Member Spotlight: Lindsay O’Bar, APR
Lindsay O’Bar, APR, is vice president of culture and client services at The Hodges Partnership and PRSA Richmond’s president-elect. She is a VCU alumna.
How long have you been a member of PRSA and a member on the board? As president-elect, tell us why you wanted to take this leadership role for the chapter and what you’re looking forward to as chapter president?
I have been a member of PRSA since 2006 and joined the board in 2010. I’ve been on the board long enough to have learned a great deal from past presidents and other board members, and I’m excited to apply that to 2021.
Tell us how Hodges is adapting and what your biggest challenges are right now. Any surprise positives happen as a result of these changes?
Hodges is extremely people-focused so naturally everyone has been very understanding of everyone’s unique set of priorities right now. I’m solo parenting a one-year-old while my husband works at Johnston-Willis Hospital, so work happens during naptime, while pushing a stroller through Westover Hills, with headphones while I’m serving lunch and often during the evenings.
There’s been no slide in the quality of work for us, it’s just getting done at different times and from all different locations these days. Our clients have many of the same challenges so it’s all about just being understanding and giving grace to each other.
Tell us about your home workplace set up.
Do I have to?! I wish I could paint the picture of a West Elm-like office but it’s typically at the kitchen table, on the couch, in the playpen, or from where I’m typing right now, on the guest bed.
What is working for you to remain productive and innovative in your work life right now?
Coffee, sleep and connection. I’m an extrovert so making sure I’m still “around” people via Zoom, FaceTime and phone calls has helped me remain productive and positive.
Share a lesson learned about communicating during COVID-19.
When I’ve been asked to communicate non-pandemic related information, I find myself asking more than ever “is there room for this right now?” Brands need to be relevant and not tone deaf to what’s happening in the world. We need to be sensitive about what we’re pitching media and mindful of information we’re sharing with internal teams as this pandemic has a lot of mental strain. I try to keep remembering a quote I heard, “we’re all in the same storm, but not the same boat.” Fortunately, clients have been responsive to this counsel.
How are you staying entertained while social distancing?
Having a one-year-old means endless (and sometimes mindless) entertainment. Social distancing highs have included being there with Nora as she took her first steps, walking the neighborhood and Forest Hill Park, enjoying happy hours with my husband, making new recipes and opting for good takeout occasionally. Most recent was Pepe’s in Midlothian!
Would you like to be our next member spotlight or do you have a member to suggest? E-mail Jenny Pedraza, APR, at firstname.lastname@example.org.