January 4, 2018

As we begin the New Year, we can’t help but do some reflecting. So, for this first blog post of 2018, I sat down with an Aria veteran, EVP Jessica Cohen, to uncover some of the lessons she has learned working in healthcare PR, her thoughts on the changing industry, and why she has called Aria home for more than a decade.


Q: After thirteen years at Aria Marketing, what still gets you excited to come to work every day?


A: This might sound a little cliché, but it is truly the people that I work with – both my colleagues at Aria and my clients – that have kept me at Aria for so long. My partners and I have created this little work family over here and we strive to make this a place where people want to come to every day. The people we hire and the businesses we partner with all truly value collaboration, and are all smart, nice, creative people that I am honored to work with every day.


Q: Over the years, have you seen a shift in how PR in healthcare is done?


A: Absolutely. For starters, when I started doing this in 2005, everything we did was manual! For example, we used to “clip” articles by first printing the article out, then scanning it into the computer, then turning it into a PDF. It would take forever! Manual processes aside, I think, overall, the pace of healthcare PR has just gotten so much faster. The proliferation of digital media outlets and social media channels has given us so many more opportunities to share our clients’ thought leadership and news and to engage with industry influencers. One new challenge we face in PR today is, with a 24-hour news cycle, companies must innovate, generate and respond to news at a rapid pace in order to stay relevant.


Q: What are the top three tips you would you give to someone starting out in PR?


  • Be a sponge: Take everything in, but know where to draw the line between what you need to know and what you don’t. Remember that as PR professionals we are essentially story tellers, so it is important to be able to articulate your client’s key messages and value proposition, but you don’t necessarily need to know exactly how the data processing (for example) is done.


  • Don’t wait for someone to ask you a question:  Being proactive is critical when you are working at a PR agency. If you can think ahead and predict what information your manager or client will want to know or what questions they will ask you and provide them with an update first, you will not only save time, but you will foster a more trusting relationship. 


  • Set yourself up for success: When you are working at a PR agency on multiple accounts and reporting to multiple managers, having solid organizational skills is essential. Make ‘to do’ lists, utilize your calendars, create folders – all that jazz. I have never seen someone succeed in this industry without adopting good organizational processes.


Q: From an executive perspective, what makes Aria Marketing such a successful PR agency?


A: I think one of the keys to our success is that we understand the link between employee and client satisfaction. If our employees are happy, respected and enjoy the work they are doing, they will go that extra mile to ensure good results for our clients – which in turn, means happy and loyal clients. The other key to our success has been staying true to our core. We know the issues, the companies, the publications and reporters, and are able to leverage all of this to achieve really amazing results for our clients.


Sound like a fit for you? Aria is currently hiring! We are looking for a senior account executive or director-level executive to join our award-winning team with at least five years of healthcare or B2B PR experience. To apply, please send your resume to: jcohen@ariamarketing.com.

Blog post written by:
Norissa Morse
Author: Norissa Morse
Account Coordinator