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Vivian Li/李雯雯

PR Manager/公关经理

Tel:0086 010 83907451


PR PROfile|PR in China|China PR company
Paul Furiga
Founder and CEO
WordWrite Communications

Length of PR career (so far): 17 years – but I do feel I should get credit for the 20 years I spent in journalism before that, I sure interacted with enough PR types to know that I wanted to be a different kind of PR pro when I entered the business – an honest broker, if you will.

Your most memorable campaign: Two come to mind – first, from my Ketchum days, our two-year representation of Bridgestone/Firestone back in 2000-2001 when Firestone tires and Ford Explorers were mixing poorly, with accidents, tragic deaths and the two companies going at each other. It was classic crisis work, like getting an MBA in crisis communication. About two years later, The Wall Street Journal wrote a memorable story about the crisis in which it asked how the company could be doing so well financially and asking why its rivals didn’t drive the final nail during the crisis. Many of us on the team shared that story privately and at that point, we knew our work had made a difference.

At WordWrite, we’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of great manufacturers. We love companies that create things, including jobs. For more than a year, we worked with Kennametal, a Fortune 1000 public company, on a national campaign called Manufacturing: Deliver the Promise, that helped the company demonstrate that 21st century manufacturing is a viable career and that Kennametal is a leader in that conversation.

Most poignant professional moment: Working with clients in the wake of 9/11 to figure out pretty much everything. There may not be another event so sweeping in my lifetime that touches all clients equally. It was truly unchartered territory and communication was an absolutely necessary component for our clients in restoring confidence.

Favorite journalist to work with: It’s impossible to pick just one, but with 20 years of journalism under my belt before I got into PR, it’s always fun to give a shout-out to former colleagues who are keeping the flame alive, such as Gerri Willis, who’s a host at Fox Business News, or Bill Sternberg, who was just named editorial page editor at USA Today or my friend Bob Mitchell, who’s an editor at the Washington Post-LA Times News Service and has somehow found time to write two books!

Number of 2 a.m. calls from a client this month: None.

Biggest complaint about social media: The belief that social media is all about the technology. No, it’s all about communication. To me, communication is a lot like the human need for clean, fresh water. When people discuss the need for clean water, the debate is not about how cool the pipes are, how thick their walls are, the size of the pumping stations, water pressure, etc., etc. It's the same with when it comes to social media, it should be about the content, not the pipes!

Yes, social media technology is cool. For that reason, I would argue that it's never been more important to focus on what you have to say, rather than getting lost in the weeds of how you can say it.

Best thing about working at your agency: The opportunity to remake public relations for yourself, the agency business and clients. Oh, and we like to have fun, too.

Last time you didn’t do any work all weekend: Sometime in 2002, before I started WordWrite.

Most misunderstood thing about PR: Real PR is all about two-way communication and engagement. It’s not puffery, it’s not promotion and it’s not spin. This is why real PR pros have so much success connecting to the C suite, running social media and managing content creation – it’s what the best ones have been taught to do and they live it every day.

What got you interested in a PR career? The ability to see the whole story and help shape it, rather than just see it from one perspective, that of the particular news organization I represented as a journalist.

Most interesting thing about your job: Sheer variety, and the opportunity on a daily basis to make a great difference in the fortunes of truly wonderful people and organizations.

Rate your math skills from 1-10: A favorite joke among PR colleagues: None of us got into PR to do math. That said, as an agency owner, I’ve gone from a proud 2 to probably a diligent 8. Without the bottom line, you’re lost. Do work you love and be paid for it. The laborer is worthy of his hire!

Best advice to a PR student: Be curious. Be a learner. Focus on telling the story. Remember that success in PR is not measured by how much attention you get. It’s measured by how much attention you get for your clients, whether you work in-house or at an agency.

Favorite way to de-stress: Playing music in a band. A few years ago, I got carried away, and was in three at once (country, R&B, rock). I’m in one now and that’s plenty!

The moment you realized PR is more important than you thought it would be: The first time I realized that helping smart people develop and share their great, untold story could have far greater impact than simply reporting once on that story as a journalist.

Favorite non-work hobby: Playing music and hanging with lovely wife and my dog.

Last book you read: “The Challenger Sale” by Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson

Your first “real” job: Usher in a movie theater. I’m old enough that I can remember the first time I had to empty a spittoon. In addition to chewing tobacco, back then you could still smoke in a theater.

Childhood “dream job”: Jet fighter pilot.

Your next big adventure: Finishing my book about the supremacy of your story in your communications and marketing, “Why Your Story Trumps Your Brand.”


Vivian Li

PR Manager

Tel: +86 010 8390 7451

Mobile: +86 13041030670