Getting to Know Our Chapter’s Independent Practitioners: Jenny Pedraza, APR
As an independent communications practitioner, Jenny Pedraza, APR, primarily focuses on projects that include writing, website content/maintenance, print design and strategic communications planning. Her clients include higher education institutions in Virginia and out of state, along with local nonprofit organizations. A longtime PRSA Richmond member and past president, Jenny now serves as the chapter’s website administrator. Learn more about her work at jennypedraza.com.
Where are you from? Where did you go to school?
I am a Florida native and grew up there and in Vermont. I still love Vermont summers and Florida winters 🙂 I studied public relations at the University of Florida. Go Gators!
How long have you been an Independent Practitioner?
I’ve been an IP since 2011. I was searching for more flexibility after having my first child. Loving it ever since and have never looked back!
What’s your favorite part of having your own business?
I love the challenge of not just doing great work in communications but also learning to operate a successful business. And nothing beats being able to have my work fit into my life instead of the other way around.
What do you find most challenging about having your own business?
1) It took me a while to learn how to decline work. I felt I had to pursue any opportunity that came my way. Now I know my niche and what I can best offer clients, and I’m happy to refer a colleague who may be a better fit.
2) There seems to be no separation from work and time off. It all bleeds over to the other side, which can be hard during vacations and (lack of) maternity leave!
What does public relations mean to you?
Good public relations is having a “seat at the table” to affect real change for the people who matter most to your organization. It’s about developing programs – and communicating about them – in a way that makes sense to your audiences.
What excites you most about PR and the future of the industry?
I think PR can touch every part of an organization and make it better. We have the chance to be part of today’s pressing issues and encourage others to do the same.
Can you share the best career advice you’ve received?
Be responsive and show up.
What has been your greatest experience or achievement in your career to date?
Leaving a job I loved and making the leap to become an IP was not an easy choice. But I look back now and see it as a key turning point in my life – one that I’m proud I had the courage to go through with. Now I love when my clients refer me or if someone I worked with years ago remembers me and hires me as an IP.
When you’re not working, where can we find you?
When I’m not working, I’m almost always with my three little girls! We love Taylor Swift dance parties, ice cream and being outside <3
One last question: What’s your favorite restaurant in RVA?
My favorite old reliable is Edo’s.