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Meet Toni Robin of TR/PR Public Relations & Marketing

Today we’d like to introduce you to Toni Robin.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I originally intended to be a sports reporter and studied Journalism and Broadcast Communication in Washington DC. Instead, I went right into PR after college and never looked back. After 9 years as Communications Director for the Fine Arts Fund in Cincinnati, I returned to San Diego in 1996 and got a job right away handling PR and Communications for the San Diego Performing Arts League.

We worked to promote theater, music, and dance and ran ARTS TIX, the half price ticket program. After 9 years of working to promote shows for more than 120 organizations, I began working with the NTC Foundation to create ARTS DISTRICT Liberty Station, a new destination for arts and culture at the former Naval Training Center in Point Loma.

Having worked for several umbrella organizations that supported dozens of arts and culture organizations, by the time I opened my own business in 2008, I was uniquely trained to handle the specific goals and resource limitations of nonprofit arts groups.

Today, I focus my energy and talent helping nonprofits reached their marketing and advocacy goals. Most of my clients are arts and culture organizations but I often assist other nonprofits that have causes I believe in.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
In terms of growing my business, it has been remarkably smooth partly because I was already fairly well-known and connected to the community I was targeting. I was very specific in my intention to work with arts and culture groups and then has created a very successful niche. Early on, I was contracted by the San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture and that helped solidify me as the go-to consultant for all things arts-related.

Every day is an opportunity to get better and better at my job, make new connections and learn new skills. As communications platforms change, I need to keep current and relevant. I remember thinking there was no way I could get up to speed on this new thing they called “social media” and now I am considered somewhat of an expert.

Some of the early struggles were more about managing a business vs. doing the work of marketing, branding and PR. I had to learn simple tasks like billing, contract development and pricing.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about TR/PR Public Relations & Marketing – what should we know?
I addressed a lot of this in the last question but I understand how nonprofits work and have vast experience developing strategies to reach their goals. I can work to leverage limited resources, develop strategic partnerships, secure media coverage, create branding and collaborate with staff and boards in ways that many other professionals cannot. Plus, I love the work, am a fierce advocate for the arts and arts education and I’m fun to work with!

Overall, I handle:
-Media and Public Relations
-Strategic Internal and External Communications
-Comprehensive Marketing, Branding and Publicity Strategies
-Creative Special Event Promotion
-Community Relations and Partnership Development

I am most proud when my clients do well!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
In Cincinnati, I had a mentor who taught me how to be a “professional.” By that I mean, how to behave at meetings, how to write a succinct memo, agenda or even meeting minutes. We worked closely with corporate professionals at Proctor & Gamble and I learned how to rise to that high level of business communications. Those skills stay with me to this day.

In San Diego, Alan Ziter and Victoria Hamilton are two individuals who I consider my most valued and trusted colleagues, friends and fellow arts warriors. At TR/PR, I have surrounded myself with a team of talented and like-minded design and creative professionals who make me and my clients look good every day. They include Lisa DeMarco and Monica Hickey. Lastly, my talented and energetic clients, who continue to push and inspire me every day.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Pat(ricia) Rice

    June 18, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Hello Toni!

    Pat Rice from Malashock Dance. Hope all is going well in your world.

    I have recently started with the Chicano Federation as Development Director. We are looking for a PR company to showcase the programs and promote our 2019 50th Anniversary gala and I immediately thought of you. Please email me to set-up a time for you to meet with our Executive Director.

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