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014: Coming in hot with truth bombs from Samantha Villegas, President of SaVi PR


Samantha Villegas, APR is an award-winning communications strategist, committed to using her powers for good. For more than 20 years, Sam has worked to expand recycling, promote water conservation, increase investments in energy efficiency, enhance opportunities for veterans, foster immigrants’ rights to work, support common-sense gun legislation and much more.

Throughout her career, Sam has been an active volunteer in the Public Relations Society of America, the largest public relations association in the world, serving more than 20,000 professional members. In 2010, she served as Chair of the Mid-Atlantic District (representing 10 chapters). In 2013, she served as president of the Society’s largest chapter, the National Capital Chapter (1,500 members), where she expanded its volunteer service awards, revived its Hall of Fame award, and created a thought leadership initiative. In 2016, she was elected to the Society’s National Board of Directors, where she helps oversee operations and the Society’s strategic direction.

In addition to her service in PRSA, Sam volunteers locally, providing more than $25,000 worth of pro-bono PR counsel and support to social service organizations in Loudoun County, VA where she lives.

Sam was a 2017 Washington Women in PR “Woman of the Year” finalist. She holds a Master’s Degree in environmental policy from Johns Hopkins University and is accredited in public relations by PRSA’s Universal Accreditation Board.

Top Takeaways:

  1. Ethics and public relations go hand in hand. Withholding information prevents your citizens from making informed decisions.
  2. Water providers should brand themselves as if their customers have a choice in who they choose for their water service.
  3. Employee engagement has to be rooted in reality. It can’t just be a catchy tagline. Truly invest in your employees and then create the campaign around what actually exists.

Book:

This Is Me: Loving the Person You Are Today by Chrissy Metz

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals by Sean Covey, Chris McChesney, and Jim Huling

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