Breaking News

Industry Watch: Public Relations Agency
May 2005

Q&A with Peggy C. Frank, MBA, CEO of Frank PR Worldwide

Q: You've worked in public relations for almost 30 years. What prompted you to enter the field?
When I was 13 to 15 years of age, I worked on a secret program called the 40-foot table. We made repackaged small quantity supplies for home dialysis patients at Mount Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. Our efforts are recorded in the Congressional Record. Even though I started out early in healthcare, I had no proactive idea that I would enter the field. The first day I started looking for a job with my freshly minted Journalism BA, I was offered an interview opportunity and then a job at Saint John's Hospital and Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. It was such a great experience that I remain very close friends with my co-worker and have just completed a project with my former boss.

Q: The introduction to your web site announces that your specialty is strategic health care PR, investor relations and marketing. The whole field of health care PR is relatively new. What did you do before and how did you segue into working for companies and organizations such as Prudential HealthCare, Hyatt Medical Enterprises and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center?
It's no secret that I love working in the healthcare arena and that I love working in the corporate world. I thrive on the immediacy, the high level of importance, and the abundant need for flexibility. I started my own agency after I experienced a corporate move for my husband, which forced me to leave my coveted position as Director of PR for Prudential Healthcare Western Region.

Q: What does a typical workday look like for you?
I turn my computer on at 7 a.m. to ensure that my East Coast clients have early access to me. I work for an hour and then take my eight-year-old to school. When I return, I stay connected to my laptop. My laptop has become my best friend!

First business of the day is to read the Sundry e-zines that provide me with the latest and greatest in the world of healthcare - everything from disease management, to technology, to insurance. I send my clients relevant news articles so that they are well equipped to start their day with the "news of the day" top of mind. During the course of the day I speak with media representatives and clients, but I keep my phone calls to a minimum. With the advent of netiquette, so much can be accomplished in very little time in just a few clicks of the keyboard.

I usually leave my desk around 5 p.m. and take my daughter to dance class. After fixing the family's dinner (I am a single mother of four, although only three still live with me!), I return to my desk and usually work another couple hours. I teach for the University of Phoenix online and usually spend some time each evening responding to their emails, and posting news articles, and other pertinent class oriented information. (I have been teaching for four years. I teach undergrads Marketing and PR, and graduate students e-Healthcare Technology.).

Q: You have a new program called "Frankly SpeakingT" for advising small and medium-sized companies. It sounds like a really interesting and timely concept. What is it, exactly?
There are many talented PR professionals that are ethically driven to do their utmost for their clients. The problem is that they do not know how to provide business counsel along with the concepts of PR. The "Frankly Speaking" program is just that - I will not necessarily tell a client what they want to hear, but instead will tell them what they need to know. Providing excellent PR counsel is not a race to win friendship. It is a commitment to say and make actionable the most focused and potentially beneficial action plan for success as measured by the desired, predetermined results.

Q: What are some of the unique challenges you face when working for your particular clients?
I do not believe these challenges are unique. I believe every qualified PR professional would answer similarly. Topping my list are the following:

  • Getting a spokesperson for the organization to respond in a timely fashion.
  • Achieving understanding as to what is and what is not "news" worthy of parading before a reporter for media coverage. And, conversely, digging out the "real" newsworthy stories.
  • What may be unique is that I have clients that I have never met in person, and we do business strictly by phone and email. That is unique. Communicating effectively online only, without any non-verbal clues, can be a challenge, but I have a great track record of making it work.
Q: Is there a company or person you think is in particular need of PR help right now?
PR should start with "us." I would love to see everyone adopt the mantra "I am the champion and the caretaker of the image and reputation of .and then insert your name. Everyone needs PR and most of us practice it well everyday, without realizing it.

If I had to pick one person right now that needs PR, it would have to be the newly elected Pope Benedict XVI.

Q: What would you describe as the high point of your career? How about the low point?
I am hopeful that I have yet to achieve the high point of my career.

I have experienced many exciting moments, including working with icon celebrities such as President Ronald Regan, Jimmy Durante, Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner and Audrey Hepburn. Or, my yearly visits to the Los Angeles Playboy Mansion where I worked a celebrity fundraiser every year. The grounds are breathtaking.

The low point of my career is an easier answer to provide. I was six months pregnant with my first daughter when the hospital I worked for closed for construction, and I had to find work looking like a whale. I waited out the aquatic look until she was two weeks old and started sending out resumes that landed me my position as Director of Communications with Weight Watchers International. She was three months old and I was 25. It was the first and only time that I was unemployed since age 15. (My volunteer activities from 13-15 do not count as employment.)

Q: What are some of the best practices you see being used in PR today? Are these best practices different from those of 15 to 20 years ago?
I am an unbridled convert to the great Internet world. PR practitioners have yet to discover the untapped possibilities of streaming video, audio, talking websites, Blogs, etc.

Q: What changes do you predict for the PR industry over the next few years? What aspect of the PR industry do you think will be fastest growing in 2005/2006?
I see blending of the separate communications disciplines of internal communications, external communications and investor relations. I believe that successful PR professionals will be well poised with the education and experience to provide the complete communications package required to advance the agenda of organizations that are on a full speed ahead timeline for achieving sustainable competitive advantage. I believe we will soon see a day where the PR professional is at the executive management table, literally elbow to elbow with the CFO. It is crucial that PR professionals drive the necessity for the concepts of PR to permeate every area of an organization so that every business unit makes decisions on issues based on the potential and the real PR impact of those decisions. I would like to see our employees become true unofficial PR ambassadors.

As for what's new at Frank PR - I just launched a new division, MediBeautyPR, which is dedicated to creating and sustaining buzz about innovative plastic surgeons, dermatologists, cosmetic dentists, medi-spa owners, and cosmetic industry entrepreneurs. See


Peggy C. Frank
MBA and CEO of Frank PR Worldwide , Peggy has close to 30 years in the PR business, including communications, marketing and investor relations. She has worked with a number of the largest national and internationally renowned health care organizations, including Prudential HealthCare, Heinz's Weight Watchers International, Hyatt Medical Enterprises,and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center before launching Frank PR in 1999. A widely requested and dynamic speaker, Peggy has received accolades and awards from the American Society of Health Care Marketing and Public Relations, International Association of Business Communicators and Women In Health Administration, to name just a few. Frank PR has just launched a new program called "Frankly SpeakingT" to advise a specialized portfolio of small and medium-sized companies.

Home | In The News | About Us | Services | Clients | Testimonials | Contact Us
Newsletter Archive
Copyright 2002-2007 by Frank Public Relations, All Rights Reserved

Web Site by Regency Web Services