Alumna’s Success as a PR Exec Speaks for Itself
Aug. 12, 2010
Jennifer (Ring) Pascal’s (MPA ’98) successful career as executive vice president of Allyn Media is based on a track record of precision, of knowing exactly what to say and when to say it. But Pascal questions where her composure was 14 years ago when she was a UT Dallas student giving a mock mayoral speech in front of her class.
“I was just paralyzed. I had no idea what the heck I was doing,” she said. Embarrassed, Pascal froze but was roused back to speaking by a round of “you-can-do-its” from some supportive classmates. “Now I truly enjoy public speaking,” said Pascal, who has worked at the Dallas-based public relations firm for more than a decade.
Pascal is a communications expert and jack-of-all-trades, mixing strategic research, advertising, public relations, public affairs and image management for such clients as American Airlines, Comerica Bank and Habitat for Humanity. For Pascal, the thrill comes from immersing herself in her clients’ worlds. During a ConocoPhillips campaign, Pascal did a fast study on the gasification of coal, the type of “technical stuff” she enjoys. Earlier this summer, Pascal got up close and personal with some local giraffes, elephants and lions when she helped the Dallas Zoo debut its biggest project of the last 20 years, the Giants of the Savanna. “The zoo completed the project in less than 18 months and brought in more than 75 new animals for the habitat,” Pascal explained. “I was amazed by their dedication.”
Pascal enjoys turning ideas into reality. When entrepreneur Jon Shapiro approached Allyn Media, “he had an idea that had no shape and no name,” explains Pascal. Through surveys and research, however, Shapiro’s Texas Institute emerged. As a nonprofit research group working to advance sustainable technology solutions, the Texas Institute was a founding sponsor of last year’s Forum on Energy Issues and Innovation at UT Dallas, which featured Texas business legend T. Boone Pickens.
“From the Dallas Zoo to the upcoming Dallas wet/dry referendum, I could not ask for a better mix of client personalities,” said Pascal, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. But some things—like the foundation for award-winning marketing campaigns—stay the same. “With every client, I find myself starting at square one: pulling out the quantitative and qualitative research skills I learned as a student at UT Dallas.”