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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 Judith Webb, APR

April 1, 2014

Judith Webb, APR, is senior vice president of marketing and strategy for the U.S. Green Building Council, an NGO committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings and communities.

Throughout her 40-year career, Webb has been a senior counselor on messaging, marketing and managing brand development strategies for organizations and executive teams. She has experience in the corporate, non-profit and agency realms and helps organizations become fluent in higher value benefits — sustainability, human health and social entrepreneurship.
A University of Georgia journalism school graduate, Webb is active in PRSA and a longtime Georgia Chapter member, immediate past chair of the Public Affairs and Government Section and also a founder of the GreenEarth PR Network.

She lectures on communications theory, provides spokesperson training and executive-level coaching, and is currently based in Washington, D.C.

Webb talks about transparency as a corporate social responsibility trend, as companies agree to customers’ demands for change. “By listening hard to customers and responding, companies are finding that they can earn a social license that is being reflected in increased customer loyalty and healthier bottom lines,” she says.

“CSR is no longer an additive, ‘feel good PR’ program — it’s a ‘do better’ public relationship ethic in the best tradition of using public relations to change minds, and change the world.” 


Judith Webb, APR

Childhood ambition:

I wanted to be whatever I was reading about — a nurse (Cherry Ames), a detective (Trixie Belden), a reporter (Brenda Starr). I realized that it was the writing about these adventures that captivated me.

Current livelihood: 

Senior vice president, marketing and strategy, U.S. Green Building Council

What changed: 

Realized that powerful ideas should be powerfully communicated — that’s at the heart of all great PR efforts. And no matter the channel, it starts with being able to articulate clearly a point of view.

First public relations job: 

Red Cross internship under Kip Craven writing United Way feature stories. It was an early lesson in empathy and how, when you lead with the human story, you give the facts a fighting chance.

What you know now that you wish you’d known then: 

It’s almost never about what you do; it’s about why what you do matters. 

Best piece of advice you’ve ever received:

Tell people what you know and then tell them what you think. Always have a point of view about what to do next. When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging. (Thanks, Molly Ivins.)

Greatest professional accomplishment:

The greatest thrills are the accomplishments of the young men and women I’ve had the pleasure to mentor, and who have gone on to be exceptional professionals in their own right. 

If you weren’t in public relations, you would be:

The proud owner of a dive bar/bookstore

Desired legacy:

Green buildings for everyone within this generation

Make a “business case” for public relations:

Public relations is the perspective from which you educate, elucidate, motivate and mitigate among the relationships you have with customers, employees, the Street, the Hill and other key stakeholders. How well you do that determines whether your organization succeeds or fails.



Rosemary Taylor says:

Having served with Judith on the PAG Executive Committee for almost two years now, I know how professional, knowledgeable, and gracious she is. She knows how to get things done, whether its here in Georgia or in D.C. Didn't know she was Trixie Belden fan, too, until I read this. Thanks for this enlightening look at one of Georgia's best!

April 29, 2014

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