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On the Case With…

Each month, as part of “The Business Case for Public Relations,” PRSA asks an industry leader to reflect on his or her career and make a “business case” for public relations.

More from “On the Case With…”

On the Case with MaryLee Sachs


September 2, 2010

MaryLee Sachs is the former chairman of Hill & Knowlton USA. Prior to this, she spent 17 years in the United Kingdom as Hill & Knowlton’s executive vice president of worldwide marketing communications. She was also co-chair of the PRSA 2010 International Conference in Washington, D.C., Oct. 16 – 19.

NameMaryLee Sachs

Childhood ambition:
The ones I remember were pilot, and then lawyer

Current livelihood:
U.S. chair and global head of consumer marketing for international PR network

What changed (i.e., how you became interested in public relations):
When I was a senior in high school, the coursework of a friend in college sounded intriguing

First public relations job:
Gable PR, where I got to launch the San Diego Trolley, the Seaport Village and the Gaslamp Quarter

What you know now that you wish you’d known then:
How technology would become such a driving force of change

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received:
Find your own leadership style and be true to it

Greatest professional accomplishment:
Building a successful career in another country

If you weren’t in public relations, you would be:
In marketing or retail (I’m a professional “prosumer” and shopaholic)

Desired legacy:
To be thought of as a change agent in our profession

Make a “business case” for public relations:
Public relations isn’t just about getting into the media or generating word-of-mouth, it’s about creating business outcomes as a result of harnessing influence



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