincts.  As a female business owner, I have developed some really good instincts over the years, and whether it’s business or personal, don’t doubt that little voice that talks to you and tells you to walk away. More times than not it’s a voice of reason that protects you and sets you on the right path.
Such wise words from a women making great strides in business. I would like to thank her for the interview. Continued success.
Happy Flying,
~Solo Dove~

About the Author

Sandra Florent is the entertainment and non-profit publicist behind Solo Dove Public Relations. Based in New Jersey Solo Dove Public Relations provides personalized publicity, public relations, consulting, and event planning services to clients in their area of expertise.

  1. Special interview! Making people internalize a give back attitude is such a great and eternal legacy. Those people, by their turn, will inspire other people have a give back attitude as well and that is a significant contribution to humanity. It’s like RT-ing a message. And you saw its power when it gone viral.

    “It’s always up to you to start and finish something on your own. You should always value opinions, but you can’t get so wrapped up in them that it stifles your dreams.” (Deirdre Breakenridge) It happened to me too. I felt so good when it validated by experience. Trust yourself and go for your dreams.

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