“5W was named after the five enduring questions of communications: who, what, where, when and why. While the industry has grown and changed since the agency was founded, maintaining our mission to answer these five questions on behalf of our clients has kept our agency’s visions central, and our work successful.”
Dara, can you tell us about your professional background and your current role at 5W?
I am Co-CEO and leader of the Consumer Practice at 5WPR, where I’ve been for 8 years. In this position, I manage the overall growth, direction, and day-to-day business of the agency alongside my Co-CEO. In addition, I lead teams building award-winning campaigns, developing successful strategic media and influencer relations programs, and executing large-scale events across a variety of consumer industries including Travel & Entertainment, Apparel & Accessories, Non-Profits, Home & Housewares, Health & Wellness, Parent, Child & Baby, Beauty & Grooming, and Consumer Packaged Goods. A relentless client advocate, engaged mentor, and committed team builder, I have over 25 years of experience in the public relations industry driving awareness for consumer brands. Prior to joining 5WPR, I was the Executive Vice President/Managing Director at Rubenstein Public Relations, where I worked for 16 years managing the luxury/lifestyle division in addition to oversight of all agency practices. I live in South Orange, New Jersey, with my husband, three children and our Labradoodle, Kali. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and theater arts and a minor in marketing from the University of Miami.
What sets 5WPR apart from other public relations agencies?
5W was named after the five enduring questions of communications: who, what, where, when and why. While the industry has grown and changed since the agency was founded, maintaining our mission to answer these five questions on behalf of our clients has kept our agency’s visions central, and our work successful.
How has 5WPR adapted its approach to PR and communication in the evolving digital landscape?
5W has a long history of being one of the first agencies to utilize new and developing markets and technologies, helping us maintain an advantage thanks to our readiness to learn about and adopt new technologies. We’ve been known as an agency willing to take a chance, foraying into uncharted industries and utilizing new and emerging platforms. We’re willing to change our practices and restructure, when necessary, which continues to prove successful as we’ve continued to grow.
Storytelling is one of the oldest, yet most powerful communication tools we have as humans. How can brands use storytelling to build brand awareness and increase their visibility, particularly in a crowded and competitive marketplace?
Even as new platforms, outlets, and technologies are introduced, storytelling continues to be a powerful tool used across each. At the heart of your campaign or the story you’re looking to tell, should be your brand identity. Every story should effectively share your brand’s core values, mission, and vision. And while the look of the story might change, the message should be consistent across platforms. These engaging narratives will draw audiences in, and work towards building loyalty.
What are some effective strategies for building and maintaining brand loyalty in a socially driven world?
Social media can be an incredibly useful tool if you make sure you’re using it correctly. An influx of fast-adapting competitors can leave shoppers reconsidering their choices at every point of their buying journey. At the same time, you can’t solely rely on social media for your marketing strategy. To maintain consumer loyalty, it’s important to make sure every consumer touchpoint is up to par and works together. 5WPR’s fourth annual Consumer Culture Report can be found here.
How can PR agencies leverage natural language processing (NLP) tools to enhance their communication strategies, and what are the benefits of incorporating NLP tools into PR agency workflows?
A strength of public relations has always been bringing the human touch to a brand’s campaign. That’s not to say NLP tools can’t further strengthen a communications campaign. These tools can be used for media monitoring and trend analysis, identifying influencers, and customer feedback analysis. Integrating AI and NLP tools can help companies speed up these processes.
What advice would you give to other leaders which helped you personally?
My advice is always to run your own race. Don’t get caught up in comparing your journey against someone else’s or set arbitrary goals you feel you must meet before you can accomplish the next one. Focus on yourself and do not compare your success to that of another!
What is the biggest problem you or your team is solving this year?
We welcome challenges at all times and look forward to brainstorming creative campaigns and solutions. As an agency, we know every industry can benefit from public relations and our experience and interests vary far beyond one industry of work. Often, our experience in one industry will lend itself to another, and these expansive resources help to overcome challenges.
Is there anything that you’re currently watching, or any favorite TV shows, that you would recommend?
Ted Lasso, House of the Dragon, Working Moms, Dead to Me, Narcos.
I manage the overall growth, direction and day-to-day business of the Consumer Communications Divisions. With more than 25 years of PR experience, I lead teams building award-winning campaigns, developing successful strategic media and influencer relations programs, and executing large-scale events across a variety of consumer industries including Travel & Entertainment, Apparel & Accessories, Non-Profits, Home & Housewares, Health & Wellness, Parent, Child & Baby, Beauty & Grooming, and Consumer Packaged Goods.
5WPR is a full-service PR agency that partners with brands – both established and emerging, corporations, global interests, national organizations, consumer companies, start-ups to unicorn technology companies, high-profile individuals, regional businesses, and others, to help them define and achieve their strategic PR goals.