With over 20 years of experience in advertising, marketing, and public relations, Stephanie Wilson, CEO and founder of Wicked Creative, has collaborated with diverse clients, from movie stars to upscale restaurants and hotels. Her career began in 1997 when she moved to Las Vegas and worked with prestigious clients such as Wolfgang Puck’s Spago and Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.
Wilson has graced the pages of SEVEN and Vegas Magazine for her style and achievements. In 2018, the Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada recognized her entrepreneurial spirit with their prestigious “Entrepreneur Badge.”
We caught up with Wilson to get her thoughts on the future of the communications industry.
What book, podcast or other media do you recommend to other comms pros?
I listen to USA Today’s “The Excerpt” and The New York Times’ “The Daily” regularly and recommend both to other comms pros. While the hard news doesn’t often veer into my lane, I always find it useful to be well-informed. I’m usually running when I listen to podcasts and there’s something about that combination that spurs new ideas.
What’s your favorite tool you use regularly for work?
Google! While we have a lot of tools at our disposal, there’s nothing like Google to track down information and contacts. Freelance writers usually have their own websites so that media can review their work as they hire them; so even when you can’t find their info in Muckrack or Cision, you can usually find them online. It’s also a great tool for competitive analyses; whether you’re looking into media that’s being secured for clients’ competitors or exploring new story ideas.
What excites you most about the future of communications?
Technology is quickly changing our field, from AI to the evolution of social media; including the ever-increasing integration of traditional and social media. I’ve always loved that each day is different in PR; but these rapid changes in the information landscape mean that even what this profession is today and what it will be a year from now are vastly different.
What communications challenge keeps you up at night?
Distrust in media. It’s heartbreaking that so many don’t trust media, versus recognizing the value of the free press as a Constitutional right. I believe the overwhelming majority of journalists stay true to fair and balanced reporting, and I wish more people felt that way. It’s shocking to me that so many distrust revered outlets like The New York Times and Washington Post. Those are people who we as PR professionals can’t reach through our efforts.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your career?
My biggest challenge was expanding Wicked Creative outside of Las Vegas with the opening of an office in San Diego 10 years ago, and eventually moving there. It was a big adjustment to learn a new market and develop new relationships while continuing to maintain and strengthen relationships in Las Vegas. I’m thankful to Zoom for making it possible to no longer take weekly flights to Las Vegas.
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
When I first started working in PR I was obsessed with Esquire’s “What I’ve Learned.” They covered the corkboard in my office. While I can’t recall who said it, there was a line that stood out to me about how people are like plants – and when you water them, they flourish. I have a daily reminder in my Outlook that just says, “water.”
Isis Simpson-Mersha is a conference producer/ reporter for Ragan. Follow her on LinkedIn.