Angela Sustaita-Ruiz is a woman who knows how to juggle. The Texas native of Mexican descent is the mother of three, and is expecting another child this summer.
But in addition to being a mom, Angela is also the co-founder of Latina Mom Bloggers, an online community connecting Latina mom bloggers with Brands across the country; co-publisher of Hispanic PR Blog, an online journal focused on Hispanic public relations and social media; and the co-founder (and organizer) of the upcoming Hispanicize 2012 conference, April 10th-13th in Miami.
An award-winning, public relations professional and marketing consultant, Angela began her career as International Operations Supervisor for Cinemark, where she worked to create marketing campaigns for the company in Mexico, Argentina, and Chile. Her experience in working with international clients served her well after she went to work for Edelman, the world’s largest, independently owned public relations firm. Angela worked as their Southwest Regional Manager through their multicultural offices in New York and Austin, where she successfully developed PR campaigns for companies, such as Kraft Foods, Hershey’s, and Starbuck’s.
Ironically, Angela initially resisted the world of social media because it was so time-consuming and much more personal than she was comfortable with. But eventually she came to see it as a natural progression of public relations.
“As we’ve all seen, social media has drastically altered how brands are connecting with consumers and how consumers search for information about products and/or services for themselves and their families,” Angela says. “Brands understand that Latina/o bloggers are increasingly becoming one of the most important media platforms, as they can provide an authentic and culturally relevant voice for their brand.”
She stayed on with Edelman through 2011 as a consultant while her own business grew, and credits her mentors there with providing her with the tools and knowledge she now uses to run her own business. Last year, she was named 2011 PR Professional of the Year by the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) for her work in advancing the industry as co-publisher of the Hispanic PR Blog and as an organizer of Hispanicize 2012. Together with Latina Mom Bloggers, these three projects are now the focus of Angela’s attention.
She believes that her background in public relations complements her work in social media. “I’ve really enjoyed all the work we’ve been doing with Latina Mom Bloggers,” she says, “because it allows me to tap into traditional public relations tactics and blend them with social media.”
The company has successfully created tailored blogger engagement campaigns for brands such as Home Depot, Proctor & Gamble, the California Milk Processor’s Board, Disney Parks, Verizon FiOS, Unilever, State Farm and Transitions.
But perhaps the biggest project Angela is currently working on is the Hispanicize 2012 conference, which she co-founded with her husband, Manny. The event began three years ago as a national conference for the Hispanic PR and social media industry. Since then it has grown into a unique event, and this year brings together Hispanic brands, bloggers, media, agencies, celebrities, filmmakers, and innovators together in a creative environment that is all about ideas and best practices.
How does she manage to keep up with all the projects and family business she has going on? “I think that famous quote by Lucille Ball rings true, ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it.’ The more things you do, the more you can do. Don’t get me wrong, juggling multiple tasks can be a challenge, even for the most efficient multi-taskers, but I think that for those of us who stay busy we find our own unique way of managing everything.”
She also thinks it is really important for multi-taskers to step away from their duties and disconnect on a regular basis because even short 15-minute breaks can dramatically improve productivity and creativity.
Despite their busy schedule, Angela and Manny are careful to make time for their kids. Owning their own business allows them the flexibility to manage their work schedules so they can incorporate fun, quality time. This past summer, they drove from Miami to Vancouver then enjoyed a Disney Cruise through Alaska.
“People think that we’re super social, but really we spend most of our free time hanging out with our kids.”