• Christina Soto

Meet the Woman Behind Hollywood PR, Amanda K. Ruisi

How She Innovated the World of Publicity and Ruled It Ever Since

By; Christina Soto

Amanda K. Ruisi at an event supporting her client, ASPCA.
Amanda K. Ruisi at an event supporting her client, ASPCA.

Before I started my degree in public relations, the only thing I knew about PR had to do with celebrities. I knew that they needed a PR agent to get them good press and take care of bad press. So, when I began to research what public relations actually was and if I’d be interested, I naturally started by looking into the celebrity side of it. Through this search, I found Amanda K. Ruisi and she remains to be an inspiration to me to this day. At the age of 27, Ruisi founded AKR Public relations and has secured clients such as 50 Cent and ASPCA. Her experience working publicity at major companies combined with her young age gives her an edge on the competition. She has guided her way to the top of the PR field with:

  • An innovative use of social media

  • Networking at NBC

  • Motivation to succeed

Starting out at NBC

Before starting her own public relations firm, Ruisi worked at NBC for nine years. She was their East Coast senior press and talent relations manager, and through this she began to enhance her publicity skills. Since she was in charge of publicity for various shows and the actors on them, she learned how to manage a full plate and what to do in a crisis. This job gave her a foot into the door of Hollywood. Through networking with celebrities, Ruisi created connections for future business relationships and even managed to grow some of these relationships into friendships. She is trusted by her clients so much so that she even set up her client, Curtis Stone, on a date where he met his future wife. This ability to connect genuinely and grow with clients is what gains her trust and a reputation to be rivaled.

Turning sorrow into success

In 2006, Ruisi’s life changed when she hit what she describes as “a pivotal point” in her life after her mom passed away. In an interview with HuffPost, she said, “mom had always said she envisioned me having my own PR firm and my name being on the door one day.” She knew that her mom would want her to grieve, but also not stop trying to achieve this dream. So, at age 27 she grew from this experience and used it motivate herself to start her own firm, AKR PR. Ruisi took this life-changing event and decided to change for the better. This is an inspiration to learn that when life presents a challenge, anything is still possible with the right mindset and hard work.

Trailblazer of social media

The logo of Amanda Ruisi’s company, AKR PR.
The logo of Ruisi’s company, AKR PR.

Once at her own firm, Ruisi knew that she had to operate differently than others to attract clients to her agency. As a member of the millennial generation, she saw that reaching audiences through social media was the way to do this. At the time, there were very few agencies that were effectively capturing the effect that social media has. Ruisi decided that was a specialty she could offer, and sold clients on the newfound influence they could gain with her guidance. She shared with Inc. Magazine that she believes in the principle that “developing your influence is a critical part of a successful publicity strategy.” With this mindset, she has learned how to capture the attention of target audiences on social media, but also grow to new ones and get endorsements. She emphasizes engagement and uses it as research to measure its effectiveness.

Amanda K. Ruisi is an inspiration to me, not only because she has become so successful in the PR field, but also because she did it at such a young age. AKR PR is at the top of the game in entertainment publicity because Ruisi has created a new way to operate through combining social media with her pop culture clients. Through her time in the field, she has successfully helped clients through career highs and lows. Her advice to others she gave in a SUCCESS article is that “the harder you work for something, the more rewarding it is in the end,” and she continues to be an example of that.

About the Author

Christina Soto is a senior at the University of North Texas and is set to graduate in August 2022. She has worked on a bachelor’s degree majoring in journalism with a focus in public relations and is excited to begin her professional career in PR after graduation