Q&A with Robin Carr, Senior Counselor

By Landis Staff

Can you tell us about your background?

I spent 18 years in sports public relations (San Francisco Giants, Nike, EA Sports) before moving into various corporate PR roles (Ubisoft, Gap, Inc., Kodak) and a couple of startups. I’m a San Jose State University (Spartans!) graduate and a Bay Area native (born in San Mateo, CA).

Robin in the Giants Dugout at Candlestick Park, with members of the media speaking with Willie Mays.
Robin in the Giants Dugout at Candlestick Park, with members of the media speaking with Willie Mays.

What is your favorite PR campaign you’ve worked on?

I’ve been fortunate to work on so many. At the Giants, there was Until There’s A Cure Day. The Giants were the first sports team to have a game devoted to HIV/AIDS awareness. At Nike, I was on the team that introduced Tiger Woods as a brand ambassador. Remember “Hello World – I am Tiger Woods”? At Gap, Inc., I helped manage PR efforts for (PRODUCT) RED ™  (created by U2’s Bono), the limited product collection for men and women designed to help eliminate AIDS in Africa.

More recently, I was a part of a wonderful project with Landis’s client Becoming Independent (BI), a Santa Rosa-based non-profit community benefit organization that helps adults with developmental disabilities. BI hired Landis to illuminate its person-centered philosophy for people with disabilities and further promote its successes. In the process, Landis and the Golden State Warriors made a dream come true for two sports-minded BI participants – and garnered key media placements to support BI’s mission. Read all about it here.

What is your favorite part of your job?

The great thing about PR is that it is always evolving. My dad was a newspaper reporter, so I grew up with the media in my DNA. When I started my career, I knew that I would get to work with the press, so in that sense, it was what I expected. Over the past few decades, PR has had to adjust to the 24/7 cycle of social channels. Media is being redefined via the internet and continues to expand. There is no typical day, and I’m never bored.

What is your least favorite part of your job?

From an in-house perspective, managing the expectations of upper management is hard. Sometimes they think that they have something that would make the news – when my PR judgment knows better. Also, people want to connect sales to PR. Measuring PR has always been a significant challenge.

What is one thing you wish you would have known about a career in PR before entering the field?

Just how much you need to develop a thick skin. You have external relationships with media, and in my career, these include leagues, teams, sponsors, and internal marketing and management teams. Don’t take any media rejection personally. You must constantly sell your company to the outside and yourself to the inside! I call it “PR for PR” – constantly educating the higher-ups on the value of PR. This has never gone away.

If you weren’t working at Landis, you would be…

A hotel concierge providing information on fun things to do and where to eat. I do this anyway with my friends all the time. I think it would be fun to do that for a living!

What do you do in your spare time?

I’m an urban hiker. I walk all over San Francisco and other cities I love to visit (New York, Seattle, Honolulu, Chicago, New Orleans, and cities in Asia and Europe). I reside in North Beach in San Francisco, so keeping up with our local food and wine scene is my hobby! I love going to musicals, plays and paying attention to all the new shows opening in New York, then planning trips to NYC around seeing them. I also love going to comedy clubs.

Robin as “Head Lettuce” with the Singing Vegetables which also included a carrot, eggplant and tomato.
Robin as “Head Lettuce” with the Singing Vegetables, including a carrot, eggplant, and tomato.

What is a fun fact about you?

My first job out of college was with the “Singing Vegetables” – a singing telegram group. We were available for birthday parties, corporate events and airport greetings! I was the “Head Lettuce.”