People of OH: Samantha Fink

Samantha Fink, or as we know her – Sam, came to OH Partners only a few short months ago. In no time, Sam has jumped into working for one of the largest clients on our roster. Her mightily impressive background in PR and entertainment is unmatched, from working across the country with top-of-the-line chefs and celebrities, to commanding clients on the Las Vegas strip. We’re proud to have a team member as fiery and skillful as she. Read more about how this public relations powerhouse is making waves in Arizona below.

Give us a quick rundown of your day-to-day.

I am a Public Relations Account Executive. My main client is Gila River Hotels & Casinos. Every day looks different, but it’s a lot of writing, lots of press releases and media advisories. I try to pitch what the casino has going on to the media, and try to get journalists to cover it. That can be anything from corporate news to gaming updates, to entertainment, to dining. That’s the fun thing about PR and especially the casino – they always have something going on and something to talk about. Some days are photoshoots, some days are spent meeting TV stations for an interview. That’s what I love about PR. Every day is never the same.

How long have you been at OH?

I’ve been working at OH for about four months. Time flies, but I also kind of feel like I’ve been here forever. But I have been in PR about seven years. I graduated in 2011 from college, and got started right after that.

Did you always want to be in PR?

I went to college at Ohio University – not to be confused with Ohio State University. But when I went to college, I went to journalism school and thought maybe I would take the magazine route. Once I got to college, I learned more about public relations. PR basically combined writing with marketing, and those were the two things that I’ve loved ever since.

Where are you from?

I’m from Akron, Ohio. Home to Lebron James – our claim to fame. My family still lives there. My parents, my brother, and my sister.

What brought you to Arizona?

After college, I knew a few people moving out here for jobs. So, I decided to do the same. I moved here before I had a job, but I found an internship pretty quickly. I stayed here for almost two years, then moved to Chicago.

Why Chicago?

In the back of my head, I knew I always wanted to move to Chicago. Everyone from my hometown goes there to start their career. So I went there – and found a job about a month after at a boutique public relations firm that specialized in restaurants and hospitality. It was a great experience.

So, is food a big part of your life?

Yes! I love food and restaurants. I love going out and learning about cuisine. Chicago is where I discovered that passion, since we worked closely with a lot of renowned chefs. Food is something everybody loves, so getting to write about food and talking about it every day was the best.

Somewhere along the line, I heard you worked for casinos in Las Vegas?

The winters in Chicago were getting pretty brutal, so I was looking for a change. Vegas was crazy. I worked for Caesars Entertainment. So, they own nine different casino resorts in Las Vegas – including Caesars Palace. Going in I didn’t know if I was going to like it. I don’t know if I’m a “Vegas” person, but once I got working, it was the best experience. Las Vegas is such a fast-paced and big town, it’s the epicenter for the best entertainment and hospitality in the world. So in order to get more experience in that industry, it was the best place to be.

I worked out of the office inside Caesars Palace. It could be a lot – there was definitely a lot of stimulation. There’s so many people. Caesars is right on the strip, so walking down the Las Vegas strip was part of my day-to-day. My first week of work, I had to go work an event that had the World’s Largest Champagne Shower. I was like, “This is such a Vegas thing.”

Is that the kind of stories you were pitching to the media?

I was mostly covering restaurants, so I did a lot of that. Plus gaming, pools, and bars. We would try to get the news to cover those things, and we had a lot of celebrity chef partners so that helped. Anyone from Gordon Ramsay or Giada De Laurentiis, to Guy Fieri. That was a big draw for me. I grew up watching the Food Network, so working with those legendary chefs was amazing.

What do you think makes Arizona special?

People give Arizona a bad rep compared to other cities, but they just don’t know what it’s really like. I’ve moved back three different times now, so something must keep me coming back. I love the landscape and it’s just so different from where I grew up.

The desert is beautiful, plus the climate and the weather are so unique. Phoenix is a great and diverse city, which I don’t think people realize. There are so many different things you can experience from all different cultures. The restaurant and bar scene is amazing, which is definitely overlooked. People are out here doing really cool stuff.

Plus, a lot of people are from the Midwest out here, so the people are friendly. It feels like a home away from home.

How does OH position itself in Arizona?

I think OH is staying to its roots, for being an Arizona company and an Arizona agency. OH isn’t trying to be something that it’s not, but we have all the capabilities and talent to compete with the big agencies. Phoenix has everything those other cities have, but we’re working on getting that recognition. OH is doing the same thing as an agency.

How do you hope to inspire change within this industry?

It can be hard, because PR has been around forever. People can be stuck in their ways. There are ways they’ve always done things, so they think it’s best to continue that way. But, the world is changing! I know now there are more PR people than there are journalists, so you have to change your way of thinking.

I wouldn’t want to work for anyone who wouldn’t want to do something different or try something new. PR is also hard because sometimes you just want to say, “This is such a good story! Why didn’t you cover it?”. On the other side, I know the media is getting inundated with pitches. It just makes you want to be more creative and say, “What can I do next time?”

What is a goal you have in 2019, both personally and professionally?

Professionally, I would say… I’ve been in-and-out of Phoenix so much, and since I want to be here for a while, I want to form relationships with people in the community and with other journalists and reporters.

And since I also spent a lot of my twenties moving around, I want to spend more time traveling. I really want to go to Europe this year. I’ll also be turning 30 next year, so I’m excited about that new chapter.

How do you shine the most in your work? What do you need to feel comfortable to do your job well?

PR people are communicators, so open communication is number one. Being in the loop and knowing what’s going on at all times. That’s big. It’s a lot of writing, so being able to carve out the time to sit down and write. Sometimes that means going off-site to a coffee shop or working from home, just finding where that place is. I’m also inspired just going out in nature. I feel reset and like I can go back to work with a clear head.

What have you noticed about OH that feels different about other companies or agencies?

OH has a strong sense of where they want to go as a company, and what our goals are. That can be rare. Some companies are constantly trying to get through the day-to-day, but OH looks ahead with goals in mind. I love that our goals are so big. We don’t just want to be the best in Phoenix, we want to be the best in the country.

We have an awesome leadership team, who really want the best for their employees. Plus to see how much we’ve grown, it’s exciting to be a part of that growth. The PR department is on the smaller side, so I feel there is an opportunity to grow in the same way that the agency has grown. We have the capability to be a huge part of this agency. Our team is super talented and we’ve been doing public relations for some of the best clients in Arizona. We’re passionate and we’re excited to tell more stories.