5 Questions with NYWICI’s Publicist, Beth Feldman
Founder, Beyond PR Group / Beth Feldman Media
One of the brightest, most inventive minds in media, Beth Feldman is an industry renowned executive with more than 20 years in public relations, marketing and branding, social media, talent relations, event planning, crisis communications and public speaking. The brains behind the PR launches of the CBS hit series “CSI” and finale of “Everybody Loves Raymond,” Feldman brings experience in nearly every industry, from television and film to parenting, pets, fashion, lifestyle, publishing and tech, among other fields. As the founder of her full-service firm, Beyond PR Group as well as Beth Feldman Media, she has developed a reputation for crafting sophisticated, creative, prescient and effective campaigns that have achieved international, domestic and local placements, including television and radio, newspaper and magazines, digital and emerging media platforms. With an envied list of media contacts, creative mind, boundless spirit and a keen understanding of the modern-day media cycle, Feldman has distinguished herself among the top tier of public relations professionals working on the national stage.
1. What inspires you about NYWICI – its mission, members and programs?
As someone who has always been inspired by women who are at the top of their game in their respective careers while raising a family, I believe the members of NYWICI could write the playbook on what it takes to experience success in life both personally and professionally. It’s so inspiring to be a part of an organization that’s filled with so many incredibly brilliant, creative, women who are innovators and visionaries in their respective fields and can effortlessly take an idea from its inception and bring it to life in a myriad of impactful ways.
One of my favorite parts about NYWICI are the incredible events that provide an opportunity for members to network and be mentored by women at various stages of their career while being inspired by leaders who candidly share their professional stories and the lessons they’ve learned during their ascension to the C-Suite. My all time favorite event is the Matrix Awards – mostly because I am a sucker for a great speech and I have found that many of those winners left a lasting impression. The most memorable for sure was a catchphrase shared by Renetta McCann, a Matrix Awards winner who at the time, was CEO of Starcom. During her speech, McCann said “Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable.” That phrase has truly been the story of my life. I have always pushed myself beyond my comfort zone and have taken enormous chances throughout my career. Despite experiencing rejection from time to time, I never gave up. I left jobs when I felt I could be doing more, landed a big television network dream job and climbed the ladder while experiencing personal milestones in my life like getting married and having children. While I loved my job, I struggled with work/life balance and was determined to still be present for my newborn. Despite it being an incredibly uncomfortable conversation, I’ll never forget the day I asked my boss if I could work from home a few days a week at a time when that concept was completely frowned upon in a corporate job. When he said yes, I became the first person in our department to telecommute and paved the way for others to do the same. I also advocated for myself and lobbied for promotions when I knew I could contribute more and had creative ideas that I was hoping to implement within the company. I eventually left the network after rising to the position of Vice President handling communications outreach on behalf of the marketing, entertainment, consumer products and digital divisions. Ironically, as I met several women taking chances in their own careers, I got bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and decided to strike out on my own. So I got comfortable feeling uncomfortable again. Over the last decade and a half, I have hosted dozens of events featuring entrepreneurs, authors and corporate leaders balancing work and family. I started pursuing things that bring me joy like writing and published two humorous books about parenting. When my kids were younger, I also started a parenting blog and launched a blogger activation network where I worked with major entertainment brands and Fortune 500 companies developing successful influencer marketing campaigns.. Today, more than 14 years after I decided to dive headfirst off the corporate ladder, I still get the chance to work with clients and peers who value my experience, challenge my abilities as a communications expert and teach me something new every day. NYWICI is definitely one of those clients and I am excited to be the project manager for the WOMENHEARD initiative as well as handling public relations outreach for this year’s Matrix Awards. NYWICI is a vital organization for women at all stages of their careers and anyone can benefit from the wisdom, camaraderie and opportunities afforded to its diverse membership.
2. What are you reading right now?
I’m reading Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. Even the most successful people on the planet worry about their health, their career prospects and their family which makes them so much more relatable. That’s why I am loving this incredibly candid and vulnerable book. I particularly liked reading about Rhimes’ relationship with her siblings and how they have kept her grounded despite her stratospheric career achievements. As someone who spent most of my career working with celebrities, television writers and production executives, I have found that some of the most successful individuals in the entertainment industry are also the most humble and shy. To be perfectly honest, it’s those individuals who I truly respect and admire and have remained in close contact with to this day.
3. What song gets you pumped?
When I started my career it was right around the time that the movie “Working Girl” was released. Hands down, the Carly Simon anthem “Let the River Run” was definitely one of those motivational songs that made me believe that anything was possible. As a recent college grad commuting from Brooklyn into the city with briefcase in hand, I used to play that song on my Walkman (yes I am that old) whenever I’d walk to my office from the bus stop.Trust me, if you play that song, you’ll feel like you’re capable of anything.
4. What single piece of career advice do you live by?
No matter what you do in your professional life, always find time to do the things that feed your soul and your spirit. From volunteering, to performing, to traveling, cooking and writing, it’s important to carve out time to do the things you love and if you happen to find those opportunities at work, then you have hit the proverbial lottery. I have raised both of my children this way and while I am not a “Tiger Mom” I have applied the “Outliers” approach to parenting. When they showed an affinity for the arts, I helped both of them pursue their 10,000 hours to master important skills in their field of interest and continually encourage them to be lifelong learners. We’ll see if it pays off in their respective careers but no matter what, they will always find time to do the things they love.
5. If you could invite five people over for drinks and dinner (post-COVID, naturally!), who would be included?
I would definitely invite my high school girlfriends for a long overdue get together. There are six of us in our group and throughout the pandemic, we have been corresponding via text, FaceTime and Zoom. There’s something to be said about lifelong friends. No matter where we are in our lives, when things get a bit unsettling or scary, we have always been there for each other. The last time I saw all of them was when they surprised me for my 50th birthday. I’ll be turning 52 this October so I’m hoping we have another reunion before then because I know when we do, the hugs and the laughter will last for hours!