Grady alumnae launch PR and communications business

Beth Gebhard (Journalism '98) and
Heather Adams (Magazines '98),
co-founders of Choice Media & Communications

Grady alumnae Heather Adams (Magazines ‘98) and Beth Gebhard (Magazines ‘98) recently launched Choice Media & Communications, a PR and communications business based in Nashville dedicated to providing clients in the entertainment and lifestyle space with quality public relations.

We sat down with Heather Adams to gain some of her insight into the AdPR world:

What really kick-started your desire to start Choice Publicity and how did you make it happen?
Beth, my business partner, and I wanted to create a public relations agency where we were passionate about our clients, were known for quality and execution and where we could have a blast working together. Plus, we wanted to stay invested at home in our families while remaining sharp and savvy businesswomen.  

What are some projects you're working on now?
Sean Lowe, America’s favorite Bachelor, has a book releasing in January called “For the Right Reasons.” We also have the privilege of working with Lara Casey, Editor-In-Chief of Southern Weddings magazine, on her amazing book “Make it Happen” that also comes out in January. Shawn Michaels, or “The Heart Break Kid” as loyal WWE fans know him, release a book called “Wrestling for My Life” in early 2015. Money Saving Mom, AKA Crystal Paine, is one of our clients who we adore working with. See her join Team Red in RedBook Magazine in February 2015. And, we’re honored to serve the American Heart Association as the social media partner for Heart Ball 2015.  

What are your goals for the future of the company and how do you plan on getting there?
Beth and I intend to be a premiere boutique entertainment and lifestyle PR agency that’s hallmark is exceeding the expectation. We value our team members and hope to always be advocates for family and flexibility. By leveraging our relationships and hiring smart, we intend to be diligent and intentional about who we add to the team, what kind of clients we serve and how fast we grow. One of our core values is having fun and we intend to do that all along our journey!

What skills/experiences that you learned at Grady do you continue to draw from today?
I cannot stress enough that writing well determines a great deal of your success in the PR industry. It is the foundation for everything we do. Learning to write in AP style, and to be concise and compelling are critical. Take full advantage of all that Grady offers in this area.

What activities were you involved while in Grady/UGA?  
Alpha Omicron Pi, UGAZINE, Pandora, GRT, Homecoming Committee

What is your day-to-day like at your job?
High-stress, fast-paced, endless e-mails and constantly changing. Never the same day twice. And, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I am living in my sweet spot.

What skills have you identified within yourself and your colleagues that you deem necessary to be successful in the AdPR field?
Competitive, excellent communicator (both written and verbal), strategic

What is your favorite Grady memory?
Two things immediately come to mind. Hands down, Dr. Bill Lee was my favorite professor. I looked forward to his communications law class every week. He challenged our thinking. He had high expectations and you learned to rise to meet them or fail miserably. And, I loved that he made us dress up for class. No shack shirts and ball caps were acceptable. I also adored Dr. Leara Rhodes. During the course of our class, we created and published an entire magazine. Ours was called The Screen Door. One day I’m going to find a way to use that title again. She was one of the most personally-invested professors. She wanted you to succeed and because of that she put forth a great deal of effort ensuring that you were prepared beyond graduation. She took us to a magazines conference in Gwinnett and introduced us to key players in the industry. I look back on that now and understand what a true mentor should look and feel like. If you haven’t had a class with her, run to sign up.

What advice would you give to current AdPR students?
Remember that in PR, we have influence; we have no control. There’s a big difference between marketing and public relations. PR is a marathon, not a sprint. Under promise, over deliver. Find a phenomenal mentor who is completely invested in you and absorb every bit of goodness they are willing to share.

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