Durée Ross, President, Durée & Company
Durée & Company won a Silver Award in the "Small Agency of the Year" category in the 2017 Stars of PR Awards
Length of PR career (so far): 22 years. I fell in love with PR at 19, and started my own agency at 24—it’s a love affair that will never end!
Your most memorable campaign: The recent Grand Opening of The Hideaway, a speakeasy bar located in Downtown Fort Lauderdale, was one of our most memorable campaigns as of late. Founded by Michael Tuck in 2017, The Hideaway is located in the classic Bryan Building, a building listed in the National Historic Registry, that offers a glimpse into historic downtown Fort Lauderdale. The celebration began with a ribbon cutting ceremony where Fort Lauderdale’s Mayor Jack Seiler welcomed The Hideaway to the neighborhood and thanked Tuck for aiding in the growth of Fort Lauderdale’s economy. DJ Khaled, his fiancé Nicole Tuck and their son Asahd Tuck Khaled made a special appearance and joined Durée & Company to support owner Michael Tuck at the Grand Opening. This memorable experience truly put The Hideaway on the map with features not only in the local media but in many outlets nationwide who shared the story of the family’s passion for the nightlife and entertainment business.
Most poignant professional moment: When I purchased my own Durée & Company office space in Fort Lauderdale in 2013, followed by an expansion with the purchase of the space next door in 2015. Closing on my office space really brought it home that I had “made it” and now had permanent roots here.
Favorite journalist to work with: That’s like asking to name your favorite child! I can’t name names (too many!), but I always enjoy working with a responsive, dedicated and balanced journalist.
Number of 2 a.m. calls from a client this month: 2 a.m. texts have replaced the 2 a.m. calls (thank goodness), so between calls and texts—there are too many to count!
Biggest complaint about social media: That’s a double-edged sword. The very same thing that I would complain about is what makes it incredible: immediacy.
Best thing about working at your agency: The people I get to work with every day! Our staff of truly amazing professionals comes from a variety of PR industry backgrounds, making us a melting pot of expertise. This also allows us to bring a high-level of expertise to the various industries we represent.
Last time you didn’t do any work all weekend: I can’t remember—it’s been so long ago! PR is a 24/7 job, and I love it—it has to have been before I launched my agency 18 years ago.
Most misunderstood thing about PR: That’s an easy one (or two): We can’t ask to proof stories from journalists or control what they write, and we can’t ask for website backlinks from major outlets—period.
What got you interested in a PR career? I always had the gift of the gab and dedication to going the extra mile in everything I did, but it was a college internship at the age of 19 that sealed the deal. Once I knew what PR was and the fast-paced excitement it involved, I was hooked.
Most interesting thing about your job: Never, ever are any two days alike. Each and every moment is fresh, challenging and exciting!
Number of meetings you were in last week: There are too many to count! Getting face-to-face time with my clients is the backbone of my success.
Your nightmare client in 3 words: Non-Collaborative, Dictatorial, Non-Communicative
Rate your math skills from 1-10: I’m a words and pictures woman!
Best advice to a PR student: Intern as many times as you possibly can, as soon as you possibly can. Invest the time and do whatever it takes—a great work ethic and desire to learn (especially in our constantly evolving industry) are absolutely key.
What do you read daily? Several daily newspapers, numerous e-newsletters and magazines. I always have the AP Stylebook handy, too!
Favorite way to de-stress: A refreshing hike in the mountains of Aspen, followed by a sinful chocolate chip cookie as a reward, then an even more rewarding massage and champagne.
The moment you realized PR is more fun than you thought it would be: As an intern, I landed a cover story in the Chicago Sun Times for a liquor company that had a custom-designed hot air balloon in the shape of its tequila bottle. At that time, liquor bottles were not allowed to be featured in print, especially on the cover of an important and high-profile publication. Lucky me, I got to go for a ride in the balloon, which ended with an emergency landing, leaving us stranded on a Disney property—it was amazingly fun, adventurous and bit scary, all at the same time!
Worst PR crisis in the news in 2017: Clearly the worst crisis in PR is the Harvey Weinstein scandal and numerous others like Matt Lauer.
Favorite non-work hobby: These involve two completely stunning and different parts of the world: Hiking in Aspen or cruising the Mediterranean.
Favorite movie: Sex & the City and during the holidays, Elf!
Cocktail of choice: Pink Champagne and Rosé Wine
Your first “real” job: I bagged groceries at the world-famous Epicure Gourmet Market in Miami Beach at age 14. My grandparents were the best tippers around. How’s that for starting my career off in a hot spot?
Childhood “dream job”: My childhood dream was to be an astronaut.
Three people you’d love to invite to dinner: Gary Vaynerchuk, the Beastie Boys and Hoda Kotb
Your ideal Saturday: Sleeping in late, followed by an energetic workout, then spending quality time with my husband and kids, and perfectly completed by a romantic dinner date with my husband.
Things you wish you had more time for: Sleep, meditation, working out.
Things you wish people knew: Everyone sees the outcome of hard work and success, but people don’t always realize the personal sacrifices and unending commitment around the clock that it takes to get there.