Emily Armstrong is the Regional Director of Public Relations for Fairmont Hotels in the Pacific Northwest. Her day can take her anywhere from dealing with the media to writing a press release to shooting a television commercial. Luckily, this 32-year-old University of Western Ontario grad knows how to keep it cool and collected. Read on about this gifted young professional in today's YPDaily.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I promote six Fairmont hotels in the Pacific Northwest region, including Vancouver, Victoria and Seattle. I’m fortunate to work with a great mix of luxury hotels – from grand historic properties to a brand new luxury tower to an award-winning hotel right inside the Vancouver International Airport.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I love working with companies that have interesting stories to tell. Fairmont properties around the world have very creative programs and a reputation for engaging stories. I’m lucky enough to be one of their storytellers. Each hotel is really tapped in to their local community and focuses on being “authentically local.”
I’m also proud of Fairmont’s Green Partnership Program – a commitment to minimizing our hotels’ impact on the planet. This means everything from a global partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to honeybee programs at 13 of our hotels worldwide.
I knew Fairmont was a good fit for me when I first read their mission statement: “Turning Moments into Memories for our Guests.” Everything we do at Fairmont stems from this statement, and I like how passionately everyone believes in the importance of creating memories for guests. A company that puts people and emotional connection first is a good fit with my values.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I love that every day in my job is different and that I meet interesting people from all over the world. One day I’ll be with a film crew filming our resident beekeeper for a TV show, the next I could be meeting with a group of media from China or working on a press release to promote a new wine bar. I’m also fortunate to get to host media in our hotel restaurants – which really are some of the best restaurants around. And fortunately, we have great “active programs” at most of our hotels, so I can work off the dining by introducing a travel writer to our rooftop yoga program or our guided morning runs.
The hours in PR aren’t always easy. There are plenty of evenings and weekends that you end up working – either for a media launch or hosting a press trip. Fortunately, the positives of my job outweigh the hours. If you’re having fun, it doesn’t always feel like work.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Since I’ve just recently started with Fairmont, I see myself working with this company for quite some time still. It’s a great company to work with. If I wasn’t with Fairmont, I’d probably have my own public relations company and represent lifestyle and tourism brands that I’m passionate about.
What does success look like to you?
Success in my job is seeing our stories in print or on TV. Success in my career is doing what I love on a daily basis and having the ability to give back.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I previously worked with Tourism Vancouver in media relations. While there, I had the amazing opportunity to lead their media relations activities for the 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games. I got to visit Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Games to see how they ran things and then bring back key learnings for Vancouver. During Vancouver’s Olympics, I worked in the media centres and had the good fortune to work closely with top outlets like NBC’s Today Show.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Get excited about partnership opportunities. Network. Introduce yourself to people. Be sincerely interested. You never know who you’ll meet or where it will lead. Oh, and practice your writing skills. Writing is so important in any industry. Learn to be concise and drill down to key points.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I love Make-A-Wish Foundation and am thrilled that Fairmont properties in British Columbia support them. I also annually run and fundraise for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation’s Run for the Cure.
What is Notable to you?
New places, faces and trends.
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