LeAnne DeFrancesco

“PR is an industry that thrives on creative ambition. Professionals from all backgrounds are in PR, and are changing the way we do things and think about things every day. I have the pleasure of both mentoring and learning from each of them.”

Memorable professional moments:

  • Hearing Glenn Close deliver an award presentation speech that I wrote, which honored a tremendous documentary about a public figure with behavioral health needs.
  • Helping a largely pro forma annual report come alive via a shareable, trackable digital tool that serves knowledge transfer, marketing and recruitment purposes.
  • Working with young adults to craft their personal stories of resilience and strength into an audience-accessible format, and then watching them deliver their stories in front of 3,500 people!

People often find it interesting that …
Even though I went to a journalism school that had a PR track, I really sort of stumbled into the industry. I was a Magazines major at UGA who enjoyed creative writing, loved my advertising classes, and happened to have a good eye for typos. One communications job in DC led to another, and I arrived at Vanguard in 2005, not completely sure how I could contribute to a PR firm. And while I had trained in developing longer, feature articles, today my head always goes to the short, pithy copy inherent in advertising!

What does people-first mean to me?
People-first to me is a feeling you get at the end of your work day, and is all about personal integrity. I ask myself, “Did I make decisions today that affected my clients and co-workers in a positive way? Did I make their needs my priorities? Did I make good choices and represent them honorably?” When you see people doing that around you, it is completely motivating, which compels you to pursue that “I did a good job today” feeling every day.

My credentials

  • A.B.J., University of Georgia – Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication; concentration: magazines
  • Communications Chair, Holy Trinity School Home and School Association Board of Directors, 2014-2016
  • Member, Washington Women in PR, Pro Bono Committee

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