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Author, Ghostwriter, And Communications Strategist – Exclusive Interview With Phyllis R. Caddell

Phyllis R. Caddell is an author, ghostwriter, publicist, and communications strategist. She has been guiding clients in developing, crafting, and improving their brand narratives for over 27 years. A subject matter expert (SME) and adjunct professor for Azusa Pacific University, she holds an M.A. in Organizational Communications, an M.S. in Internet Marketing, and a B.A. in Public Relations.


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Phyllis R. Caddell, Communications Strategist

 

Introduce yourself! Please tell us about you and your life, so we can get to know you better.


I'm Phyllis R. Caddell from Los Angeles, CA. I come from a family of creative entrepreneurs.

Though I was a good student, I found school boring. This skepticism from my counselor affected my enthusiasm in my junior and senior years. However, upon graduating high school, I discovered my true passion and pursued multiple degrees earning an M.A. in Organizational Communications, an M.S. in Internet Marketing, and a B.A. in Public Relations.


From a young age, I had a natural inclination for communication and writing. It was clear that these aligned with my talents and interests, leading me to find my place in the communications field.


I have diverse interests and hobbies. Writing is a particular passion, and I enjoy mentoring others. Traveling, road trips, exploring hotels and restaurants, walking on the beach, and attending open houses bring me joy.


I'm the epitome of a Type A individual driven to succeed. I hold myself to high standards and strive for excellence. While I tend to be a perfectionist and critical of mistakes, I find solace in writing. I’m always on but I've learned to listen to my body and take breaks, indulging in my favorite pastime—relaxing on the beach and doing absolutely nothing.


Can you tell us about the story behind PCPR Communications and how the company was founded? What inspired you to start this business?


PCPR Communications was born out of frustration and a series of layoffs. In the corporate world, departments considered non-essential are often the first to face cuts, and unfortunately, that was my experience. After being laid off numerous times, I resorted to temporary work. As fate would have it, I found myself at a prominent music label, where I was hired to work in the PR department. However, the environment at the label was far from ideal. So, I made the decision to leave the label and start a new path as an entrepreneur.


To prepare myself, I read many entrepreneurship books, eager to gain the knowledge and insights necessary to build my PR company. My sister Dayna, generously lent me $500 to get started. Understanding the power of PR, I reached out to my media contacts, explaining my vision and goals. Their response was overwhelmingly positive, and soon articles about me and my new company began to appear in various publications.


Before I knew it, the phone began to ring constantly, and my client base grew fast. This was a testament to the need for the services I offered and the value I brought to the table. Despite the challenges and set backs I faced along the way, my faith and determination kept me focused on my goals.


How does PCPR Communications stay updated with the latest trends and developments in the ever-evolving field of public relations? How do you ensure that your strategies remain innovative and effective?


At PCPR Communications, we understand that to deliver innovative and effective strategies, we need to constantly learn, adapt, and connect with the pulse of the industry.


As storytellers, explorers, and trailblazers, we seek out new knowledge and fresh perspectives to elevate our clients' brands. Staying updated with the latest trends fuels our creativity and inspires us to push the boundaries of PR.


We believe that collaboration and connection are key to staying at the forefront of our field. We actively engage with fellow publicists to ignite new ideas which keep our strategies fresh and dynamic.


We also stay open to using PR tools, monitoring platforms, and analytics software that provide us with real-time insights. By using data, we can identify emerging trends and shifts in consumer behavior, allowing us to tailor our strategies effectively.


Lastly, it’s important to listen to our client’s feedback and take their evaluations to heart. Their input guides us in refining our strategies, and ensuring that we deliver innovative solutions that align with their objectives.


Looking towards the future, what are the goals and aspirations for PCPR Communications? Are there any upcoming projects, expansions, or new services that clients and stakeholders can look forward to?


One of my aspirations for PCPR is to create a podcast that offers aspiring publicists valuable insights and guidance. To kick start this initiative, I created the Instagram page @pcpr_talk, with the goal of launching this year. Besides the podcast, my agency’s strategy is centered on giving back by contributing to the growth and success of the next generation of PR professionals. To achieve this, I developed a plan to establish a mentorship program that will provide them with a range of resources, including workshops, relationship-building opportunities, leadership development, and other invaluable tools to support their journey and help them thrive in their PR careers.


If you could change one thing about your industry, what would it be and why?


The PR industry has a responsibility to actively promote and prioritize diversity and inclusion. This entails implementing practices that foster diversity in hiring, ensuring that individuals from various backgrounds and perspectives are represented within the industry. I believe it is essential to create a workplace culture that embraces inclusivity.


To support these efforts, the industry should offer comprehensive diversity and inclusion training programs to its employees. These programs serve to increase awareness, build cultural competence, and challenge biases that may exist within the industry. Training can cover topics such as unconscious bias, inclusive language usage, and cultural sensitivity, among others.


By actively working towards greater diversity and inclusion, the PR industry can create an environment that celebrates and values individual differences. This not only leads to more equitable opportunities for underrepresented groups but also enhances creativity, innovation, and overall success within the industry. It is imperative that all stakeholders in the field commit to these efforts to foster a more inclusive and representative PR industry.


Tell us about a pivotal moment in your life that brought you to where you are today.


The pivotal point in my life occurred when I made the decision to leave my PR position at a prominent record label and embark on the path of becoming a self-employed entrepreneur. This pivotal moment required me to embrace vulnerability, take calculated risks, and pursue my vision. Stepping out of my comfort zone was not only necessary but also refreshing.


Leaving behind the security of a steady income forced me to push myself even harder and remain relentlessly hungry for success. With no safety net to rely on, I became more determined to excel in my field. My work ethic underwent a remarkable transformation and heightened my sense of ambition. It tested my resilience and allowed me to grow personally and professionally.


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