Posted on: February 13, 2024
Air Date: 7/20/2021 Updated: 2/13/2024
In this episode, Raffi DerSimonian talks about his career doing public relations and marketing of the arts. As a Waterville, Maine, native, Raffi describes the renaissance going on in the city from arts to dining. Music has always been a passion of Raffi’s. He describes his musical career and helping found Waterville Rocks. In addition to doing PR and marketing for the arts, Raffi is experienced in promoting higher education. Raffi shares some advice for schools and colleges to promote themselves as well as what to do when communicating during a crisis.
00:00 Introduction to the PR Maven Podcast
01:32 Introducing Guest: Raffi DerSimonian
02:58 The Importance of a Handwritten Note
11:33 How Video Can Drive Measurable Results
18:19 Waterville, Maine’s Renaissance
23:37 How Waterville Rocks Was Founded
24:16 Music’s Role in Raffi’s Life
29:00 Raffi’s Career Marketing the Arts
32:15 Advice for Schools When Promoting Themselves
36:22 Communicating During a Crisis
39:36 Helpful Resources
With over 20 years experience in results-oriented public relations, marketing and communications, Raffi DerSimonian has cultivated a comprehensive understanding of the intersection between institutional marketing, communications, advancement and the arts. His experience includes leading new brand launches, developing marketing strategies, and planning advancement campaigns for a diverse range of institutions and organizations. Via RDS Group, Raffi works in highly collaborative settings, which allows him to effectively navigate a range of complex and large-scale initiatives.
What marketing and PR techniques have you found to be the most impactful over the past year?
The integration of AI tools into our professional practice has been transformative. We’re continuously astounded by their capabilities, marking a significant inflection point in virtually every field, and especially marketing, communications, PR and advancement. We view AI not just as a tool but as a paradigm shift, fundamentally changing our approach to our work.
Where will you be focusing your efforts in the year to come?
Our focus remains on leveraging our strengths: helping institutions and organizations amplify their mission by activating the power of strategy, creativity and technology. Our goal is simple: to increase engagement, response and impact.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone getting started in a PR career, what would it be?
My key advice for any aspiring professional is to embrace diversity in your experiences. There’s ample time to specialize later. Engage in as many roles and challenges as possible – our field offers vast opportunities to apply your unique skills. Gaining broad experience helps in understanding where your strengths lie and what brings you the most satisfaction and joy in your career.