Spotlight on 2019 Rising Star Winner: Vera Magdeeva

Vera Magdeeva Vera is a Communications Specialist at Gray Ryan Communications. With four years in the communications and public relations fields, she is experienced in pitching stories, social media, and content creation. She leverages her close relationships with the press to elevate the image and brand of her clients. Vera is passionate about learning and is always on the lookout for innovative tools and techniques. She is active in various industry organizations, such as the Advertising Club of Richmond where she serves as Vice President and Sportable where she is a volunteer and Outreach Chair on the Associate Board. She also values networking in the community. Vera is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and can be found browsing museum galleries and checking out new Richmond restaurants in her free time.

What does receiving the Rising Star award mean to you?

Receiving the Rising Star award is a huge privilege to me! I’m honored and humbled to be this year’s recipient and join the many incredible peers that have come before me. The Rising Star award is a fantastic way to benchmark my first five years in the industry and I look forward to the future.

How did you decide to get involved in the public relations industry?

As a Fashion Merchandising major at VCU, I fell in love with public relations in a Fashion Promotion class. I did not want to leave the Fashion Department and decided to pursue public relations opportunities outside of my major. Through an amazing internship at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, I gained a wealth of knowledge about the industry and made valuable connections that set me up for success for the rest of my career. By nature, I am incredibly passionate and hardworking, which makes it easy to advocate for clients, projects, and organizations I’m involved in.

Do you have a highlight when you think of your career thus far?

Although my career in the industry has been short, I have a lot of highlights I am proud of and it’s difficult to choose just one. One that is particularly memorable, is securing a cover story on a real estate veteran to mark his retirement from the industry in Metro Business. It was a meaningful send-off for this individual and memorable for me because I nearly had to get stitches an hour before the reporter was coming to do the interview!

How did you get involved in PRSA Richmond? What has been your experience as a member thus far?

While interning at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, I was first introduced to PRSA Richmond by Suzanne Hall and Pryor Green. I began attending luncheons with them and worked on submitting PRSA Richmond Awards nominations on behalf of the museum. Later on in my career I did not have many resources to navigate the public relations industry. PRSA Richmond became an invaluable resource. I attended as many luncheons as I could and connected with fellow peers that were able to provide me with additional guidance whenever I needed it. I owe a lot of my successes to PRSA Richmond and am thankful to be a part of this incredible organization.

What advice do you have for young professionals?

Create opportunities for yourself.

Ask for that coffee meeting with someone’s work you respect, and you might end up with a mentor. Attend networking events. Continue learning. Creating opportunities for yourself can help you if you ever find yourself lost or unsure of what step to take next. You will grow both professionally and personally.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

It’s a true honor to receive this award. My career thus far truly would not be what it is without PRSA.