We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Penna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I believe work-life balance is an extremely important aspect in maintaining a healthy relationship throughout your career. When I first started in the PR industry, I was excited and eager to succeed and knew that meant I had to make myself available to work at any given moment and time. PR is not a 9-5 job, things come up and it’s my responsibility to take care of my clients; however, I’ve learned it’s important to determine the urgency. I must maintain a healthy work-life balance to avoid burning myself out. If something can be addressed in the morning or a call can be returned after the weekend, I’ll do so to maintain the balance I need to have a healthy relationship with my job and my personal life. Outside of my commitment to being a great publicist is time spent going on walks, spending time with friends and family, spin classes, and cooking/baking. Maintaining balance is what helps keep employees physically and emotionally fit – it doesn’t have to come at the cost of productivity.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
DKC is a public relations firm based in New York with offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles – where I am based. We are defined by a heritage of exceeding expectations, through unrivaled access and unrelenting creativity. Client success is our only benchmark, and we expect to be judged on what we achieve, not just what we promise. DKC is in the business of enhancing reputation, building credibility, increasing awareness by generating value in everything we do. What sets DKC apart is that storytelling is at the epicenter of everything we do – we are working publicists who embody an entrepreneurial spirit and challenge ourselves to do better for our clients, many of whom have been with the agency for 10+ years. We also take great pride in our DE&I practice, committed to fostering a diverse, equitable, safe and inclusive environment that champions curiosity, confidence and empowerment in the workplace for every employee to thrive.
I joined DKC in March 2021 as an Account Executive. When I first started, I was eager to help our client’s grow and receive the recognition they deserve. I put myself out there to establish relationships with other professionals, industry executives and journalists to generate newsworthy stories that helped move the needle for our clients. I took every chance I could to own something, whether that was writing a press release, pitching, helping curate events and press days, to establish my credibility. Through my hard work, I was promoted to Senior Account Executive in January 2022. Getting to where I am today was not at all easy. I took risks, I made mistakes, and learning from those mistakes with an amazing team behind me is what truly fuels me every day to keep trying and keep growing.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
What’s great about LA is that each area is full of different and exciting things. If I had a week-long trip to explore LA, I would show people the West Side (Venice/Santa Monica), Hollywood, Malibu and Downtown.
You can’t go on a trip to Los Angeles without seeing some of the most infamous spots in Hollywood. Madame Tussauds Hollywood, the greatest wax museum, is a great place to go to meet some of your favorite celebrities in wax form. The TCL Chinese Theater is a must-see given its storied history. Additionally, I love hiking Runyon Canyon where you can have a picnic near the Hollywood sign. At night, you should check out the stars at the Griffith Observatory. There are so many places to see, things to do, to make your trip worthwhile.
For someone looking to do some damage while shopping, you can never go wrong with Rodeo Drive. To find boutique and authentic items, shops around Abbott Kinney or Melrose Trading Post at Fairfax High School on Sunday are filled with places that hold great finds to fit everyone’s styles.
What I love most about LA is the food and the nightlife. From Downtown to Malibu, there are numerous spots that I enjoy. For a nicer evening out my go to’s are: Only the Wild Ones, Perch, Mercado, Formosa, Mozza, Bacari W 3rd, among others. For a more casual get together, I enjoy Tatsu, Tocaya and Joan’s on Third. Wanting a quick drink at sunset? Check out Mama Shelter, EP & LP, Hotel Erwin Rooftop for their infamous views. After dark, my favorite spots to hit are Canary, Winston House and Breakroom 86.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Absolutely. My supervisor, Ivy Mollenkamp, executive vice president at DKC, is someone I greatly look up to. Not only does Ivy run our entertainment practice, leading numerous accounts and our team, she is also a mother of three, a wife, and an overall sincere, lovely person. I admire her work ethic and ability to balance a family, successful career and personal life. While at DKC, I have grown so much as an individual and a PR professional because of Ivy’s strong leadership. She trusts and listens to her team and allows us to shine. Ivy is always there for me, no matter the hour or day, and truly wants our team to grow to our full potential. I am truly lucky to work alongside her and learn from her every day.