We like to think of Lindsay O’Bar as our resident employee and community expert. This Hodger has a way with words and is a well-known face in the Richmond PR world.
A Philadelphia native, Lindsay moved to the Richmond area at the age of 16 with her family and attended Virginia Commonwealth University. Her interests in writing led her to VCU’s communications school where she found herself at a crossroads about which track to pursue. At the time, she didn’t know much about public relations, but after attending her first PR class, it all clicked for Lindsay. If you know Lindsay, you know she loves to tell a good story.
Lindsay has served on the Richmond PRSA board since 2010. Most recently, she is the first vice president of professional development. Lindsay is currently on the slate as president-elect.
In April 2019, Lindsay and her husband, Ryan, welcomed a new baby, Nora.
So, without further ado, meet Lindsay!
Why did you choose to work at Hodges?
I was at another agency at the time and saw that Hodges was winning some interesting accounts and working on important community projects. They were a small team with creative ideas and a great team in place to bring campaigns to life. For me, there was just something about this group of people that was welcoming, open-minded, nimble and encouraged to take more risks. Jon contacted me when he noticed a project I was involved with and within the year I joined that same Hodges team I was admiring.
How would you describe Hodges’ culture and why is it different than anywhere else?
I’m particularly interested in workplace culture and employee engagement for our clients so maintaining Hodges culture is incredibly important to me. Hodges is a place where we genuinely all care about one another, and we extend that to our clients. We’re known for building lasting client relationships and I think that’s because we go the extra mile and always have their best interests at heart. Some clients have been here for 15 years. Some have come back to us in two to three different jobs as they’ve gone on to different organizations. I think it all goes back to the kind of people we strive to be and the culture that Jon and Josh started back in 2002: Be good people and work for good people.
Can you think of a PR campaign that you particularly admire?
The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty has always stuck with me. It got women talking about beauty and how we see ourselves. It had all the elements of a successful campaign — based in research, celebrated diversity and inclusion, created a conversation, changed perceptions and, ultimately, increased sales.
What advice do you have for young people looking to get into PR?
When I taught at VCU I told my students to meet as many people as you can and be nice to each and every person you meet along the way. You never know who will help you find your next job or the job you’ll pursue in 10 years. Then, and this is important, remember to pay it forward for others and help them in their professional pursuits.
What can you be found doing on weekends?
Well, I have a little baby, so mostly we’re at home hoping that she’ll take a nap. But outside of nap time, you’ll find me taking walks around Westover Hills, moseying around Lewis Ginter, checking out a brewery, trying to read a few pages, or, if I’m being honest, you’ll most likely find me at Costco, Target or Kroger.