THE MEMBERS | LISA SMITH
Member Name: Lisa Smith
Member Title: Co-founder
Member Company: The PR Net
For the viewers at home, what does Co-founder of The PR Net mean? In other words, what
are your responsibilities as Co-founder of The PR Net?
The PR Net is a members’ network for marketers, communicators, creative
entrepreneurs and media. My role is really varied and truly changes day-to-day. I’m
involved in member relations, programming, all facets of events management, providing
guidance and final edits for our weekly newsletter, liaising with prospective host venues
and doing walkthroughs, brainstorming content and planning out our next moves as an
organization. I really enjoy the variety.
How did you decide to pursue The PR Net?
I’d always worked in the industry – I had a PR agency for several years in Sydney
before moving here in 2010, which I sold in 2012. I saw a need for people working in the
communications, marketing and media eco-system to connect, both through an online
industry resource and IRL. As the industry pivoted to become much more collaborative
and inclusive, it was in everyone’s interest to come together to share partnership
opportunities, plus other ideas and inspiration. We created an online destination for all
things in that wheelhouse, plus a program of networking events in the best newly-
opened venues, learning opportunities via expert speaker panels and other cultural
What is your morning routine?
I’m a very early bird, particularly since I had my kids, so I’m up around 5.30/45.
Amongst wrangling them and getting ready for my day, I try to squeeze in some emails
– I think people get a surprise when they see emails coming in from me pre-6am!
Coffee is an absolute essential when you’re up so early, which is one of the first things
that gets sourced – from the coffee shop open the earliest. We usually go to Partners or
The Elk. I tend to Citibike most places downtown, so I then enjoy my morning bike ride
commute into the office on Thompson.
Can you name a professional highlight of 2019?
Launching The PR Net in San Francisco in February of this year was a highlight. It
wasn’t a market we knew much about, but as I’ve learned, there’s a thriving community
of lifestyle marketers and communicators there, as well as other creative professionals.
People have a perception that it’s all tech, but we now have members from art and culture,
fashion, beauty, hospitality, food and beverage and much more, which shows the diversity
of the market.
We also have Miami expansion on the horizon as well as a few other markets, so I’m
excited to see those roll-out. Our aim is to build an international community of brand
builders, that can leverage the power of the network and get inspiration and information
from what’s going on in other places.
What do you enjoy most about your line of work?
The highlight of my work, even above discovering all the amazing venues across the
country, is definitely the people. Through PR Net, I’ve met several people who have
become friends, which has been such a lovely spin-off. I’m also blessed to have
amazing colleagues – 3 badass, talented women who I’m privileged to work alongside.
What do you like to do for fun? Hobbies?
I have a 3 and 1 year old, so between running the business and parenting them, there’s
not a lot of time these days for extracurricular activities! We have a house outside the
city (in Springs), so that’s the place I love to go to unwind and spend time.
What did you want to be when you grew up? How did that play out?
I wanted to be a diplomat – in many ways I think I just liked the idea of the travel and
living in various overseas places. I also thought about being an attorney, but I now know
that I love more than anything to bring complementary people and brands together, so it
makes all the sense in the world that I’m doing what I do.
What is your current dream travel destination?
Morocco probably tops my list at the moment. I sadly missed a friend’s recent wedding
there and it’s been on my mind for a long time as a place I’ve wanted to visit. The
architecture, artisanal crafts and food would be such a dream to experience.
What is your favorite part about working at Thompson Square Studios?
I like that it’s boutique, so it feels intimate and you really get to know people. It’s also nice and
quiet to work from, but yet you’re in the middle of Soho with all it has to offer.