Tracey Santilli, Chief Growth Officer, Tierney

by | Oct 1, 2019

Tierney was a Bulldog Award-winning firm in 2016’s PR Awards.

Tracey Santilli, Chief Growth Officer, TierneyLength of PR career (so far): 22 years in 2020

Your most memorable campaign: Probono work for Team Sarah:

  • CNN covered the story with other major national outlets following.
  • Team Sarah collected almost 400,000 signatures to its Change.org petition and earned more than 2 billion impressions.
  • Team Sarah’s efforts awarded them the 2014 PR Week Public Affairs Campaign of the Year Award.
  • Lastly, the most compelling result cannot be measured in numbers or percentages. As a result of Team Sarah’s persistent efforts, the law was overturned and Sarah received a second chance at life.

Most poignant professional moment: Working with my friends to help change an unfair federal policy for the sake of a little girl

Biggest complaint about social media: Brands don’t use it enough beyond communications means; it should educate, inform and entertain

Tracey Santilli, Chief Growth Officer, TierneyBest thing about working at your agency: The people

Last time you didn’t do any work all weekend: Never

Most misunderstood thing about PR: We don’t just write press releases and pitches; PR professionals play a critical role in helping companies create and sustain a positive brand image and reputation

What got you interested in a PR career? I was unable to get a job in the journalism field so I somewhat fell into PR but I quickly learned it was where I was destined to be

Number of meetings you were in last week: 16—and that was during a holiday week!

Your nightmare client in 3 words: Abusive, ill informed, transactional (they don’t view the relationship as a partnership)

Tracey Santilli, Chief Growth Officer, TierneyWhat do you read daily? Wall Street Journal, TheSkimm

Rate your math skills from 1-10: 9—it’s not just PR, it’s running a business, so math is critical

Brand that does the best PR: Disney is a master at storytelling; They deliver an elevated customer experience, consistently lives up to its core values and is rooted in innovation—all while staying relevant for more than 50+ years

The moment you realized PR is more important than you thought it would be: We have a huge responsibility to tell stories that are authentic and credible—our role in communication is more important than ever, especially in light of fake news and lack of consumer trust. Reputations can and do make or break an organization…so PR has far more influence than previously thought. And so we need to use it for good.

Tracey Santilli, Chief Growth Officer, TierneyLast book you readEducated by Tara Westover

Worst PR crisis in the news this year so far: I would say it’s a tie between H&M’s image of an African American child wearing a shirt that read “coolest monkey in the jungle,” where they were admonished (rightfully so) by a NYTs reporter and/or Burger King and it’s videos of rats running over hamburger buns going viral.

Favorite non-work hobby: Orange Theory Fitness

Your first “real” job: Worked in a movie theater

Childhood “dream job”: I wanted to be the next Diane Sawyer

Three people you’d love to invite to dinner: Brene Brown, Greta Thunberg and my grandmother (she died 2 weeks before I was born)


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