Member Q&A with Vanessa Stiles, APR

The PRSA Hoosier Chapter is conducting member profiles throughout the year to facilitate connections within the Chapter. We are pleased to introduce Vanessa Stiles.

vanessaName: Vanessa S. Stiles, APR

Position: President & CEO

Employer: Victory Sun, Inc.

College Attended: Emory University

PRSA Position: Past-President (2014), Former Ethics Chair, Former APR co-chair, and currently serves on the Local Host Committee for the PRSA International Conference

Q: Is there a specific cause or non-profit for which you advocate?

I am an active volunteer and Board member for the Ransburg YMCA on Indianapolis’s east side. As an Irvington (located on Indy’s eastside) resident, I am passionate about the vital resources the Ransburg Y provides my community. From programming for youth to job opportunities, you will hear me sing the praises and advocate for the support of my neighborhood Y.

Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?

I steal any opportunity I can to lose myself in the world of musical theater. I see favorites more than once. I buy soundtracks. I get excited when new shows roll into town.

My passion gave birth to a second hobby: I am the person who taps individuals on the shoulder when they start using their phone during a performance.

Q: What are you reading now (or have read in the past) that you think other PRSA members would be interested in?

I am currently reading (and enjoying) a book I found at a neighborhood fundraising book sale. It is called “Someone” by Alice McDermott. I have a stack of fun reads once I finish it, including but not limited to a Kristen Chenoweth memoir, “Freakenomics” and Tim Russert’s book about his father. The magic of going to a used book sale is that you discover books you never would have or are reminded of books that you did not get around to reading when they first came out.

Q: What is a company, marketing campaign, or PR strategy you admire?

The Kleenex® online campaign that featured a variety of videos of students celebrating teachers, a school janitor, etc. was a winner for me! Positive, viral-worthy content that beautifully tied back to the Kleenex brand. The videos literally had me reaching for a Kleenex.

Q: What’s one place you have yet to travel/or your favorite place you’ve visited?

I feel like when I get to know new people that there is a pressure to love two things: travel and jazz music. Here is the thing about me: I hate to travel and I do not enjoy jazz music. I toured Europe as a teen, been to many travel destinations within the U.S. and spent two weeks traveling Japan when I was a child. It is not that I have seen it all. I just do not enjoy traveling. My dream is to have a lake house, home-away-from-home within a four hour drive of Indy.

Q: What advice would you give to new PR professionals?

Follow-through. Always follow-through.

Q: What do you wish you had known earlier in your career?

I wish I had a better handle on my personal market value and what salary goals I should set for myself.

Q: What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self?

Wear more sunscreen, buy stock in a company called Microsoft, be very happy social media does not exist yet and kudos to you for breaking the rules sometimes.

Q: Who is your role model and why?

My dog. She is compassionate, regal, and loyal. Plus, she has mastered work/life balance. I have so much to learn from her.

Q: What do you think the PR industry will look like20 years from now?

PR professionals will continue to research, plan, implement and evaluate but might be using different mediums by which they will reach measurable objectives.

Q: What is your favorite piece of technology?

The off button an any device.

Connect with Vanessa.