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On the Case With…

Each month, as part of “The Business Case for Public Relations,” PRSA asks an industry leader to reflect on his or her career and make a “business case” for public relations.

More from “On the Case With…”

On the Case with Linda Beltran

October 2, 2013

Linda Beltran is the director of communications at the Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C. She has more than two decades of PR experience and was previously the director of public relations at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo.

She began her career with Tsantes & Associates, a small, high-tech agency located in San Jose, Calif., before transitioning to the hospitality sector at Victoria King Public Relations in Los Angeles. She has also worked at JMPR Public Relations, Woodside Hotels and the Fairmont Newport Beach. A native of Hollister, Calif., Beltran is an avid sports fan, has visited every major league baseball park and enjoys traveling the world.

“I am fortunate to be working for a company that values public relations and its role within the sales and marketing program, but when conferring with industry peers, positions are becoming scarce and upper-tier positions are few and far between,” she says of trends in the travel and tourism sector.

“The PR profession has always dealt with the issue of demonstrating ROI, and that is especially prevalent in this economy when traditional print coverage is being consumed by online media outlets and social media mentions. A serious review of how to move our profession forward within this industry could not come at a better time, and I would fully welcome and support that discussion.”

Name: Linda Beltran

Childhood ambition:
Concert clarinetist

Current livelihood:
Director of communications, Mandarin Oriental, Washington, D.C.

What changed:
In high school, I saw something on TV that discussed the role of a PR person, and I knew that’s what I wanted to do for my career.

First public relations job:
Tsantes & Associates — I was an administrative assistant

What you know now that you wish you’d known then:
Some things are simply beyond your control so just do your utmost best, every day.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received:
Not one single piece, but a “life collection” of wise words from my parents — hard work will always be noticed and rewarded accordingly.

Greatest professional accomplishment:
Pitching an article to The Wall Street Journal about an event in my hometown of Hollister, Calif., and being asked to write the article. It was published on July 23, 1997.

If you weren’t in public relations, you would be:
Doing sports public relations or sports commentating.

Desired legacy:
That I was absolutely dedicated to my trade and to the PR profession, and that I worked to encourage future generations to join the “fray,” armed with life lessons that helped me grow and advance professionally

Make a “business case” for public relations:
Public relations should be an ongoing, consistent function of the business structure and will succeed if a company/brand invests in the principles of the trade as opposed to seeking it out periodically for special projects or in times of crisis. Having a PR plan in place and someone who is prepared and actively engaged in the process will ensure that the company/brand is well positioned, that media opportunities are maximized and that difficult times will be anticipated and addressed.



Kimberly Brayboy says:

Great article! I love the statement that PR should be ongoing, and not just used for special projects and times of crisis.

October 5, 2013

Michele Peterson says:

Nicely put! I know Linda from past employment and her dedication to her career is unsurpassed.

October 16, 2013

Maria Rosario says:

I will welcome advice on ROI issues because if there is a profession more transformed and positively impacted by social media is PR.

October 25, 2013

Terry C Marks says:

Such an eloquent description validating a profession of which so many companies are in dire need. I also applaud the humility and professionalism in which Linda speaks. Bravo!

October 25, 2013

Chris Clark says:

Excellent Article. Well articulated and truly shows the passion that this PR Professional has! Bravo!

October 26, 2013

Micarl Hill says:

This is vintage Linda Beltean. Everything she does, she does with passion and she is always raising the bar. In her PR role she is an ambassador of her trade and the hotel she represents. She displays that same passion and enthusiasm in life, be it another baseball park or one of her many trips, she is always making friends and enjoying each and every moment. Great article.

October 29, 2013

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