If you have been following The Hodges Partnership, then you’ve probably seen Sean Ryan’s name many times. The recovering journalist serves as the agency’s vice president of media relations, where he has pitched and helped place our clients in news outlets large and small over the last several years.
Ryan, born and raised on the northside of Atlanta, studied journalism at the University of South Carolina prior to transferring to the University of Richmond, where he continued studying journalism and played for UR’s baseball team. That love for baseball made him a perfect fit for Hodges – as well as his second job, as the head coach of the varsity baseball team at Benedictine (which just celebrated another state championship win).
Along with work and baseball, Ryan serves on the advisory board of the Salvation Army Central Virginia Area Command and the board of directors for Commonwealth Community Trust. He is a former president of the board for the Down Syndrome Association of Richmond and is the co-founder/editor of CollegeBaseballInsider.com.
If you haven’t already, meet Sean.
Why did you decide on a career in PR?
I was a staff writer for Inside Business and Richmond Times-Dispatch. Josh and Jon, co-founders of The Hodges Partnership, contacted me about six months after they started the company. I thought it was a neat opportunity. I was the second employee they hired. My career as a reporter prepared me well for PR. I brought my reporter’s hat with me when I joined. I like that no two days are the same in PR, and I like the diversity of my workload and the diversity of our clients.
What are the biggest misconceptions about working in public relations?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that we are all lazy and that we don’t take the time to do our research. We often hear from reporters or read about how some in our profession don’t take the time to do things right and waste the reporter’s time. Another misconception is that all we care about is being successful for our clients. While that often times is true, we also care about the relationships that we are able to develop with reporters in Richmond and around the country. Our reputation with the reporters is important to us.
What advice do you have for young people who want to get into public relations?
Work on your communication skills and make sure to read anything and everything. It’s also important to build an understanding of what kinds of stories and topics make the news. Also, continue to hone and improve upon your writing skills.
If you could hang out with one Game of Thrones character for a day, who would it be and what would you do? And who is your least favorite character?
Tyrion. We would probably engage in good conversation about our families, and we certainly would have a nice drink or two. Before I binge watched Game of Thrones, I remember flipping through the channels and came across it on HBO. I don’t remember which season it was, but Tyrion was imprisoned and being held over the edge in a castle. I remember thinking, “how is this guy going to get out of this?” I watched the show for three or four minutes to find out.
My least favorite character is probably Cersei. I respect how firm and powerful she is, but she clearly won’t let anything stand in her way, including family.