Submitted by Nicole Cieslak, Tenable Network Security, Inc.
WebNotes turns the spotlight on member Vanessa Ulrich, director, media relations for Sage Growth Partners. In this Member Focus, you’ll get to know Vanessa, hear about how she got her start in PR as well as her passion for the arts and design.
When she’s not handling media relations activities for Sage Partners, Vanessa volunteers as president of AIGA Baltimore, the local chapter for professional designers, and is out networking with industry pros. Recognizing the importance of visual mediums, Vanessa’s creative eye helps her to take a holistic approach to public relations. Learn more about Vanessa in this Member Focus.
Hometown: I’ve lived all around Montgomery County–Burtonsville, Olney and Silver Spring. I also lived in Thailand for six years.
Education: I have a dual Bachelor’s of Science in International Business and Marketing from the University of Maryland College Park Smith School of Business, as well as a Master of the Arts in Design Management from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Job responsibilities: I direct Sage Growth Partners’ public relations activities, including strategy, writing and editorial outreach for clients. I also do some smaller account management. We wear many hats at work – on any given day I might be reaching out to the press, giving art direction to a designer, or collaborating with my team on an advertising campaign.
Why PR?: PR chose me! I originally wanted to go into brand management. When I moved to Baltimore I was looking for agency work developing brand stories through content development, design and identity. I freelanced for a while, and kind of fell into PR work because I was always talking about brand consistency, telling compelling stories and managing brand reputation.
Why PRSA?: PRSA has the best resources for the communications/PR industry. The newsletter has been one of my go-to sources for industry news.
Role model: I don’t really have one. If anything, my parents – they’re in very different lines of work (real estate and teaching), but both have very strong work ethics.
Passions/interests/hobbies: I’m currently serving as president of AIGA Baltimore, the local chapter for the professional association for design. I love being tapped into the design community and meeting talented creative professionals who solve communications problems through a visual medium. It helps me be a better art director at work, and helps me maintain a holistic, design-thinking approach to marketing projects – words, images, everything has to come together to deliver the right message at the right time.
Best piece of advice received: “Just be you – and don’t worry about being perfect.”