PR Profession Report

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Through this paper I will be discussing the size, mission, vision, services, and organization culture in Barracuda Public Relations in El Paso, TX. I will provide a description of the individuals who are responsible for PR efforts and why I feel this organization serves as a good example to explore PR practices. I will be going through a list of why interview questions and describing why I selected those questions. The specific characteristics of the PR profession that were interesting to me and why. From my perspective, what are some of the most challenging aspects of PR practice and why. The three main learning points I developed from my research that I was not familiar with and how to apply these learning points to my academic/professional path.

This document is valuable for PR practitioners because it will demonstrate the importance of writing for the PR profession. Also, some of the most common writing pieces used in the PR profession. How to become a more effective PR writer and practitioner.

Barracuda Public Relations is a small local agency with only ten employees. From those ten, Marina explained how each can perform everyone else’s job. Meaning they are multi-dimensional individuals. Their “mission is to make sure that you are heard in El Paso. [They] take pride in [their] ability to connect with [their] clients to convey their message to the world.” Barracuda Public Relations vision is to “… establish a clear, open, and accessible line of communication…”with the idea to integrate themselves into the organization they are working with. [They] spend the time necessary to establish such a relationship so that when it comes to developing and executing public relations and social media strategies, [they] are all on the same page and work as a collaborative”.

Their core services include media planning, press releases, media advisories, proactive story pitching, social media management, community outreach, copywriting, internal and external communications, bilingual services, and media event coordination such as groundbreakings, press conferences, grand openings, and kick off parties. Some of the additional services they offer are Spanish language translation, voice overs in English and Spanish, casting, and production scheduling for video shoots. “Barracuda has built [their] business on a foundation of sincerity, integrity and follow-through. [Their] strength comes in the form of our personal touch, work ethic, and our genuine interest in the success of our clients” (Barracuda PR, 2019).

A description of the individuals who are responsible for PR efforts include Martin Bartlett, as the lead strategist, “serves as the primary point of contact for Barracuda’s clients”. Ana Gaby Becerra, the director of design, is in charge of designing concepts “…to cohesively tell [Barracuda’s clients’ stories across all platforms”. “…she oversees campaign implementation on social media, in print, direct mail, outdoor, and whenever else your story needs to be told”. “Crysti Couture is a social media strategist, trainer and speaker certified by the National Institute for Social Media.

By focusing on engaging content and effective targeting, Crysti builds strategies which allow Barracuda’s clients to better connect with their customers and target audiences.” Dave Acosta is a lifelong El Pasoan and public relations specialist to Barracuda PR that with his “ultra-sharp writing skills and deep understanding of border culture allow him to execute public relations strategies which immediately resonate with the public and the press” and Regina Garcia is a social media specialist whose “day-to-day duties include executing client’s social media strategies by creating content video and imagery across all platforms of communication. Her go-getter attitude, clear communications skills, attention to detail and reliability help contribute to Barracuda” (Barracuda PR, 2019).

I feel like this organization serves as a good example to explore PR practices because of their strong “…foundation of sincerity, integrity, and follow-through”. I feel like those are the primary characteristics any PR practitioner should stick to no matter what. Also, their ability to connect their client’s idea to their audiences of interest and outstanding writing and speaking skills to get ideas across through different platforms (Barracuda PR, 2019).

The person I interviewed, Marina Monsisvais, founder of Barracuda Public Relations, known as “…the megaphone for all the great things happening in El Paso. With more than 12 years of experience working in public relations, including special event coordination and promotions, Marina is well established in the El Paso community as the go to public relations and social media professional. Marina’s involvement in each client project ensures that everything we do is infused with look, feel and optimistic attitude for which Barracuda has become known. Under Marina’s leadership, Barracuda PR has remained fully responsive to our fast-changing media landscape expanding services to include social media management and content creation, direct email marketing and a full suite of design services” (Barracuda PR, 2019).

  • What type of writing do PR professionals do every day?

PR professionals do all kind of writing every day whether is for social media, newsletters, etc. Writing is the basis for PR, if you are not good at writing you are going to have trouble to be a good PR (Monsisvais, 2019).

  • When responding to media and public inquiries, what sort of questions can be the most difficult to answer?

Each circumstance is different. We try to anticipate what others may ask and if we do not like the question we are asked, we answer the questions we would like to answer. Some people believe that if someone disagrees with you is not necessarily something negative but a perspective (Monsisvais, 2019).

