How Shift Communication’s Rick Murray stays ahead of the curve

Some PR pros are apocalyptic in their assessment of the future for communications professionals, but this managing partner stays upbeat amid relentless change.

Perfect light bulb glowing in a row of broken bulb for solution concept

It’s a common refrain in PR: We need to get better at analyzing the data and being strategic business advisors.

That’s the main takeaway from Rick Murray, managing partner at Shift Communications.

Murray balances his hectic workday with constant communication with his wife—and helpful reminders from his kids to put the phone away.

We asked him what his big concerns are for the future, and he offered a positive outlook on the PR industry. His message: Growth is attainable for those willing to work for it.

Here’s what he had to say in our conversation about the challenges and opportunities for the modern PR professional:

  1. What time do you wake up?

Between 5 and 5:30, no alarm needed.

  1. How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?

Two large half-decafs in the morning. Nothing after lunch.

  1. Who is the most important person at work you talk to during your day?

I can’t single out one person. My days revolve around our clients and our team. That said, the one person who keeps me centered at work and at home is my wife, Lea.

  1. What’s one tool that you couldn’t live without?

 I could live without all of them, but if you ask my kids, they’d say I’m pretty attached to my iPhone.

  1. What’s the last thing you do before finishing your workday?

 Text my wife to let her know I’m on my way.

  1. What keeps you up at night?

 Nothing really. I’m asleep by 10:30 every night. The thing I spend the most time thinking about is how well our teams, thinking, approaches and tools are keeping abreast of change.

  1. What trend or change is the next big thing in communications and/or your industry?

 As an industry, we’ve convinced ourselves that PR is more art than science. That’s changing bit by bit, but all too slowly IMHO. We need to get comfortable with data, double-down on business savvy and focus our efforts on doing things that move the needles that matter to C-suites.

  1. Anything else you want to share?

 There are a lot of naysayers out there claiming PR has become a low- to no-growth business. I fundamentally disagree. We are in total control of our own destiny. Success is the result of focus, talent, creativity and hard work. You have to believe in what you’re doing. You have to love what you’re doing. And if you surround yourself with people who share that vision and passion, you can’t lose.



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