Jennifer Cho currently serves as General Manager and Executive Vice President at Weber Shandwick Southwest. She is a proven business development and agency executive focused on providing strategic, organizational, and financial leadership to the office across all accounts. Moving beyond public relations, Jen manages campaigns that do more than grab attention – they demand interaction, generating long-term value for clients. Jen Cho holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Political Science from Columbia University in the City of New York.
Where are you based?
General Manager and Executive Vice President, Southwest
Tell us about your background? How did you get to where you are today?
My summary is that I have been lucky to have a career of passion. From music, telecomm, data, global events and most recently, helping drive what integrated marketing looks like - I have added to my toolkit in every role and explored my curiosities.
Take us through a “typical” work day – what does it look like? What are you engaged in?
No day is typical would be the short answer. From leading and counseling clients, doing the same for my team, managing day to day ops and P&L responsibilities to learning about how we can support the growth and make an impact on the Dallas community and beyond – each day brings its own identity, which is what I love about my role.
What does your media diet consist of?
Morning reading – Axios, Skimm and social media – mainly Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (recent and very intentional – still trying to figure out my Twitter identity). Listen to podcasts during my commutes – favorite is Hidden Brain
What is your office/work setup like?
I am a huge pop culture fan and rotate out my Pop Funkos based on mood. My favorite crew would include Baby Groot, Gizmo and ET.
What is a recent communications/media campaign you enjoyed?
Coming off of Super Bowl, I’ll stretch the definition of campaign by saying that I enjoyed watching the Stella Artois spot as it was an idea sparked by Weber Shandwick’s Culture Tap team. I also thought Google did a great job in making inclusivity feel authentic.
How is your communications team staffed/organized and how many people make up your team?
I lead the Southwest region of Weber Shandwick out of Dallas with teams across Texas. We are an integrated marketing firm with a core media relations team based here in Dallas, but also have strong talent and capabilities in data & analytics and practice groups that span across tech, consumer, oil & gas, healthcare and more.
How do you recharge?
Hanging with my two dogs, consuming content whether through books, TV, podcasts or other and my monthly spa day.
What is the best advice you’ve received?
My dad gave me this gem as a kid and I find myself repeating it at talks and in questionnaires –
“If you are the smartest fish in the pond – find a new pond.”
Surrounding yourself with intelligent people in your work and private circles who bring a diversity of experience and thinking to the table will continue to ensure your next education adventure is just a conversation away.
Life in public relations is…
Constantly evolving and always on.
What are you reading or what would you recommend?
Just wrapping Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” and starting the 2nd Mistborn trilogy (Brandon Sanderson) for fun.
What tools or technologies can’t you live without?
The usual suspects – phone, laptop, iPad, iWatch – yep, I’m one of those Apple people. I am in the process of building a home and AR apps are a 2019 upgrade that I am loving! Wayfair, Houzz and Magicplan have made furnishing and decorating my home a high-tech and fun experience!
What is next for public relations? What emerging trends do you see?
I’m excited to see the evolution of public relations as the media landscape changes with the way that people consume content. Truly integrated campaigns are always the win for me and I am specifically interested in the new interpretation of influencers in how influencers are influenced by content they see from people that would not have been defined in the past as influencers in places that had not been defined as platforms. Personally, I am fascinated at the ever-changing ways that PR is embracing data and the insights that can be gleaned from smart analytics approaches to the overlap of experiential marketing when it comes to creating one’s own moments. We are living in an exciting time for PR and marketing!