Dyan founded Soda Pop Public Relations in 2011 with the goal of doing great work for great people as well as creating a healthy & fun culture for her team. With an experienced team of professionals, SPPR specializes in print and digital media coverage, influencer relations, events, and partnerships for hospitality, food, beverage and lifestyle brands. Over the last five years, SPPR’s personalized, honest and creative approach has launched over 30 products and brands, produced over 60 promotional events as well as garnered more than four billion impressions for clients.
How did you get started in PR? why did you start your own business?
It was never part of the plan to start my own PR shop. I had spent a number of years working my way up the industry ladder. The climb left me burnt out. During the thick of the burn out, I was presented an opportunity to start my own company. Normally, starting a company is not the natural next step when you’re fried, but it made perfect sense to me. I knew that opportunities like this don’t come around often and it was time to jump. Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t have some master plan. I took a leap of faith, put my head down and made it happen.
What are your primary responsibilities?
My primary responsibilities are to make sure we are doing our best work on behalf of our clients and investing time and training into my team. On the client side, my role has transitioned from the day to day contact to strategic lead. A majority of my time is spent working with the team to review plans, helping to solve problems/challenges, brainstorming creative campaigns as well as putting out most fires that pop up. On the team side, it’s very important to foster a healthy, open and fun work environment. I make it a priority to plan fun off-sites for bonding and creative inspiration as well as finding creative talks, conferences and festivals for us to attend as a team.
What is the mood like in the office? What are you working on right now?
What I love most about the vibe in our office is even though we are a group of hardworking, organized overachievers, we always find ways to lighten the mood and support one another. The nature of our work can be stressful since it’s mostly a hustle. Deadlines and changing plans are part of the gig so a well-timed inside joke, donut/ice cream/cookie/wine break or mini-therapy session go along way.
"I always say that you definitely want a publicist on your life boat or in your bunker when things go down"
Most memorable/meaningful moment in your career thus far?
The first thing that comes to mind is celebrating our 5th anniversary last year, especially when you hear so much about companies failing in the first few years.
PR can be stressful and full of rejection - how do you deal?
I’m the rare bird that thrives on rejection. I spent many years trying to break into the entertainment business which has given me a thick skin. I find having someone be passive aggressive on feedback or taking credit for your ideas a much harder pill to swallow. I’d like to say I deal with sticky situations with grace but that’s not always the case. I’m a work in progress and at times my boss ‘mama bear’ instincts get the best of me. It helps to take a moment before acting out in frustration to understand that the person that is making things difficult is most likely having a much harder time of it than you.
What are three current favorite tools, apps, or products that you love and why?
My latest nerdy obsession is to track how I'm spending my time via My Hours. Not only has it helped be more productive but it’s a game changer when it comes to quoting project costs to clients. I’m a big podcast listener. Current favorites are NPR’s How I Built This, The Minimalist, TED Radio Hour, Bon Appetit’s Foodcast, The Chase Jarvis LIVE Show and The Tim Ferriss Show.
What do you wish more people understood about your job (or PR/Marketing in general?)
I always say that you definitely want a publicist on your life boat or in your bunker when things go down. We get shit done.
What are you excited about right now in terms of industry trends?
I love that so many brands are investing time and resources into partnerships with likeminded companies. Whether it’s a co-branded product, donating goods for an event or supporting each other on social media, the spirit of “we all in this together” collaboration is exciting.
What advice do you have for your younger self?
You are stronger and more resilient than you know and everything will be okay. And when it’s not okay, you’ll figure it out.
Anything else we should know?
SPPR is currently looking for a Spring intern! Read more about it here.