Laurie Stretch didn’t pursue a typical public relations career. Rather than starting out in an agency environment, Laurie worked first in government and corporate communications. She spent about 12 years, mainly in oil and gas, honing her skills before making the jump to agency life.
She worked for a couple of well recognized public relations firms – National and Edelman – and gained valuable leadership and account experience. All along, she toyed with the idea of one day running her own public relations business when she semi-retired. The opportunity presented itself a little earlier than expected when she voluntarily left Edelman to pursue her own consulting company.
“I love consulting. I love problem-solving and finding solutions,” says Laurie. “You have a whole bunch of bosses because every client has to think that he or she is your only client. “
With such a diverse background, Laurie already had a great professional network in place. It didn’t take long for her phone to start to ring, and she was able to attract clients in the oil and gas, industrial and transportation sectors.
Her PR specialty is issues management and advocacy. Laurie helps companies tackle difficult situations with internal and external communications. She is often called upon to deal with controversial situations where personal and professional reputations are at stake.
“The depth and breadth of talent in Communo is remarkable.”
She enjoys running her solo business but found she missed the support of a large agency. She wanted to offer her clients additional marketing, digital and creative elements she couldn’t do herself.
“I needed the full breadth of skills that I had access to with Edelman, but I didn’t want to hire anyone,” says Laurie. “So, how can I find freelances that I know are good even if I haven’t worked with them before?”
For Laurie, Communo has been the answer. She’s continually impressed with the different specialties offered within Communo and believes the collaborative model makes each and every member stronger.
“The depth of talent and breadth of talent within Communo is remarkable. You can increase your own pace of learning just by meeting and working with new people.”
Advice to Communo members? You get out of it, what you put in. It’s a network, not a job board.
What do you do in your spare time – “I love traveling. Book your vacation well in advance, because if you wait and try to book it around your clients, you’ll never do it!”