Meet a Hodger: Paulyn Ocampo

When you’re a military brat, moving around a lot comes with the territory. And lucky for us, that territory today for Paulyn Ocampo is right here in Richmond.  Born in Hawaii, Paulyn moved bounced around from the Pacific to San Diego and back, ultimately landing in Hampton Roads where she finished high school. Staying closer to family, she decided to pursue her degree in mass communications at VCU.

After a brief post-grad stint at a now-defunct agency, Paulyn landed at The Hodges Partnership—and the rest as they say is history. As our resident B2B expert, Paulyn has worked with a wide variety of clients like Allianz, Tridium and Silgan since joining Hodges in 2008. Petite in stature, she might not appear to have the big guns, but she does a lot of the heavy lifting on account management, social media and content strategy and social media advertising, too.

Outside of work, Paulyn enjoys trying out new restaurants downtown (see below for her favorite Richmond eatery), cooking and staying active with her husband, Jeff. Known to push Paulyn out of her comfort zone, Jeff once got her to pilot a plane over the Richmond skyline.

Keep reading to learn more about the one and only, Paulyn Ocampo.

What do you love about PR?

I’m a firm believer that knowledge is power. And so, at the heart of it, PR is really about spreading knowledge. It’s providing information that could be helpful to people, whether you’re doing that through media relations or creating content that addresses a specific challenge or pain point for somebody and it’s meant to make their lives easier. So, I really like that it’s about informing people and empowering them.

I also really like that PR allows you to wear a lot of different hats, especially on the agency side. When you work in an agency you get to collaborate with a lot of different clients at the same time, so you learn so much about so many different industries, and you get to play a lot of different roles, depending on what the client needs. I just love that every day is different, and I’m constantly learning new things.

Can you think of a campaign that you particularly admire?

I feel like a lot of people say this, but I really think that the Popeye’s campaign, when they launched its chicken sandwich, was just brilliant. They combined a lot of PR elements, everything from savvy social media strategy to media relations, and it was also one of those rare cases where you could really see the impact PR had on its sales. Because of all of the attention and publicity, stores had lines around the block. Popeye’s even sold out of sandwiches.

Where do you get your news?

I get my news from all over the place. First, I go through my inbox and read all of the newsletters that I’ve subscribed to, and I subscribe to everything from The Skimm to Good Morning RVA, which is a local one that gives me a lot of Richmond news. Then there’s your standards like The New York Times and The Washington Post. I also subscribe to Next Draft, which is a really good newsletter and news aggregator. On my ride into work, I’m listening to VPM on the radio. And then, during the day I’m on Facebook, and I follow a bunch of news outlets there.

I’m constantly getting updates, which is a hard thing sometimes when you’re in PR because you can get overwhelmed with the news, especially in times like these. It’s important to stay on top of those things, but for your mental health, sometimes you just need to take a break.

How would you describe yourself?

I’m very shy. I think a lot of people would be surprised at that answer, but I’m pretty quiet and reserved until you really get to know me. And I think that plays to my advantage. When I do speak up, people tend to listen because I choose my points very carefully. And so, if I’m speaking up, I must have something really important to say. I think there’s a kind of power to my quietness. I guess I use it to my advantage to make sure that when I speak up, I’m being heard.

Do you have a favorite Richmond eatery?

My favorite is Stella’s. It’s definitely a Richmond staple. The family that runs it has been around Richmond for a really long time. The restaurant has such a cozy vibe, and I love that you can order a bunch of different dishes and small plates to share with people, which is how I like to eat when I go to restaurants. Then I can try a bunch of different things on the menu. Stella’s is great for that.

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