In honor of Valentine’s Day we decided to express our love here at Culloton Strategies.  Enjoy our team love blog!

Dennis Culloton, President & CEO

The Rush- Some days it may be harder than others to remember why I love PR but ultimately, it comes down to the adrenaline and energy the news provides. The stories being published drive the agenda with our clients. What we can plan for and expect from the media is often turned on its head causing me to rethink a strategy from one minute to the next. Even with the advent of Twitter, it is more reminiscent of the old days of front page breaking news because every reporter is competing to be the first to break the headline and it often comes down to a matter of seconds in the race to tweet first. It’s unpredictable and exciting and that’s what I love about it.


Jeanne Atkinson, Senior Consultant

A love note to Public Relations, on Valentine’s Day

 Dear Public Relations,

After more than 25 years together, you’d think we’d have grown weary of each other. So often, in love, time dulls the attraction. Routine takes over and it’s the same thing, day in, day out. The spark fades, the conversations get dull and before you know it you’re using words like “fine” instead of “amazing” to describe your day.

Not with us. You’re different every day, which keeps the excitement alive.  Some days you’re clever and witty, other days you’re in crisis. But in the end, we always find the words to communicate our message.

Here’s to another 25 years together!


Ashleigh Johnston, Account Executive

My love of books must have been something I was born with. Before I could read I would pull every book off of the shelf. Then, once my parents started buying books on tape for me, I would memorize the stories and recite them back to my parents pretending to read. My parents decided it was as good as time as any to teach me to actually read so at three years old, I read my first book and became enamored with language.

I love reading as a hobby, as a way to relax, and as a way to keep learning and keep my mind sharp. I quite honestly would rather read a book than watch a movie because I enjoy that a written story can become my own. It’s that exchange of imagination – from what the writer created and envisioned, to how I perceive it – that makes me constantly hungry for the next book wondering how far my mind can stretch.


Manny Ozaeta, Consultant

When I was a kid, I used to enjoy reading my parent’s copy of the Reader’s Digest.  Every month, I would excitedly look through the pages of each issue skipping over the familiar Laughter is the Best Medicine column and go straight to the Word Power game. At that young age, it was always a challenge to get each word correctly but I was thankful for the periodic vocabulary test, which led me to win several in-class elementary school spelling bees. Ultimately, it allowed me to become a stronger writer, but more importantly, it was the beginning of a love affair with words that I have to this day.


Dave Bayless, Senior Consultant

Loving the victories, no matter the size– Crisis communications managers take their victories in small doses. Hearing a reporter ask your clients the same off the wall question you told them to expect?  That’s a win.

A client’s message playing in the headline of a story, not in the last paragraph?  That’s a win.

But there is only one thing better than helping a client through a cantankerous media interview, a contentious board meeting or a tough decision that will alter the course of an organization.  That is taking an unexpected phone call from that same client who just wants to say, “Thank you. We could not have weathered the storm without you.”  That is the best win of all.


Angela Benander, Vice President of Advocacy and Corporate Responsibility

When I was in kindergarten I wrote my first “book,” named Little Ed Under the Bed about a small lost teddy bear. Writing is one of my first loves. Putting words together to tell the most compelling story is something I love to do for our clients at CS.


Steve Flaherty, Intern

My relationship with PR has just begun so it might be a little too early to be throwing around the “L” word to describe my feelings about it.  That would be equivalent to telling a girl you love her on the first date.  I can definitely see it turning into that eventually, but for now I will use the word ‘like’.

I like PR because it has given me the opportunity to begin my career path.  Whatever I end up doing in the future, I will always remember my first PR experience at Culloton Strategies.  I like PR because I have learned something new every day I have been here, and that makes coming to work exciting.  Maybe by this time next year I will pop the “L” word on PR, but until then… Happy Valentine’s Day PR!


Tracey Mendrek, Senior Consultant

“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” – Franklin P. Jones

Jones, a reporter, PR executive and humorist, perhaps best known for his Saturday Evening Post column in the 1940s and 50s, nailed it with this quote.  Although it is not clear when he penned this phrase, from my perspective it must have been during his PR days, because PR is certainly a wild ride.

The ride is what I love about PR.  People admonish me for working the crazy hours and answering emails at 3 a.m., but I love it, pure and simple.  There is never one day the same as the last in this business.  The day you think will be quiet never turns out that way.  And Fridays, well they are never the start of the weekend; they often take the cake for being wild.  But I often sign off emails with “I love our projects” and that is a fact, love is what makes the ride worthwhile.


Julia Schatz, Account Executive

Like most doe-eyed, idealistic college kids who haven’t yet been hit by the real world, I always dreamed of doing a job where I really felt like I made a difference and contributed positively to society. Unlike many of my peers, I feel like I have found a job that actually fulfills this dream. I love that PR is EARNED media, and you don’t have to necessarily spend money to get your story told. PR influences the media. In turn, media affects public opinion, which drives decision-making. Public relations, government affairs, crisis communications, etc. all involve current events, making each day of work different and interesting. I may not be curing cancer, but I believe that PR can be used as a tool to make the world a better place.


Patrick Skarr, Account Supervisor 

Things Skarr Likes – P. Skarr doesn’t admit love in public:

The part I like most about my job is having the opportunity to work with coworkers with such varied backgrounds, experiences and connections. Seeing how my peers recognize, approach, and solve issues, has helped me grow personally and professionally. Years ago at an event a notable CEO remarked something to the effect of, “Follow your passion and do what you love, while working with people who have taken the same path. You should want to be at work everyday.”

CS has introduced me to great coworkers who I hope to have as friends for a very long time.

As an aside fun fact: Valentines Day spending in 2012 was $17.6 billion according to the L.A. Times – for all the complaining about the 2012 federal election, it only cost $6.2 billion according to estimates. Go figure.


Jodie (Shpritz) Kaplan, Vice President of Media Relations and Branding

In honor of Valentine’s Day and my journey towards finding love, I thought I would share my favorite love quotes from movies, celebrities and more.  Enjoy!

“It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together… and I knew it.” – Tom Hanks, Sleepless In Seattle

“Love is a promise; love is a souvenir, once given never forgotten, never let it disappear.” – John Lennon

“Love is absolute loyalty. People fade, looks fade, but loyalty never fades. You can depend so much on certain people; you can set your watch by them. And that’s love, even if it doesn’t seem very exciting.” – Sylvester Stallone

“Better to have lost and loved than never to have loved at all.” – Hemingway

“You don’t marry someone you can live with – you marry the person who you cannot live without.” – Unknown Author

“Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses.” – Lao Tzu


CeCe Marizu, Account Executive

I have grown up hearing three important words every single day of my life: I love you.  On this Valentine’s Day I have to say thank you to the parents who have always believed in my dreams and continue to support my future goals. Thanks for reading every blog I send out, encouraging me to mix passion with purpose and listening to me when I need you the most.  I love you and can never say thank you enough.

As for PR and work, take a lesson from Steve Jobs and don’t lose faith on finding the job you love.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” Steve Jobs


HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY from Culloton Strategies!