Success secrets from a Dallas power player

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Volk applies the old-fashion business techniques she learned from Stanley Marcus during her high school and college internships at Neiman Marcus to her company today. (Courtesy of Shana Anderson)

You’ve never seen a day planner with more writing, colors, Post-its and paper clips than Alison Volk’s. The public relations maven is the busiest bee in town. As the president of her own company, VOLK PR, Volk boasts a wide variety of clientele from Del Frisco’s to Piermarini Boutique. Volk shared her No. 1 tips to climb the corporate ladder — one high heel at a time.

Brooke H. Reagan: Is there one piece of advice you wish you had known at the start of your career? Would you have progressed differently in your career if you had this information at your disposal back then?

Alison Volk: Absolutely. The PR industry is so incredibly all consuming. I wish someone had explained to me earlier how to achieve the balance within that. It’s so fun and I love it so much, but I just forgot to ever stop. I think anyone who wants to own their PR company should all go on some kind of Oprah Winfrey retreat where they teach you to attain and achieve all of that while still having the life
you want!

BHR: What are the best and worst career-enhancing tips you’ve received or read?

AV: “No one is going to die. You aren’t a surgeon. Nobody is on the table.” Every single day there is never a time I could stop working. Last night, it was midnight and I really wanted to get this press release out, but I said to myself, “I’m going to bed. The press release will still be there tomorrow.” As long as you’re putting in your A-game and the best effort that you can, it’s all going to be okay.

I think some bad advice is people say you should take every single opportunity. Through the years, I’ve really learned you need to be strategic about every opportunity. I know I need to be brand aligned with every single client I have, the brand I’ve developed for myself and the reputation I want to have in the public eye.

BHR: How do you get your clients to trust that you will respect their vision and expend all your effort to promote
their work?

AV: I’ve had my own small business, so I completely understand what it’s like. I can culture, nurture and listen. Every single contract is completely individual to the client’s needs. I always ask, “What is your vision? What are your goals and how are we going to achieve them?” We come up with that game plan together and then execute it.

BHR: Do you have any beauty on the go secrets? For example, are you armed and ready with a Tide to Go pen at all times? Or do you own a lucky lipstick you like to carry with you?

AV: My bangles! I wear these bangles every day designed by my best friend in the universe, Amy Pyron Leber. I’ve had these bangles for 14 years. I sleep in them. I swim in them!

BHR: What do you wear on your feet to a meeting with a potential client? Killer stilettos or chic and comfortable flats?

AV: No, never! I want to have an elongated look. Heels or wedges absolutely unless I break my pinky toe, which has happened twice in the past two years. When I produced a show for TOOTSIES during Fashion’s Night Out, I moved a two way and it fell right on my foot. It was 10 minutes before everyone walked into the door but I was just like, “Let’s do this.” I
powered through!

BHR: How do you let loose once the job is well done?

AV: The job is never done!

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