Amber Bentley
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
SRB Communications

Tell me about your background and what drew you to SRB Communications.
I’m a true “PR girl” at heart! I’ve been attracted to this industry since I was in high school and knew this field is where I would ultimately start and build my career.

After graduating from Hampton University with a degree in Public Relations and Marketing, I realized that, while I love PR, it wasn’t going to be enough for me. I had larger aspirations to become a business owner in this industry one day. I realized I needed to find a job that would allow me to become a well-rounded professional in the larger field of communications and marketing, while also getting to fuel my passion for PR—and that is what led me to SRB Communications.

Reading about Dr. Sheila Brooks, our President and CEO at SRB Communications, and the journey she took over the years to get the agency to where it was when I first started at the company in 2016 was beyond inspiring. The impactful client work and hundreds of awards for that work also caught my eye. This all instantly let me know the team was serious about their work and it was clearly leaving an impact on others.

What is a typical day like in your current role as Vice President of Marketing and Communications?
I always laugh when I get asked this question because there is truly no typical day. That’s the beauty of my job! I can’t ever get bored at SRB Communications.

My role is to work as the right-hand to the CEO by leading the agency’s account team and the day-to-day work with our clients. I drive a broad range of communications, PR and marketing strategies, both internally and externally, to help proactively meet and exceed our clients’ needs, while ensuring the SRB story is told at the same time. It’s so hard to think about yourself when you serve major clients each day. However, I make it a point to always put on my PR hat for a little each day to see how we can amplify SRB’s work or share agency milestones with our unique target audiences.

My day could include anything from leading client meetings, pitching our CEO or the agency to the media, planning a client event, conceptualizing paid, earned and owned media strategies, writing communications plans, assisting with business development efforts, supporting the team by reviewing or approving campaign assets, and more. Oh, and I can’t forget a routine trip to Starbucks in between!

What do you enjoy most about working at SRB Communications?
I love the fact that I get to wake up each day and go to work for a 31-year-old established minority- and women-owned business. As a black woman who aspires to be a CEO one day, what better experience than to be at a company where the Founder, President, and CEO is someone you can look up to, learn from and grow with? Being at an agency that puts diversity, equity and inclusion at the forefront is such a fulfilling feeling. Many agencies can say that they do multicultural marketing, but at SRB Communications it is a part of who we are. We are a fusion of creative and diverse talent and everyone has a seat at the table here.

What advice would you give to women looking to advance their careers in an agency?
Don’t pigeon-hole yourself into just one area of expertise. The more diverse your portfolio and career experience is, the better. It’s one thing to be extremely well-versed in public relations, but it’s another thing to be extremely well-versed in “public relations and…” (you insert the second, third or fourth skill). That’s what is attractive when you are coming to the agency world. It’s what can make you more marketable, along with the proven ability to multitask, be accountable, and thrive in fast paced environments. Believe me when I say, agency settings are like no other.

Also, this is a small additional piece of advice, but one that has been so impactful for me. Always seek ways to improve your skills. Join a new organization, attend a conference, take an online course, etc. Your learning doesn’t stop when you secure a new job. As my CEO always says, “you must be a lifelong learner.” Trends are always changing, and, in this industry, we all have to stay abreast of them to succeed.

What do you love about WWPR?
The things I love most about WWPR are the networking opportunities and the professional development events. WWPR allows me the opportunity to connect with and learn from so many influential leaders in this region and that knowledge is truly priceless. It’s a great feeling taking a strategy that I have learned from someone in WWPR and incorporating that into my work at SRB Communications.

Finally, but most importantly, it feels so good seeing such a diverse group of women—who come from all walks of life, who are in various levels of their careers—come together and are connected through our love for public relations. Women supporting women, that’s the way it should be.