We chatted with Cheryl Snapp Conner, the founder, and CEO of SnappConner PR. Her Salt Lake City-based PR firm is the center of growth and innovation. Her public relations company provides, “Thought Leadership, Content Creation Crisis PR, Reputation Management, Messaging, Vision, Personal Brand, and Image.” Outside SnappConner PR, she has contributed to publications such as HuffingtonPost, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and Inc., and she is the author of Beyond PR: Communicate Like a Champ in the Digital Age.
GG: When did you know you wanted to do public relations as a career?
CSC: I fell into PR as a lucky accident. As a college grad with an English minor I fell into technology company Novell as a writer. Within 90 days, I had been made PR manager of that company, which proceeded to explode into an industry juggernaut, and I was fortunate enough to be along for the ride. That was the point PR became my chosen career.
GG: How did you start?
CSC: I started as a “strategic writer” – the person naturally called in to handle challenging communications issues like a change in distributor strategy, change in policies, competitive information relative to other companies that we wanted people to understand without being rude or dismissive of the other alternatives — and resisting the urge to hype and promote.
GG: Describe a typical day in your life.
CSC: My day starts out with an OrangeTheory workout class which is perfect for me because phones are not allowed, clients can’t reach me for that hour, and there is personal honor at stake. So I will do all that I can to achieve during that hour and it gets my blood and adrenaline pumping for the rest of the day. Then I go on to client and company meetings, which vary by day but are sure to be a flurry of activity ― in a good way. At the end of the day I am often still wrapped up in client commitments that I take along to my home, but I do strive to achieve a good work/life balance, best as I can. My work requires a good deal of travel as well.
GG: What has been your most inspirational experience in your career?
CSC: Perhaps too many to count, but helping companies and individuals communicate well enough that we move the needle in a dramatic way will always rank near the top.
GG: What is the biggest lesson you learned when starting your company?
CSC: I’ve learned so many lessons. I never aspired to be a CEO, but it turned out to be the only course that would allow me to fully direct my own future. I learned that the people who start with you aren’t necessarily the ones who are equipped to grow with you and that managing people the way you would want to be managed isn’t necessarily the best. That has been perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned ― and that I wish I’d learned sooner.
GG: What is your one piece of advice to someone wanting to start a PR business and company?
CSC: I would get sound business counsel on whether to create a full-on company, a small consultancy, and get a solid business structure and game plan down fast.
GG: How do you find time to relax and recharge from such a busy schedule.
CSC: I enjoy workouts, travel with family and stay-at-home family time and events.
GG: Signature Style?
CSC: My signature style has changed. For many years, given that agency life allows for some quirkiness, my style was pretty much “Stevie Nicks.” I loved lace skirts, leather moto jackets and Harley-style boots. No more. Now it’s much more sleek and styled CEO, as I find myself on camera much more than I did in the past. Because we counsel our clients on broadcast and speaking skills and on their public image, I need to also represent the principles we’re teaching myself.
GG: Books on your bedstand?
CSC: “If I understood you would I have this look on my face?” – Alan Alda. “Bluefishing” – Steve Sims. “Entitlement Abolition” – Douglas R. Andrew.
CSC: The C-Suite Network in New York, CEO Space, Salt Lake City’s Brilliant Minds Group (BMG)
CSC: Ice cream, on occasion. Kevita Tart Cherry kombucha pretty much every day.
CSC: Very little. I have excellent clothes.
GG: Business Ethos?
CSC: Integrity is everything. It’s the business mistake I’ve seen too many people trip themselves up on, again and again.
GG: Causes you are passionate about?
CSC: Women’s causes, Causes to end sex trafficking, and Bridle Up Hope via Franklin Covey’s Sean Covey.
GG: New York Hot Spots?
CSC: New York – The WeWork center in Fulton Square. NASDAQ Times Square. These are business hotspots, clearly. Socially… the Lincoln Center.
GG: Role Models you look up to?
CSC: Tim Ferriss, Dave Asprey, Doug Andrew ― all authors and speakers, interestingly.
GG: In your opinion, what makes a person truly a leader?
CSC: A leader is willing to serve, willing to tell the truth ― both the good and the bad of it ― and to be vulnerable for the sake of helping and uplifting others in a genuine way.
GG: We understand that you’ve worked on “Beyond PR: Communicate Like A Champ In The Digital Age”, Content University, Snappington Post, and Forbes contributions. Are there any other new projects and publications that your audience has to look forward to?
CSC: 2018, unlike any year prior, is the year of quality content! Those who learn to use this principle well will excel. So that is a big clue to the thrust of my company’s expansion plans and emphasis in the coming year and beyond.