Ibby Clifford looks the part for her job as the head of global public relations at Levi Strauss & Co. She’s cute, fashionable, and she offered great advice for aspiring PR professionals last night in Ernie Pyle Hall.
Clifford’s resume, as she put it, looks like “a piece of Swiss cheese.” She has worked for big brands such as Old Navy, The Gap, Kenneth Cole and KCD (a fashion PR agency in New York). However, her moves were all based on chance and the opportunity to gain more experience in a different field.
“It’s just about trusting your gut, taking risks, being ambitious and being persistent,” Clifford said. “Knock on that door. It never hurts, and you’ll never know where it will take you.”
Clifford mentioned how she was once a “bra-tender” for Gap. She traveled around the country on a mobile marketing campaign and educated women about proper bra sizing. That job got her out of merchandising and into public relations.
Her position at Levi’s now gives her experiences she never expected and takes her all over the world. She shared a story about getting pulled over in an over-capacity car packed with scantily clad Victoria’s Secret models on their way to New York Fashion Week and told about her trips to India, China, Europe and other foreign markets.
“I do not take it for granted at all,” Clifford said.
Clifford listed common threads for her successes in the PR industry as taking risks, being open for any opportunities, and keeping in touch with people she had known from previous jobs. Her final piece of advice for those of us who still have a few years left at IU was simple.
“Go to class,” Clifford said. “Listen. Learn everything you can. This is an amazing major…you can do anything with a journalism degree, I feel.”
-Madi McNew, PRSSA Member