Featured Speaker Q & A: Mara Woloshin

Mara Woloshin, APR, M.A., PRSA College of Fellows

Principal, Woloshin Communications

Mara Woloshin is a certified and licensed corporate specialist and one of the few marketers in the Pacific Northwest with a depth of knowledge in Medicare and Medicaid marketing compliance. A professional speaker and trainer for over 15 years, she has been consulting and training adult audiences on marketing Aging America for over a decade. In addition to her full-service agency, she has taught marketing and public relations at Oregon universities since 1989. In 2006 and 2007, Mara was the Oregon and Washington spokesperson for the launching of Medicare Part D during George W. Bush’s administration. Mara has been a trade show speaker for the following industries: solar systems, home building, medical products, insurance, automobile services and others. Some of Mara’s current clients include: Clark College Community Foundation, Eola Hills Winery, Food & Wine Society of Clark county, Vancouver Clinic, CareOregon Advantage, CareOregon, The Insurance Store NW, Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, AREScms, TomegaVax, WHPacific, Cedar Sinai Park and Unity Advisors.

We are excited to catch up with Mara before the conference to learn a little more about her and gain new insight from an accomplished PR professional.

What was your first job in PR?

My first job in PR was an accident. Back in the day, the organization I worked for hired a security guard as their PR person. Of course, he was fired. I got the job (before there was formal PR education). They hired me because I told great jokes! That year I developed 130 concerts, events and programs. It was a trial by fire.

Which skill makes you great at your job in PR? What skills do you use daily in PR?

Communication theory and effective listening skills come into play BEFORE writing skills. I strongly believe what was written in an old edition of Effective Public Relations. An individual must LIKE people to be successful in PR.

What can the audience expect from your presentation?

Lots of “how tos’” and a rich understanding of the background of branding. I believe that the best presentations inspire participants to discover their own knowledge base and expand on it. I’ve structured this co-presentation so that folks will have tools to take back to their desk to use, AND understand the rich history of Branding.

Why do you feel strategy is so important in PR?

Never cut a tree with a dull ax. Strategy (and constant monitoring of measurable objectives) keeps campaigns successful with measurable outcomes.

What are your biggest influences in PR? What are the biggest challenges that are surfacing in PR?

Folks need to stop complaining that PR is changing. That’s the nature of our business. My biggest influencers, hands down, have been my mentors, from psychologists to business executives to other marketing and PR professionals.  Please REMEMBER, if you choose a mentor, it is a two-way relationship. There must be something in it for them as well.  

Do you see changes on how PR professionals deliver our message coming down the pike?

PR + Marketing = marcom. It’s a reality. Ditto the digital world.

Is there anything we haven’t asked you that you would like attendees to know?

Knowledge and learning are lifelong. Regardless of age. I’ve learned as much from my mentees and students over the years, as I have from some of the best sociologists and scholars who teach about our profession.