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#CareerGoals: Partner at Penelope PR, Richelle Umali

PR Guru and mom to Frenchie Theodore, Richelle Umali, Partner of Penelope PR, is taking the PR world by storm – working with top entertainment and lifestyle talent.

Richelle Umali joined Penelope Co-Founder, Tiffany Astle as partner in 2018, returning to Penelope PR after an eight-year hiatus. With brands at both the agency and in-house level, she gained years of experience in creative development/production, project management and the execution of large-scale client events working with brands including Converse Canada, Loblaws, Spotify Canada, Facebook and Boots & Hearts. We had a chance to sit down and chat about her vast experience in the PR world.

What exactly does Penelope PR do?

Penelope PR is an entertainment and lifestyle boutique PR agency. We do everything from events, red carpets, media relations to social media.

How did you get into this career?

I started in PR by accident actually! I was at Western University doing a political science degree and realized I didn’t want to teach or be a politician so my mom actually found a PR program and said: “do you want to try this?” I thought it looked cool so I did and it really grew from there. I started my internship right out of school at Penelope PR eight years ago, left after a few years to go and explore and learn. Luckily, eight years later, I was able to come back and as a partner at Penelope PR alongside Co-Founder Tiffany Astle.

What makes your job career goals?

I get to work with some of the most amazing talents across the country, from country music artists like Jake Owen and Jason Aldean, or the Yodeler Mason Ramsey, to content creators like Healthnut Nutrition and Lauren Toyota – people I would never get to meet in my everyday life.

How does this career feed into your overall life goals?

I am really lucky because my life goals are really in line with my career goals. I am not even thirty yet and I get to say I am partner at one of the most amazing PR agencies in Toronto, working with some of the most amazing talents alongside my mentor.

How would someone get into PR?

If you want to get into PR nowadays, I think it’s pretty different from when I started out. I don’t even know if you have to necessarily go to school for it. The biggest thing is really about meeting people, networking and learning the media.

What type of person or personality is suited for what you do?

If you want to work in PR you have to have a pretty outgoing personality. A lot of your day is spent talking to people, speaking to the media and really pitching what you are trying to talk about. I would also say it takes a little bit of type A personality (a little bit of OCD!) because staying on top of things is a huge part of what we do.

Can you share three tips for being successful in this career?

  1. Network – meet people, expand who you know, build a wide network.
  2. Consume media – learn the media, who are the journalists, what are the big websites, etc.
  3. Constantly be learning – continuously keep up with the various channels to help your clients.

What’s one secret about your job?

Organization is absolutely key. It’s embarrassing how many to-do lists I have scattered around my house!

Anything exciting coming up?

One of our artists out of Nashville, MacKenzie Porter, is coming out with some new music and I am so excited to hear it!

You can follow along with everything that Penelope PR is doing on instagram or contact Umali on the Penelope PR website.

Audrey Lee