PRSA’S COUNSELORS ACADEMY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Q&A WITH Dana Hughens
Clairemont Communications CEO, Dana Hughens, was featured in this month’s PRSA Counselors Academy newsletter. As the current Conference Chair of the organization, Dana has been working with a team of dedicated PR pros and fellow Counselors Academy members from across North America to plan the 2013 Counselors Academy Conference, which will take place in Austin, Texas June 9-11. Keep reading below for the featured Q&A with Dana, and check out our previous blog posts to learn more about other Conference Planning Committee members and their experiences in Counselors Academy.
Q: What is your role at Clairemont Communications?
A: As CEO, I lead the team in devising award-winning strategies for our clients and developing new business opportunities. I also water the plants and do whatever else needs to be done.
Q: First job in PR?
A: I started a student-run PR agency with one of my professors while I was still in college. My first post-college job was working as the marketing director for the Alabama Theatre, a nonprofit performance art center in Birmingham. It was built in 1927 as a Paramount movie palace. It is very ornate and has 2,300 seats — not your average movie theater. I loved working at such a beautiful place and had a ton of fun creating media kits out of popcorn boxes, and hosting 3-D movie parties for local reporters.
Q: What would you do if you weren’t in PR?
A: I’ve always wanted to be a radio D.J. Or an interior designer. Or a fashion designer. Or a dog-walker.
Q: Favorite newspaper/magazine/website/blog?
A: I don’t have just one favorite. I still subscribe to my local newspaper, and I love the magazines InStyle, Real Simple, Elle Decor, Lonny and Rue. As for my favorite professional blog, My Palette by Martin Waxman, last year’s Counselors Academy Conference Chair, takes the cake! It is really smart with great tips and thoughts for PR pros, and Martin’s sense of humor really comes through in the posts. For a really good laugh without the PR wisdom, I switch over to LeighBones.com.
Q: What are you most looking forward to at June’s Counselors Academy Conference?
A: I’m really excited about opening night. We’re bringing in this amazing group called Banding People Together that will lead us through a songwriting collaboration event, making our conference attendees the stars of the Austin music scene.
Q: Where are we going to find you at our free nights in Austin?
A: I didn’t know we had free nights! I’ll be wherever the crowd is. There are so many great places in Austin, but I don’t really care where we go. The best part of the conference is always hanging out with the other people who attend. I can’t wait to see everyone!