Name: Danika Daly
Job Title: President of Danika Daly PR
College/Major: University of Florida, Public Relations
Twitter Handle: @DanikaDaly
Her Campus: What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?
Danika Daly: There is never a typical day. Days can range from being glued to my computer for the entire day answering emails and pitching, other days I can be out doing a TV segment, conducting a photo shoot, doing model castings, or location scouting.
HC: What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?
DD: My first entry-level job in my field was as a junior account executive with a boutique PR firm in South Florida. I started out with an internship, and moved my way up the ladder within the company and ended up as a senior account executive on all the fashion and beauty clients.
HC: What is one thing you wish you knew about your industry when you first started out that you know now?
DD: In public relations, you end up doing more than just public relations. You get involved with manufacturing, business, sales, and more. Publicists get really involved with each client and the clients look to the publicist for advice on a lot of aspects in relation to their brand.
HC: Who is one person who changed your professional life for the better?
DD: My teacher Deanna Pelfrey at the University of Florida changed my professional life. She pushed me hard and urged me to apply to be on the UF team for the PRSSA National Bateman Competition, for which she was the coach. It ended up being one of the greatest PR and team-building experiences. She also told me I would own my own firm at a young age. Of course, at the time I didn’t believe her, but here I am!
HC: What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
DD: Never give up. In this industry, you hear “no” so many times, but the trick is to never take no for an answer. Always ask for what you want and—eventually—you will get it.
What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
DD: You can’t do it all alone because you will spread yourself thin. Pull together a team and resources you trust. This industry relies a lot on a good foundation and great teamwork.
HC: What is the best part of your job?
DD: The best part of my job is being able to choose which brands I work with and gaining results. I work with emerging brands and it’s so great to help them develop from the ground up. [Editor’s note: Danika’s firm has landed clients press in Self, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan.]
HC: What do you look for when considering hiring someone?
DD: I look for people who are genuinely interested in their work and have extreme enthusiasm for public relations and the fashion industry. I also look for a PR and/or fashion background. The level of experience depends on the position. They should be familiar with lots of blogs, social networking platforms, and obsessed with magazines.
HC: What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?
DD: Do what you love! I rarely ever feel like I’m working because I love what I do. Get your foot in the door, gain a good amount of experience, and follow your dream.