Meet Our Team: Q&A with Brittany Rouse

  Photo Courtesy  Wright Photographs

Photo Courtesy Wright Photographs

What types of projects did you work on before joining the team? 
I graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Illinois, and was convinced that I was going to go on to be an NFL sideline reporter! After a brief stint handling game day media relations for the Chicago Bears, I realized my passion for working with the media, and took my first PR job at Golin, an award-winning PR agency based in Chicago. 

Before coming to Approach, I was working with clients like McDonald's, Walmart and adidas, handling PR and marketing efforts for their various new product launches, sports initiatives, celebrity campaigns and non-profit programs.

What makes you great at your job? 
I'm very detail oriented, and live for a good showflow, timeline, action plan - you name it. I also love to write, and relish the opportunity to take bits and pieces about a brand or product and weave them into a compelling press release, media pitch or blog post for my clients.

How would you describe your ideal client?
My ideal client is a great communicator, very collaborative, and truly values our strategic counsel and recommendations as PR professionals. They willingly share their vision and goals upfront, challenge you along the way, and are the first ones to celebrate with you after a job well done!

What do you love about working with the consultants on the Approach team?
I love that we're all driven PR professionals that share the same values both professionally and personally. There's always someone willing to brainstorm, problem solve, review a document, or share a glass of wine with. Together, we're challenging the way PR has typically been done, and we're having so much fun doing it. 

What is a word you would use to describe the Approach Marketing team or culture?
Smart. I am constantly in awe of everyone's talents, and the work that this agency produces. 

How does the virtual agency model benefit your career and personal life?
To be honest, I used to love the big agency world. As a young twenty something, the big city office, long hours, whirlwind travel and high-profile weekend events were a thrill. But somewhere along the way, I got married, moved to a new city and welcomed two babies. Suddenly, I found myself at a crossroads, still wanting to pursue my career, but also wanting to be present at home. I couldn't fathom missing the important milestones with my children.

The virtual agency model at Approach is my best-case scenario in this phase of life. I can send my kids off to school and get right to work from my home office without skipping a beat. Now I can be there for the school parades, class parties and field trips, without compromising the needs of my clients. 

Where do you live and what do you love about your city?
I am a Naperville girl at heart now living in Champaign, Illinois thanks to my husband! Over the last six years, I've grown to love this University town amongst the cornfields with its weekend football tailgates, unique local shops, beautiful parks, and a slower pace of life. The tight knit community and kind-hearted residents make it an ideal place to raise a family.

When you're not working… where will we find you?
Probably at Target wandering the aisles aimlessly with a Starbucks drink in hand wondering how I managed to fill an entire cart when I only came to grab diapers…

On a more serious note, you'll find me with my two kids playing around the house, twirling at dance class or attempting Pinterest projects, or with my husband trying a new restaurant or cheering on the Illini.

What accomplishment (career or personal) are you most proud of?
My children are by far my best and most beautiful accomplishment, and I'm proud to have altered my career path over the years to allow for more work-life balance. 

I will also always remember the day I first placed a story in ESPN the Magazine, my holy-grail media placement when working on the McDonald's All American Games. I still have the issue proudly displayed on my bookshelf in my office!

What is the most memorable compliment you ever received?
When my former supervisor and mentor told me he was sure I would be his boss someday.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in PR and marketing? 
Work hard, think smart, always go above and beyond, and never forget the value of building relationships. 

What is your favorite quote?
"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...It's about learning to dance in the rain."

My approach to life is... 
Infuse kindness into everything you do, and life will change for the better.