By Alexa Grunder | February 12, 2020

As part of our spotlight series on the team members of MSR, I had the pleasure of speaking with Crisel Ortiz, Senior Director of MSR Communications. Crisel possesses a rare yin and yang of strategic- and creative-thinking that’s one ingredient in the secret-sauce that makes MSR so unique. She’s driven to continually find unexpected ways and fresh ideas that’ll get our clients in front of the right people. That means being fearless when it comes to shaking up strategy with a healthy dose of creativity.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Crisel! Can you tell us about your journey into the PR industry?

A friend’s friend was in entertainment PR. It sounded interesting so I looked into it in high school. While in college I was a media major but switched to a Communication major. Since my school only offered one PR class I decided to take an internship with a local agency, which is where I learned the ins and outs of PR. I had a great mentor who taught me how to pitch via the phone — something a lot of people no longer do — and how to think creatively when you have no news. Broadcast became a specialty, but I wanted to do more than just consumer, I was intrigued by mobile and personal technology, so I decided to move to San Francisco which is where I met Mary. My friend had been working for her and introduced us and shortly after I joined. Since then its been a whirlwind but I love every moment of it — the clients, webinars, professional development, etc. I’m sure there’s more to come! 

What evolutions and changes have you noticed since the start of your career as a PR professional?

    1. Blogging became a thing 
    2. Social media & influencers 
    3. Shift from phone pitching to email pitching 
    4. Shrinking newsrooms

What advice would you give to those looking to begin a career in PR?

    1. Find a mentor 
    2. Don’t be afraid to ask questions 
    3. Don’t be afraid to play devil’s advocate 
    4. Engage with reporters early on (i.e. follow/engage on social media) 
    5. Practice coming up with pitches 

Can you tell us about a quote that inspires you and how it is relevant to your life?

“Just keep swimming” – Dori from Nemo. When you’re not sure what to do you just keep swimming and you’ll get there. Relates to life as a new-ish mom juggling work and home.

Can you give us a sneak peek of the apps that are most used on your mobile device?

Instagram, Yelp, Amazon, Fishbowl. 

If you could meet any influential person, who would it be and why?

Jennifer Lawrence – she keeps it real.

Thanks Crisel for your insights and helpful PR advice! 

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