Sometimes in life you come across a person who reminds you that the world is a good place. That people are good. That life is good. Susan Farb Morris is one of those people. Everything she does comes with a smile you feel. Her motivation is genuine kindness and interest, whether she’s wishing someone a Happy Birthday on Facebook with an adorable video or asking for input from the “hive”. If you see her mega-watt smile and shock of perfectly coiffed gray hair from across the room you somehow just know it’s going to be a good day, that’s what she inspires. Her professional accomplishments are impressive, as you’ll read, but it’s her approach to her life that made her this week’s #MondayMotivation Inspiration. You never get the feeling she has something to prove, there is no ego here! She has all of the facts and figures ready to go that she delivers with a peaceful, kind, confidence we could all stand to learn. If you reach out to her for guidance, she will embrace and guide you with grace. Don’t misunderstand, Farb is a hard-core professional but she’s also real and approachable. So many in the Public and Media Relations industry are competitive but Susan is above that or has move beyond it, or found nirvana. Whatever it is, it’s definitely the goal! There is no need to compete when we all have the same goal, there is more than enough out there for everyone to have success and if we support each other in getting it, we will get it too, right?! Farb has figured that out but she’s also discovered that true success isn’t about the daily scraps. That’s why she’s The PR Fairy. To DISH, she’s The PR Fairy Godmother! She sprinkles fairy dust and everyone is better for it! Mentioning her famous Facebook birthday videos early brings us to the real reason she is this week’s #MondayMotivation Inspiration, her birthday is this week so make sure to reach out to her on her social media (listed below) and send her good wishes! Happy Birthday, Susan! Thank you for being YOU!
1. NAME AND COMPANY NAME: Susan Farb Morris, Susan Farb Public Relations
2. DISH ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS: I started work on the PR agency side of the business in the late 70s and established my own firm in the mid-80s with a business partner. I started Susan Farb PR in 1990, focusing on Houston media relations. My most notable clients include The Lancaster Hotel, Bayou City Art Festival, Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival at the University of Houston, MasterWord global language solutions, Powers Brown Architecture, Bentwater on Lake Conroe, Sun & Ski Sports, San Jacinto Girl Scouts, TIRR/Mission Connect and a benefit concert starring Kinky Friedman at The Grand 1894 Opera House, among many others.
3. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN YOUR INDUSTRY: My first job was in the nonprofit world and through that job, I met Al Busse, a PR consultant at the top of his game in Houston. Al gave me my first break. In my mid-20s I was working on publicity for hotel openings (re-opening of the Hotel Galvez in Galveston, Adam’s Mark Hotel in west Houston and The Lancaster), stores (Abercrombie & Fitch legendary sporting outfitter) and ongoing real estate, restaurant and retail work. I also produced a celebrity radio talk show for the city’s premiere society columnist Maxine Mesinger.
4. WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO CREATE YOUR OWN: I wanted the flexibility to best handle work and motherhood responsibilities.
5. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR EXPERIENCE SO FAR: The most challenging thing about doing media relations for me is not to take rejection personally. A reporter who says “No,” is saying no to the story idea, not to me per se.
6. WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST REWARDING PART OF YOUR EXPERIENCE SO FAR: I get to meet incredibly talented, smart and interesting people and represent them and their stories to the media. I don’t take on a client — person, company or product — that I don’t believe in 1,000%, so when I help them achieve their communications goals, I’m on a PR “high.” I also feel that my work has given me a platform for community service work, such as co-chairing, then chairing the citywide ReelAbilities Houston Film & Arts Festival presented by JFS. I am grateful for the opportunity to use my communication skills to benefit the greater good.
7. WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED ABOUT YOURSELF OVER THIS JOURNEY: I’m pretty demanding on my employees – me, myself and I – and have had to learn there’s a point when it’s OK to ease up.
8. HAVE YOU EVER WANTED TO GIVE UP: You bet. There have been a couple of times when I’ve resigned a client.
9. WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO POWER THROUGH: I think it’s because so much of my identity has come through my work. It’s been a great ride!
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF WHAT YOU DO: I love being able to create promotion/ publicity ideas, pitch them to the client, see their enthusiastic response and carry the project to fruition, including generating media coverage. I also love connecting people and ideas – many call me ‘the connector.’ My engagement over social media has amplified this interaction far beyond what I ever could have imagined.
11. HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR FREE TIME: Exercising my mind and body. I enjoy going on long walks in the park and on the beach at our Galveston beach house, traveling to new places, meditating and working on the Sunday New York Times Crossword puzzle. Word puzzles are a great exercise for the brain!
12. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT HOUSTON: It’s my home town, born and bred! I love seeing how it has grown in diversity and that it has come into its own as a world-class city in the performing and visual arts and restaurant scenes, especially.
13. WHAT IS SOMETHING REALLY NEAT, FUN, OF QUIRKY ABOUT YOU THAT NO ONE WOULD EVER KNOW WITHOUT YOU TELLING THEM: I love to meditate and my dog, Winston, also thinks it’s the perfect time to “sit” with me.
14. IF YOU WERE TO GIVE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO SOMEONE STARTING OUT OR NEEDING THAT INSPIRATION TO KEEP GOING IN YOUR INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD IT BE: Do your homework! Don’t walk into a meeting or make a client or media call unprepared.