Spotlight on: Jessica Sharp

How did you get into PR?

I went to Drexel, which has a five year co-op program where students go to school full-time for six months and then do an internship full-time for six months. My last internship was at Exelon Corporation in their external communications department. I worked closely with several of the company’s PR and advertising firms and what they were doing looked like a lot of fun. When I graduated I focused my job search on agencies and was fortunate enough to land a position at a small PR/advertising firm in Philly.

 

What’s the proudest moment of your career?

I’ve had so many! I think I’m most proud when we help a client to realize the power of PR. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many different clients and types of client contacts, some of whom didn’t believe they should hire a PR firm, or didn’t truly understand how PR fits into the overall marketing mix. When I see the lightbulb go on and they get it, it’s pretty great.

I’m also really proud of the company that Rebecca and I have built. It’s been almost 13 years since we started and it’s been amazing. There have been too many great moments to mention them all here.

 

How has the PR industry changed since you started?

The biggest change that I see is the shift from PR to integrated communications. PR can no longer stand alone and be successful. It has to be thoughtfully integrated with social media, content marketing, and digital. Not that long ago a big feature story in a top publication was enough to make a big impact. Today that’s not necessarily true. Coverage in traditional media is certainly still important, but it’s not the be all end all.

 

When you’re not at the office, what can we find you doing?

Right now I’m training for my first triathlon, so I’m doing a lot more running and biking than I normally do. Not so much swimming, which I need to work on.

 

What’s your favorite show to binge in Netflix?

Right now I’m watching the third season of Better Call Saul, which is really good.

 

What book are you currently reading?

I just finished Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman. I think I read the whole thing in two days, I couldn’t put it down.

 

What’s your favorite restaurant in the City?

I’m so lame. We used to go out all the time, and then we had kids, and now it’s exclusively sushi or pizza, which is pretty much the only thing they eat. That said, Pizzeria Stella is a go to, as is Morimoto, but that’s only on a night without kids.

 

What’s your dream vacation spot?

I love any vacation that involves an adventure or lots of activity – hiking, biking, sailing, climbing, etc. As long as it’s not too cold. I hate the cold (skiing is definitely out). We just got back from a week in Wyoming where we did horseback riding, hiking, biking, and yoga at the top of Jackson Hole Mountain, which was amazing.

 

And finally, tell us something about yourself that we’d never expect.

I play the violin. I started taking lessons with my kids about three years ago and they’ve since moved on to piano, but I stuck with it. I just started Suzuki Book 4, no big deal 😉