October 2, 2013
Linda Beltran is the director of communications at the Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C. She has more than two decades of PR experience and was previously the director of public relations at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo.
She began her career with Tsantes & Associates, a small, high-tech agency located in San Jose, Calif., before transitioning to the hospitality sector at Victoria King Public Relations in Los Angeles. She has also worked at JMPR Public Relations, Woodside Hotels and the Fairmont Newport Beach. A native of Hollister, Calif., Beltran is an avid sports fan, has visited every major league baseball park and enjoys traveling the world.
“I am fortunate to be working for a company that values public relations and its role within the sales and marketing program, but when conferring with industry peers, positions are becoming scarce and upper-tier positions are few and far between,” she says of trends in the travel and tourism sector.
“The PR profession has always dealt with the issue of demonstrating ROI, and that is especially prevalent in this economy when traditional print coverage is being consumed by online media outlets and social media mentions. A serious review of how to move our profession forward within this industry could not come at a better time, and I would fully welcome and support that discussion.”
Name: Linda Beltran
Director of communications, Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.
In high school, I saw something on TV that discussed the role of a PR person, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do for my career.
First public relations job:
Tsantes & Associates — I was an administrative assistant
What you know now that you wish you’d known then:
Some things are simply beyond your control so just do your utmost best, every day.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received:
Not one single piece, but a “life collection” of wise words from my parents — hard work will always be noticed and rewarded accordingly.
Greatest professional accomplishment:
Pitching an article to The Wall Street Journal about an event in my hometown of Hollister, Calif., and being asked to write the article. It was published on July 23, 1997.
If you weren’t in public relations, you would be:
Doing sports public relations or sports commentating.
That I was absolutely dedicated to my trade and to the PR profession, and that I worked to encourage future generations to join the “fray,” armed with life lessons that helped me grow and advance professionally
Make a “business case” for public relations:
Public relations should be an ongoing, consistent function of the business structure and will succeed if a company/brand invests in the principles of the trade as opposed to seeking it out periodically for special projects or in times of crisis. Having a PR plan in place and someone who is prepared and actively engaged in the process will ensure that the company/brand is well positioned, that media opportunities are maximized and that difficult times will be anticipated and addressed.