Rudy Frank, vice president of Branding and Marketing Communications, spoke at Seton Hill University (SHU) as a part of the Communication Honor Society’s annual speakers program, “A Conversation with… .” Frank discussed his career in advertising and gave advice from his experiences in Reeves Theater on March 19.
“Everyone wants to look pretty, but it’s what you say that actually sticks,” said Frank to the room full of future communication professionals.
According to Frank, if you work in marketing you may have big ideas, but you still have to deal with the reality of a budget. He placed importance on strategy before tactics, recognizing that this is not easy because planning is the non-glamorous part of a communications campaign.
“The event was a great opportunity for students to gather info about what atmosphere to consider upon graduation, and what to expect,” said Wendy Scott, a senior communications major.
Frank also emphasized “brand touch points.” He said that every employee represents the brand or company, so one must be professional in every aspect, including the way one answers the phone, talks with prospective customers and interacts with prospective employees. The company’s emails, uniforms, social media and advertising all represent the brand.
“Just keep your eyes and ears open all the time,” Frank said, because competition is extremely fierce and “proving yourself is a daily exercise.” He continued by saying that the willingness to act and interest to grow will prove one’s commitment to their job.
“We aspire as a Communication Honor Society to be professional and I believe Rudy’s presentation of what to consider in job selection, and what role to pursue in the communication world was inspiring,” said Scott.
Frank’s experience from working with both large and small companies is what provided the basis for his talk and advice.
From 1977 to February 2010, Frank worked at a large global company. But in 2010, the company dropped most of its staff and Frank had to find a new job.
“I was forced to go outside and get an external network of people to help me,” said Frank, who now works for Mirage Advertising in Monroeville.
Q&A with Rudy Frank
What is the most rewarding job experience you ever had?
Any time you really do a good job for someone and they genuinely appreciate it.
Best part about job?
Interfacing with clients and being able to bring marketing experience to the table.
What would you change if you were able to do it all over again?
Maybe be my own boss.
Recommendations for communication graduating seniors?
Go to the placement office and see Seton Hill graduates working locally or in an industry and touch base.
What skills should students most strengthen?