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Tylor Tourville, Vice President, BackBay Communications

by | Sep 10, 2019

Tylor Tourville, Vice President, BackBay CommunicationsLength of PR career (so far): 7 years

Favorite journalist to work with: It’s tied between:

  • Richard Henderson from the FT. A consummate professional, always available to provide feedback on a pitch or engage with you if presented with an idea he thinks is interesting.
  • Anthony Malakian, Editor in Chief of WatersTechnology. Straight shooter that doesn’t mince words. He brings a brutal honesty that’s refreshing in a world filled with fake nuance. But if he likes something you bring to him, he’s going to get every ounce of story out of it.

Best thing about working at your agency: The entrepreneurial spirit. At BackBay, our leadership believes in the value of creating a marketplace of ideas. If someone feels passionate about a new approach to either a specific project or process, they are encouraged to pursue it. We trust each other to always do our best work, and not settle when more can be done.

Most misunderstood thing about PR: That we can create a story out of nothing—that the moment you hire us, you will see you/your firm’s name in a WSJ headline. Working with a PR firm isn’t a transactional relationship, and it isn’t productive to think in those terms. At BackBay, we stress the word “Partnership,” because client and agency have to be on the same page every step of the way to ensure success. Every company is different and has its own vision and goals. Our best clients are the ones who put as much into the relationship as we do, and invest in the time with us to create powerful stories that we take to the market.

Tylor Tourville, Vice President, BackBay CommunicationsWhat got you interested in a PR career? I started out in event management for a real estate membership association, and was able to gain some valuable experience in creating, planning, marketing and executing a variety of different events. From 600-person awards dinners to educational roundtables with 20 attendees, I saw and did it all. And in learning the ins and outs of growing a membership and increasing event attendance, I always found myself drawn to certain aspects of the process. I loved the brainstorming for panel topics and capitalizing on current trends in the market; writing press releases and interacting with local media about our organization and its news; and growing our social media presence to help amplify our communications. Looking back, that first job provided me the opportunity to try a lot of things, shape and refine my interests, and ultimately led me to where I am today.

Your nightmare client in 3 words: Drunk on Kool-Aid

Rate your math skills from 1-10: 9—I always had a knack for math and really enjoyed it when I was in school. In fact, I took Calculus in college for fun and got an A!

Tylor Tourville, Vice President, BackBay CommunicationsBest advice to a PR student: Talk to alumni who are in the business and get the on the ground perspective. Agency life isn’t for everyone, nor is it the only avenue for a PR student to pursue post-college.

What do you read daily? Being a financial services-focused firm, we have to stay on top of the top-tier publications like the WSJ, FT and Bloombergs of the world, but I have to say, I also read the trades closely on a day-to-day basis. American Banker, Financial Planning, FundFire, Ignites, InvestmentNews, PaymentsSource, and WealthManagement.com just to name some.

Favorite way to de-stress: Basketball is my favorite sport to watch or play, so if I’m doing either one of those, I’m a happy person!

Brand that does the best social media: Moonpie wins Twitter in my opinion. It doesn’t take itself seriously, and is there solely for the purpose to engage with its fans. There’s a level of authenticity that most consumer brands just can’t pull off.

Tylor Tourville, Vice President, BackBay CommunicationsLast book you read: I believe it was “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough. I read “The Greater Journey” and “1776” a few years ago and have been hooked on McCullough’s work ever since. The amount of research he puts into his books is so impressive, and pays off in the way he’s able to craft a compelling story.

I’m also a big fan of Malcolm Gladwell’s “Revisionist History” podcast series, which has led me to read a couple of his well-known books over the last year or so (“Blink” and “The Tipping Point”).

Childhood “dream job”: Play-by-play broadcaster for the Boston Celtics. I was quite involved with the campus radio station when I was attending UMaine. I quickly fell in love with the medium of radio, as I was able to experiment and learn in a real-world environment. I hosted a weekly sports talk show (“The Alley-Oop”), and served as the play-by-play voice of the men’s and women’s Division I basketball team for two years. While we didn’t win a lot, the experience of putting on that headset and trying to paint a picture of the action in front of fans gave me chills every time.

Tylor Tourville, Vice President, BackBay CommunicationsThree people you’d love to invite to dinner: Paul Pierce, Bill Simmons, and David Ortiz.

Your next big adventure: My wife and I are planning a trip to Scotland this fall. We decided on this by each writing down 5 places we’d want to visit in the next year, putting them in a hat, and picking one out. Funny enough, we both had written down Scotland as one of our places, so the odds worked out!

Your ideal Saturday: Sleeping in, eating a huge breakfast, taking a nap, doing something active (going for a run or to the gym), mowing the lawn, and hanging out with family and close friends over a fire or at a sporting event. And a healthy dose of whatever beer I’m into at the moment!

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