One great satisfaction of working in public relations for a few decades is observing the ascent of younger professionals, those aspiring communicators dedicated to growing, learning and moving the industry and practice forward.
Andrea Cordts certainly meets this criteria. We met through the PRSA Chicago Board of Directors, where we both served as volunteer leaders. At the time, she worked in the communications department at Baird & Warner, a Chicago real estate firm with a 160-year history. Always bright and energetic, Andrea demonstrated poise and professionalism at chapter meetings and events.
Not surprisingly, she’s moved on to a new company and new challenges.
Andrea now holds the position of Account Director with Fetch Public Relations, LLC, a seven-year-old Chicago communications company. According to the agency’s website, Fetch is “a full service public relations firm specializing in publicity, content marketing, social media and branding.”
In the latest PRDude Q&A feature profile, Andrea shares thoughts on her new company, her successful blog and “show business” career.
- The big first question: You left the corporate world for the agency world. Congratulations! What prompted the move to Fetch Public Relations, LLC?
Thank you! I didn’t really look at it as a corporate-to-agency move, so much as an opportunity to become more involved in the overall strategy and development of public relations plans. I was also eager to gain more experience in mentoring junior staff and making a real impact in the day-to-day running of a company, both of which are a part of my new position.
- A review of the agency’s website reveals you’re representing hospitality, as well as some real estate accounts. How did your work at Baird and Warner prepare you for these new client challenges?
Real estate is all about customer service and experience, which translates very well to hospitality. This, paired with my early career experiences in the hospitality industry, made for a pretty seamless transition.
- We met a few years ago when we both were on the Board at PRSA Chicago. How have you grown as a public relations professional during that time?
Being on the Board at PRSA Chicago was such an incredible learning experience, especially at that stage of my career. I learned a great deal about accountability and how to work with professionals at all levels in a learning, collaborative environment.
- My sources tell me – okay, you told me – that you’re a fellow blogger. What’s the status of the Chicago Quirk blog?
Ha ha, bloggers gotta stick together! However, I have moved on from Chicago Quirk. It’s still live, and since I utilized SEO tactics when writing my blogs, it still gets nearly 200 hits a day! My life changed immensely since I started it — job changes, had a kid, bought a house — and since it’s a Chicago Now blog, I wasn’t able to really re-brand. I’m actually working on another blog project that I hope to launch soon though. Stay tuned!
- My sources also told me – full disclosure: You told me – that you once had a career in the medieval-themed entertainment industry. And, your LinkedIn profile states you were a professional dancer and still do standup comedy. Do you incorporate these talents into your client work at Fetch?
I’m not sure my days as a wench at Medieval Times helps my current career, aside from the fact that I have unique stories to tell at cocktail parties! (Especially since my husband worked their too!) Yes, I was in a professional dance company until my late 20’s, and I did standup for several years until my daughter was born. Again, good stories to tell at parties, but it gave me invaluable presentation skills and the ability to think on my feet — no pun intended.
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This space has profiled other outstanding women in public relations. Visit the links below to read Q&A profiles from:
- Gini Dietrich, founder and president of Arment Dietrich and the amazingly popular Spin Sucks blog.
- Chris Ruys, founder and president of Chris Ruys Communications, a long-standing, diversified Chicago firm.
- Carolyn Grisko, founder and president of Grisko, a leader in transportation and public affairs communications.