Sonia is a self-proclaimed media junkie, a champion of improved metrics, an award-winning mentor to the next generation of PR pros, and a results generator who has 20+ years in the PR industry. She founded spPR, an award winning full-service public relations agency, in 2013. Since then, Sonia’s media relations expertise has continued to be highly sought after on a consultancy basis by some of the most prominent PR agencies in Canada. Her popular “Media Relations Boot Camp” is delivered at Humber and Centennial Colleges as well as various PR agencies. She also sits on the board of MRP (Media Relations Rating Points) as a committee member.
My first job ever was… Summer interning at my father’s advertising agency in India while I was still in school. And boy was he a tough boss, having ensured that no one treated me like the boss’s daughter. That’s where I learned the importance of hard work and resilience!
I chose my career path because… I am a self-proclaimed media junkie. There is no better thrill for me than seeing my client’s stories come to life. Working with my father offered me solid training ground, having exposed me to the world of advertising/marketing and the value of strong business relationships. And this has become the basis of my business today — relationships go a long way in the success of your business and career.
My proudest accomplishment is… My two beautiful children who inspire and challenge me every day.
My boldest move to date was… Moving to cold Canada in 2001 after falling head over heels for my husband. Lesson learned: never say never!
I surprise people when I tell them… I was one of the youngest women in India working in the alcohol industry. At 26, I was fortunate enough to travel across France and Asia, working with some of the smartest marketers in the business!
My best advice to people starting their career is… Focus on the one thing you are most passionate about and always hustle!
My best advice from a mentor was… Surround yourself with a team of solid external advisors. From leaders and friends in my field to my accountant, lawyer and banker, every single person has had an impact on the success of my business.
I would tell my 20-year old self… Be bold, don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them. I would also say travel more and experience the world before settling down!
My biggest setback was… An unexpected child care situation in 2013, which led to me having to resign my job with APEX PR — a company that I loved working with and where I got my foundational PR training in Canada. The lessons I learned those eight years while at APEX, including some of the relationships I had the opportunity to foster, have played a great role in the success of my business today.
I overcame it by… Hustling and taking on the challenge head on! I set up my mobile PR agency spPR five years ago thanks to my husband pushing me to take the leap. My only regret is I didn’t do it sooner!
Work/life balance is… Is a moving target each day and what you make of it! Some days work needs your full attention and above and other days it’s your family. The balance to me is determining what works best for you.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know… That Bill Gates used my hairbrush prior to a media interview in India. One of my career highlights is having coordinated Bill Gates’s first trip to India while I was working with a UK-based PR company. And I still have the hair brush almost two decades later.
I stay inspired by… My husband and my kids.
The future excites me because… I have yet to reach where I want to be, both personally and professionally. I’m all about the goal digging.
My next step is… To keep hustling and grow spPR.