Inside HA: Leadership Q&A with Linh Dinh

Ever wonder how the leaders in today’s PR world end up where they are? From fishermen to past journalists, the worldwide Hoffman team brings together a very diverse set of backgrounds. Our new Q&A series was created to provide insights about our leadership—plus a few helpful real-world tidbits for the eager young professional.

Read on for our first Q&A with Hoffman Account Manager, Linh Dinh. With more than 11 years of experience in marketing and communications, Linh brings with her a diverse list of past clients within B2B, consumer, healthcare, and high-tech markets.

Here’s what Linh had to say about her background in communications and career path:

When did you first hear about PR? What did you think of it then?

I first heard about public relations when I was a student at the University of Oregon. Before that I never heard of public relations and was planning to become a lawyer. Everyone around me was going to college to be a software developer or doctor, so I didn’t know there was a profession where I could combine my two strengths: writing and storytelling.

When did you realize you wanted to be in PR? What interested you?

I signed up for a few entry-level courses at UO’s School of Journalism and Communications and decided the PR focus sounded interesting. It wasn’t until I met instructor Tom Hagley, who previously worked at Hill & Knowlton and Alcoa, that I knew I wanted to take PR seriously. Tom’s enthusiasm and experience in public relations made me want to dive right in. He made public relations seem like an accessible and an appealing career.

What is one of your favorite memories working in PR? Could be with a client or coworker.

One of my favorite memories is when I was a Global Communications intern at Intel. I had no knowledge of technology and honestly, didn’t know much about Intel and semiconductors, but I had a great manager who encouraged curiosity and was a good resource. One of my first projects was to draft the enterprise press release for the Fall Intel Developer’s Forum. It was the first press release I’ve written for a real company, and it was amazing to go through the process — working with technical assistants from several revisions to working with legal to get approval.

What is the best PR lesson you’ve learned that you wish you would have known before?

One lesson that I’ve learned is that communications is constantly evolving and changing. There isn’t one way to tell someone’s story, and one method might not be the best for another client. It’s always best to be flexible and see what works for each client.

What advice would you give to a young professional who is trying to break into the industry?

Be curious and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Especially, if you’re interviewing at agencies, always do your research on the company and show your passion for communications. People always want to work with someone who truly loves what he or she is doing.

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