Dana Marruffo: Founder, Buzz Public Relations

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My Native Admission Statement Buzz Public Relations is a virtual collaborative of senior-level freelance pros working together to combine the art of storytelling and the precision of PR and communications campaigns to help funded startups and small businesses position their brand as one to know. Our mission is to help clients break through the clutter by keeping it simple in a world of complexity. Standing by our core values of integrity, a can-do attitude, love what you do, do what you love and always give back where you can—we don’t perform dog and pony shows, place candidness in the front seat and admit we’re sticklers for measuring results so everyone can sleep well at night.

How did you get into the industry?

I started my career at a very early age—my senior year in high school through a half-day work program. Being from the MTV-generation and having musicians in my family I grew up fascinated about the entertainment industry, specifically music…the bands…the lifestyle. Fast forward after a decade of working in that industry and living in Los Angeles—I moved back to Austin. Technology startups were thriving, and I decided to make a career change and jump into the tech agency world working directly with some of the most incredibly innovative startups that disrupted their industries on both a national and international level.

Your most difficult moment at the Business?

The most difficult moment was during the 2008-2009 economic downturn, when my business was just me. I was faced with clients cutting budgets and dropping like flies. Luckily, I had planned a rainy-day fund which kept business afloat while lighting the fire and building new business. It took an entire year to rebuild my portfolio once things settled, and I’m incredibly fortunate to have made it through unscathed. This experience revealed 1) it pays to have a contingency plan (and cushion) in place for the unexpected, and 2) diversify.

Your key initiatives for the success of the Business?

Since launching in 2006, I’ve evolved from a sole freelancer to a freelance collaborative business to scale to the next level of success. The strategy I took was to think like an entrepreneur and operate like a startup, but on a contractor level. I exercised my experience working with startups, approached long-time professional colleagues/friends as sounding boards and mentors, and tapped into my network to bring on partners and their skillsets in order to build teams. What ended up happening was flexibility, growth and scalability not only for my business, but for my partners as well. Win/Win.

What makes me the best version of myself?

Knowing my truth, living with integrity, surrounding myself with the right people, being a straight-shooter, keeping the lines of communication open, and always having the best interest in mind for my clients, partners and others around me.

My Motto?

There's always a silver lining, just look a little harder.

What should everyone try at least once?

One thing that scares them.

My Current Passions?

Empowering women to succeed and achieve economic independence through volunteering with Dress for Success in my city. Providing that needed support, image consulting to build confidence for that interview or first day on the job, career mentorship and guidance to nail that perfect interview or find an opportunity that excites them—coupled with the excitement on these beautiful women’s faces and the endearing hugs that scream appreciation and gratitude—there’s nothing that makes me more fulfilled than this.