Interview with Dara Busch from United States

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June 8, 2023
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June 12, 2023

Dara Busch

Dara Busch, the Co-CEO of 5WPR, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States where she exhibits her persona of a relentless client advocate, brilliant mentor and a team builder!

Interview With The 2023 TITAN Women in Business Awards Winner – Dara Busch

1Please provide us with a brief bio of yourself.

As Co-CEO of 5WPR, where I’ve been for 8 years, I’ve continued my leadership of the Consumer Practice while also overseeing the agency’s Human Resources and Marketing departments and taking on the day-to-day leadership of the firm. A relentless client advocate, engaged mentor, and committed team builder, I have over 25 years of experience in the Public Relations industry driving awareness for consumer brands.

Prior to joining 5WPR, I was the Executive Vice President/Managing Director at Rubenstein Public Relations where I worked for 16 years managing the luxury/lifestyle division in addition to oversight of all agency practices. I live in South Orange, New Jersey, with my husband, three children and our Labradoodle, Kali. I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and theatre arts and a minor in marketing from the University of Miami.

2What is your role in the company?

I manage the overall growth, direction, and day-to-day business of the agency alongside my Co-CEO, in addition to overseeing our Human Resources and Marketing teams. I also oversee the Consumer Practice, leading teams building award-winning campaigns, developing successful strategic media and influencer relations programs, and executing large-scale events across a variety of consumer industries including Travel & Entertainment, Apparel & Accessories, Non-Profits, Home & Housewares, Health & Wellness, Parent, Child & Baby, Beauty & Grooming, and Consumer Packaged Goods.

3Please tell us more about your organization.

5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the U.S, is a full-service agency that partners with both established and emerging brands – corporations, global interests, national organizations, consumer companies, start-ups and unicorn technology companies, high-profile individuals, regional businesses, and others – to help them define and achieve their strategic PR goals.

Founded in 2003, 5WPR is celebrating 20 years in business! Our team of 300 passionate and creative public relations and digital experts work across the consumer, tech, and B2B industries from our offices in New York City and Florida.

4Describe the industry your organization is specialized in, as well as its main characteristics.
As a full-service marketing & PR firm, 5W specializes in several practice areas, including B2C (Beauty & Fashion, Consumer Brands, Entertainment, Food & Beverage, Health & Wellness, Technology, Travel & Hospitality); B2B (Corporate & Internal Communications); Digital Media (Content Creation, SEO & Graphic Design), Public Affairs; Government Relations; and Crisis Communications. Across all our practice areas, we also offer a range of services, including Reputation Management, Influencer Marketing, and Paid Social Support, to name a few.
5Congratulations! As the winner of the TITAN Women In Business Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
It’s an honor to be named the category winner for Female Executive of the Year - PR & Communication, especially in my first year as CEO. In my position, I always hope to lead by example to empower women both within my agency and the PR industry to continue challenging themselves. This distinction reminds me that our hard work does not go unnoticed, and I owe an enormous part of my success to my team and the agency at large, for allowing me to guide them but also for the support they provide me.
6How has winning an international award help promote your organization?
It always feels incredible to receive recognition for the work we execute on behalf of our clients. Winning an international award is especially rewarding because while 5W is a US-based agency, we have international reach with the work we produce for our clients and even work with amazing international client partners. It feels fulfilling to be recognized at the same magnitude in which we work, and we hope we continue to grow our international impact.
7What are the challenges of developing / marketing your winning entry(ies)?
It can be so difficult to represent over a year’s worth of work, challenges, and triumphs in a single entry. Reflecting on the last year in my position, I know that even the smallest decisions played a large role in getting the agency to the place of success we have today. As a CEO and leader, I’m so proud of the work we do as an agency, and it spans so many industries and categories that it’s hard not to share every detail!
8What is your own definition of a successful team / organization / business?
My definition of a successful team is a group of people who genuinely enjoy being around each other. Of course, it’s important they can work well together but as co-workers, we spend more time together than we often do with our families during the week together. I believe a successful team is made up of individuals who want to get to know each other beyond their 9-to-5, not to say they have to spend time together outside of work but they want to know about and celebrate each other's personal wins as well as professional ones.
9What led you / your organization to become successful within the industry you are currently in?
There have been many growth and learning opportunities over the last twenty years. The industry is nothing like it was when I first started — media has changed along with how we consume it. Our success comes from not fighting these changes, but rather embracing them and learning how to work them in our, and our clients', favor.
10How has the country, you are based in, helped move your industry forward?
I think brands trying to break into the American market know how competitive it is – our clients rely on us as experts to help them compete in a crowded market. 5W works with many brands trying to break into the U.S. market for the first time, so understanding the nuances of our media and communications landscapes is important This has encouraged everyone to become more creative and push more boundaries than ever before, keeping the space competitive and advancing our work and the industry.
11What have you found to be a hindering factor, for your business, during the entire course of the pandemic, and how did you overcome that hinderance?

Our work culture was shattered in just days when offices closed in 2020. At 5W, we were kicking off an incredible year of growth, welcoming new employees, and executing incredible work for our clients. When we transitioned into working from home, for longer than anyone could have imagined, we had to figure out how to maintain this momentum, learning how to connect with and secure new business while also building back the morale and culture of our agency's workforce during a scary and confusing time.

In the early days of working from home, we kept very open channels of communication with our employees and clients and listened to feedback on what they felt they needed to help them adjust to the unprecedented changes.

12What are the current trends in the business industry that you are most excited about?
Research and analytics play an important role within the PR industry, and as an agency, we’ve emphasized building out our in-house team this last year. Now, everything we do is flanked by data and it’s so exciting for me to see the success of our clients and be able to prove against this data that our work is making an impact within the industries we work.
13What resources would you recommend to someone who is searching to improve their business prospects and organizational success?
Networking is always a great starting point to build confidence within your industry. Business connections can later become mentors as well and are resources for sharing experiences and receiving advice. Joining leadership organizations for your industry, especially local chapters, are networking opportunities, but often can also provide educational resources and classes you can take to build your industry knowledge and success.
14Where do you see the evolution of the overall business industry in the next 5-10 years?
If you would have asked me this question five years ago, I never would have known how significantly the workforce would be changed. Who knows what the next five to ten years may bring when we certainly were not expecting these last three.
15Who inspired you in your life, and why?
My mom is an incredible influence on who I am today and she has played a large part in my success. Growing up, my mom always worked and still found the time to raise and run a family. Through her, I learned the importance of finding the necessary balance between a flourishing career and my personal relationships and family time. I have always admired her and set out to emulate who she was in my own professional career. She is a reliable source of support and encouragement for me.
16What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Run your own race. It is of little benefit to compare your journey against someone else’s or set arbitrary goals you feel you must meet before you can accomplish the next one. Focus on yourself and do not compare your success to that of another!

Winning Entries

Dara Busch | 2022


5W Public Relations is a full-service PR agency in NYC known for cutting-edge programs that engage with businesses …
(Read more at TITAN Women in Business Awards)

Dara Busch

Dara Busch, the Co-CEO of 5WPR, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States where she exhibits her persona of a relentless client advocate, brilliant mentor and a team builder!

Read more about this interview with Tara Kelly of Splice Software from Canada, the Gold Winner of the 2022 TITAN Women in Business Awards.