The 35U began with a vision to inspire the leaders of tomorrow by telling them about the leaders of today. With millions of people involved in government, education, business and community service across the country, it sometimes may be hard for the 35U to connect to leaders individually simply due to an age barrier. The 35U to us is any young adult from the ages of 18-35 in this country. These individuals have a voice – they can vote, serve, and most importantly, they can make a difference for future generations.
Today’s Q&A feature is Heather DeSantis, Top Millennial Publicist and Founder Of Publicity For Good. Publicity For Good is a purpose-driven public relations firm. Heather combines market foresight, strategic timing, and organic interviews to generate millions of earned media impressions from outlets like ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BBC, iHeartMedia, Business Insider, Inc, and more. She was selected as one of the 30 under 30 in 2018 by Everipedia, one of New Theory’s top 40 millennial influencers to follow in 2018, and “Top Thought Leader According To Thrive Global”. Heather’s client list has included both professional NFL athletes and brands like Panera Bread. She is also a contributor to BuzzFeed, Thrive Global and Medium often discussing social impact, social good and cause marketing.
When she is not being a brand evangelist she is watching morning talk shows, reading personal development, drinking her favorite protein superfoods shake, spending time with her family and friends. Heather is currently developing Press Demand, which is a monthly PR SaaS program which will allow experts to pitch themselves to the media directly using the software. This subscription based program simplifies media relations for entrepreneurs and media by using our proprietary PR process.
Heather is an inspiration to the youth that want to get involved in Entrepreneurship. We caught up with Heather to find out what leadership means to her and what advice she would give to the next generation of leaders.
Why did you choose this career path?
I chose to do PR. Back when I graduated from college, I was working at an investment company and a TV station ended up doing an interview of me and my mom about Boomerang kids – kids who had graduated college but due to lack of jobs were living at home. They interviewed me at our house and at my part-time job at a wine bar. I really liked doing the interview. It was awesome. I ended up leaving the other job for an ad agency six months after graduation. At the time, I wanted to be a TV reporter so I tweeted out that I was looking for that opportunity, but instead I got an offer for an ad agency. A few months later I went to work for the ad agency. I worked there for a few years; it was a stressful environment booking 35 interviews per week. From there, I started DeSantis PR and then I started Publicity For Good.
Who inspired you to get involved?
I got involved in giving back. I was a Girl Scout until I was 18, so it was a combination of being a Girl Scout and growing up in that voluntary setting and realizing how important giving back was to me. In addition, losing my dad in high school to cancer at Christmas, having a head injury and other events help me appreciate life and people. I found the easiest way to get through things was to talk about ways to serve others and to do things to help others.
How do you define a leader?
A leader is mission driven for the people that their company serves and for their team. Someone who is willing to eat last and who really is willing to stand up for what they feel is right for the greater good.
What projects are you currently involved with in the community that engages the next generation of leaders?
Some of our team members are younger, in their early 20s, and haven’t had a big corporate job before so we spend time on personal development, positively pouring into them and supporting them.
What advice would you give to the next generation of leaders who want to get involved?
My advice would be to form relationships with people who are doing what you want to do, living the life you want to live, leaving the impact you want to leave. Then see how you can provide value to them and what you can give to them.