I Love My Job: Philly PR Girl Kate Marlys on the Good, Bad, and Ugly of Public Relations
There’s no doubt the local powerhouse loves her job. Here’s her take on hustling and making it in the industry.
Everybody knows Kate Marlys, and Kate Marlys knows everybody. The Philly PR Girl owner launched the popular public relations firm in 2012 after running a blog by the same name. Since then, the leader has amassed a suite of clients across a variety of industries that represent the pulse of Philadelphia. While Marlys is always happily on the go, she has a few misconceptions about the PR world that she’d like to clear up. Here she shares her best networking tips, the mantra she lives by, and the dream clients she’d like to land someday.
I grew up in… Stratford, NJ
When I was younger I wanted to be… a tour manager for Jimmy Buffett.
I studied…. business. My concentration was marketing, and I never took a PR class or wanted to own my own business. Go figure!
I started Philly PR Girl when… I knew it was the right time.
A lesson I learned when launching the business was… grow at a pace you are comfortable with. I’ve thought about expanding the business a lot, but I want to ensure that we are able to devote our best work to each client.
The biggest challenge I face running a business is… balancing work and personal time.
If I could change anything about my career it would be… absolutely nothing.
My favorite places to visit in Philly are… There’s nothing like a home game at the Linc, or hitting up the newest restaurant in town, oh, and of course Photo Pop Philly.
My biggest PR flop has been… I’ve learned early on in my career (the hard way) to do my research and only work with clients I connect with.
What people don’t understand about PR is… it’s not as glamorous as people think. The year Michelle Obama spoke at the PA conference for Women I had people asking me all week if I met her as we are the PR firm for the conference. Little did they know I never left the press room that day.
Something that sets Philly PR Girl apart from other firms is… we are authentic. We are real. We hustle. I’ve always said I didn’t start my own company to work with people that I don’t connect with and admire, and I can truly say I love my team.
My favorite person in the industry is… It’s really hard to pinpoint one person because we have such characters here in Philly. But let’s just say I love a good Philly accent.
A mantra I live by is… I don’t really have a lane. If I can help, I will.
To master networking, you should… go to an event by yourself. It forces you to meet new people. Also, never stop no matter where you are in your career.
Some of the craziest hours I’ve worked were when… On major event days it’s very common for me to start my day at 5 a.m. and go straight through to 1 a.m.
My best advice for young women in the industry is…. get out there! Volunteer, intern, take part-time jobs. The more places you work, the more connections you will make. PR is all about connections and who you know!
My favorite places for lunch in the city are…with my office in Midtown Village/ The Gayborhood our choices are endless. I’d say Porta and El Vez are my favorites.
Social media makes my job… fun, but it’s hard to unplug because I’m always looking for great content. Shameless plug: Follow us at @Philly_PR_Girl on Instagram! [Laughs]
If I could land any client in the world I’d choose… The Eagles. Or Beyonce. Honestly though, the clients I love the most are the ones that are giving back to the community and the non profits that need help spreading the word about their mission.
When I’m not working I try to… spend time with my family, especially my two biggest fans — my nephews Niko and Luka.
A difficult decision I had to make recently was… If I was going to do another Photo Pop exhibit. It was supposed to be a one time pop-up in 2018, and now I’m working on my third exhibit. Winter Wonderland opens in November in Old City at the Bourse.
I stay motivated by… having a happy client after a successful event.
My best self-care tip is… sleep when you can.
In ten years I will be… teaching at a local university while continuing to expand Philly PR Girl. I really do love my job!