If you know a thing or two about wanderlust and the travel industry makes your heart sing, then prepare for major heart palpitations!
Amy Sedeno’s experience includes managing all social communication for the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic (MTUR), Guatemala’s Tourism Institute, ProChile, Grand Lucayan in Grand Bahama Island and Acapulco and Los Cabos. On the hotel side, she managed the brand presence for Nikki Beach Worldwide, across eight countries; as well as and Marriott International Inc., where she supported nine brands and more than 79 properties in LATAM.
As Account Director for public relations, digital and branding agency CIIC, Amy currently works with Hotel El Ganzo, Solmar Hotels & Resorts, Rancho San Lucas and HotelQuando.
Read on and then pack your bags!
Name: Amy Sedeño
Title: Account Director
Location: Miami, Florida
Education: Journalism and Art History Degree, University of Miami
Company: CIIC Miami
Instagram: @ciicpr @amysedeno
Twitter: @CIICpr @amysedeno
LinkedIn: @CIICpr @amysedeno
TEll us a bit about your career journey to date
I started with IGC (now CIIC) as an intern upon graduating from the University of Miami. I was only 23 and thought I wanted to be journalist; boy was I wrong! I automatically fell in love with travel PR and started working with important brands like Marriott International for Latin America and the Tourism Office of La Paz, Baja California Sur. After three months with CIIC I moved from intern to account coordinator and later on went to become a senior account executive. There was an interim period where I worked for Newlink Communications (also in Miami) handling clients like Acapulco, The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism for the Latin American Market and Guatemala. During that time, I was approached by Carolyn Izzo-Feldman (past and current mentor) who had what then seemed like the crazy idea of me heading up CIIC’s newly rebranded office in Miami. We’ve been thriving in Coral Gables ever since and are now expanding to the West Coast.
What are your primary responsibilities?
New business development, media and client relations and, yes, travel is a primary responsibility here as well.
Tell us a little bit about how CIIC is structured?
CEO, VP and senior VP, market directors for New York and Miami and supporting staff.
What is the mood like in the office? What are you working on right now?
CIIC is such a happy and vibrant office. The family values that Carolyn brings to the table was one of the things that attracted me the most about her offer and also the opportunity to really make a difference and work independently. No micromanagement here! We are all encouraged to be creative and bring ideas to the table. Right now I am working on the opening of a new luxury real estate development in Los Cabos and Greg Norman’s first real estate affiliation with a brand in Latin America.
What is a recent success story that makes you especially proud?
Putting Hotel El Ganzo on the map as the hip, cool place to be in Mexico. We got Harper’s Bazaar, Bon Appetit, Esquire and Travel + Leisure talking about this sustainable, artsy spot. Also, putting together the first LatamPR conference in Miami. This is a group of small agencies in Latin America doing stellar work for clients looking to expand to the region and a new platform for CIIC to become even more connected with the Latin American market, which I love!
Most memorable moment in your career thus far?
Launching the Dominican Republic’s first ever Instagram and Facebook accounts for the Brazilian market and killing it! We saw such rapid growth and engagement. We had users sending us tons of photos daily wanting to be featured on our pages. It doesn’t hurt that the island is a DREAM.
The most glamorous part of travel PR is racking up miles and visiting some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
Most glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Hotel openings and events always call for dress up. The most glamorous part of travel PR is racking up miles and visiting some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. We also get pampered all the time with spa treatments.
Least glamorous moment in your career thus far?
Going from boarding a 5:00 a.m. plane straight to an important meeting but you learn to master it with a bit of lipstick and a smile.
PR can be stressful and full of rejection – how do you deal?
This may sound cliché but even five minutes of meditation goes a long way.
What are three current favorite tools, apps, or products that you love and why?
Meltwater, Laneige skin care for traveling, and Bose wireless headphones for Skype meetings.
What do you wish more people understood about your job?
Travel PR is such an incredible tool for awareness and while sometimes the goal for many is to sell, it is important to understand that it will not only put heads in beds for hoteliers, it will put the right (bold) heads in beds for hoteliers. Quality always wins over quantity in my book. We aim to create ambassadors!
What are you excited about right now?
I’m very excited about using artificial intelligence for hotel bookings, working with micro-influencers and new VR enhancements.
What’s the biggest challenge facing lifestyle communicators right now?
Oversaturated content versus quality content.
No micromanagement here! We are all encouraged to be creative and bring ideas to the table.
What advice do you have for your younger self?
Brand yourself early in your career. Personal branding will boost your credibility as a professional and will help you become a trusted source for media and clients.
Anything else we should know?
We are always looking for interested interns at CIIC Miami and New York. Reach out – firstname.lastname@example.org