  • From your perspective, how has social media changed the world of PR?

Social media is part of communication. A good communicator should use social media to reach their audience(Monsisvais, 2019).

  • Describe a PR crisis Barracuda Public Relations have had. How did you handle it?

Often clients call you after something bad has already happen. I feel like we need to prepare for good news not just bad news. A lot of business thinks they do not need a PR practitioner until something bad happens. There was TV outbreak at the hospital where 300 babies exposed to it. The way Barracuda Public Relations handled it was by accepting you failed as a CEO and said what the company was going to do to fix it. It is important that somebody takes ownership of the exposure/problem (Monsisvais, 2019).

  • How flexible are you with your time?

Barracuda PR operates Monday through Thursday from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. Even if there is an event going on during the weekend or happening at a weird time I will try to be available. For the most part Marina and her team are capable of knocking stuff out in their regular hours schedule (Monsisvais, 2019).

  • What are your short and long-term goals for Barracuda Public Relations?

Some of the short-term goals are to continue to dominate and for long-term continue to be flexible and engaging in communication, accessible, and adapt to social media. Back when Marina was in school, there wasn’t social media (Monsisvais, 2019).

  • What do PR professionals look for in new hires?

PR professionals look for new hires to be selectable, to fit into the culture, to be motivated that you do not require someone to manage or micromanage what you do, however, to be self-driven, competent, and confident (Monsisvais, 2019).

  • What led you to become a PR professional?

Marina worked on the media side as an editor for El Paso Inside and Out Magazine and as a Promotions Director/Midday On-Air Talent. It was her large network that led her to become a PR professional plus she graduated from the New Mexico State University with a Mass Communication degree (Monsisvais, 2019).

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses after approximately twelve years in the field?

Her strengths are how flexible she is, responsive, curious, and ships into whatever need to get done. Also, she does not support nor settles for “this is the only way in can be done” and she adjusts into whatever needs someone has. Her weakness is trying to do too many things at once such as events, but she admits getting better at saying “no” (Monsisvais, 2019).

My rationale in selecting these questions was to learn about the major challenges a PR can have even after years of experience. To learn whether this career may fit my skills or interests as well what skills could I improve and what other work experience could help me to fit the requirements if I wanted to pursue a career in public relations. How their schedules typically work since we are aware can occur at any time so I assumed they would rarely have any personal time which turns out that for the most part they knock things out during their regular working hours.

The specific characteristics of the PR profession were interesting to me were how every day has different challenges because since I have worked at the restaurant industry every day is the same so I would like to get out of my routine. I also found fascinating that writing it’s key for PR which gives me better hopes to see myself in the industry. From my perspective, some of the most challenging aspects of PR practice are communicating different projects that requires different approaches and voices at the same time because it requires a lot of organization skills, research and time for this to come along properly.

As mentioned, writing for the PR profession is the most important, if you are not good at writing there is no room for you in the PR profession. As a PR you need to know what is relevant to the media you are writing for and how to communicate to your target audience. Some of the most common writing pieces used in the PR profession include videos, flyers, and posters. As a PR professional it is important for you to consider how to communicate to have clean and clear message. One become a more effective PR writer and practitioner through practice, meaning do it repeatedly. Although this might not be an ideal situation it can make it possible.

New PR knowledge I developed from my research is that all work gets done by a small group of multi-dimensional people. Meaning, they all can perform all different roles within the agency including the graphic designers’ job. The second thing I learned was that agencies are willing to hire people who does not necessarily have the experience as a PR as long as the candidate matches the skills for the job and company culture.

Finally, I honestly thought Marina as an owner and PR practitioner did not have any personal time, however, that is not entirely true. She tries to be flexible when she needs to be yet her job does not necessarily mean that she needs to be keeping up with newspapers and the internet at all times. How I would apply these learning points to my academic/professional path is by being open to apply to jobs I would not think I could get hired and that any job may require me to be flexible yet that is not necessarily a bad thing so it is important for me to manage my time wisely.


  • Barracuda PR. (2019). About Us. Retrieved June 27, 2019, from http://barracudapr.com/about-us/
  • Monsisvais, M. (2019, June 20). Phone interview.

Cite this paper

PR Profession Report. (2021, Feb 24). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/pr-profession-report/

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