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Never underestimate your power to do great things. The safety of a regular paying job kept me from ever being a true entrepreneur and now I realize much later that I could have achieved more. Importantly, also stay humble. Your actions should speak for themselves. Talented PR people don’t need to PR themselves.

As part of my series about “How Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Krista Webster.

Krista Webster is currently the President & CEO of Veritas Communications and Vice-Chair of an MDC Network Alliance that includes North American agencies from advertising, shopper marketing, digital as well as Veritas. With more than 20 years of public relations working with blue chip clients in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia, Webster has been named as one of PR Weeks Top 40 Under 40 & Top Women In PR, PRovoke’s Innovator 25 in 2017, an Adweek Brand Star in 2018. She joined the 2021 PR jury at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity earlier this year.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. What is your “backstory”? What brought you to this point in your career?

I graduated with a Master’s in Journalism determined to be a fashion magazine editor, but quickly took on television and freelance writing right out of school. A professor recommended me for a PR job at a Global agency and I really had no idea what that meant, but I wanted the ‘security’ of a real job and took it. I learned a lot by watching and listening and 20+ years later in agency, I have never looked back.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you in the course of your career?

My job has afforded me the opportunity to work with a myriad of heavyweights from celebrities to politicians, like Barack Obama, Kanye West, William Shatner, Arianna Huffington and Taylor Swift. There are so many great stories I have had the ability to ‘tell’ as a publicist, but the real stories that I have experienced in this business are for me to keep in privacy.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I hope so. I try every day to be a role model, but I am definitely not perfect. This business is not for the fate of heart and the pressure is intense. It can bring out the best and worst in moments, but as long as you continue to learn from it, it is all worthwhile. I have had the good fortune of working with global brands that also see the value of supporting women’s issues, wildlife, children and my passion for cause in marketing continues to grow as I continue to evolve in my career. As a Xennial leader, I also feel a profound responsibility to provide opportunities for women trying to get into PR and help them learn from my mistakes, as well as benefit from the positive, which I have been fortunate to have had a hand in shaping.

You have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

Never underestimate your power to do great things. The safety of a regular paying job kept me from ever being a true entrepreneur and now I realize much later that I could have achieved more. Importantly, also stay humble. Your actions should speak for themselves. Talented PR people don’t need to PR themselves.

None of us can achieve success without a bit of help along the way. Is there a particular person who made a profound difference in your life to whom you are grateful? Can you share a story?

I have had incredible female and male role models that saw something in me at every juncture of my career and allowed me to take on responsibility at an age well beyond my years. They always gave me enough rope to excel, but never enough to hang myself either. Today, you would call them mentors. In my generation, they were just great leaders who appreciated a hard-working woman trying to make it on her own.

So what are the most exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

The breadth and depth of what I am working on is so diverse that it might send some into a tailspin. But I love variety. From internal employee management to client service, to pitching new business ‘mad woman’ style, every stone is unturned in every vertical and every human situation. That’s why I love this career so much. There is a misperception that PR isn’t real, but the business of PR is as real as it gets emotionally, mentally, and even from a physical stamina standpoint. It’s a race to the middle every day.

What are your “Top Five Ways That Influencers Can Monetize Their Brand”? Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Be genuine and know your audience
  2. Align with brands that represent your values sect, and don’t waver
  3. Learn to say no to partnerships that don’t add long-term value
  4. Stay ahead of social shopping trends and be open to trying new approaches
  5. Close the loop to close a future deal. Always follow-up with agencies/clients to see how your content performed.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I feel like I have already had the benefit of being part of the making of girls and women movements that truly help effect change financially and from an education standpoint. However, I think there is still an immense amount of work to be done to protect women and children from being impoverished, sexually and physically assaulted. My work to help protect and prevent harm is early days still, but something I absolutely can ever ignore.

I also believe that sharing more women’s stories will help mitigate the issues SHE faces, and would love to double down on a commitment to spotlighting other women — the ‘she-roes’ — who are truly making a difference.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

Wow, that’s a difficult thing to narrow down to one. If I was lucky enough to meet any of these people, I would be honored:

  1. Tony Robbins — I attended one of his sessions at a BrandWeek event but would love to meet him one-on-one in order to help ‘shed’ the fear of failure. Even seemingly successful people like me live in fear of not attaining ‘perfect’.
  2. Nancy Pelosi — She is a true trailblazer; not because of whether I support or disagree with her politically, as a Canadian who has lived some of her career in the US; but rather because I’d want to understand how she was able to get to where she is today both personally and professionally, at the ripe young age of 80.
  3. Gwenyth Paltrow — her ability to pivot from being a second-generation Academy Award winning actress to an all-around “boss lady” who has built the Goop empire is beyond impressive. While privileged beyond doubt, she has leveraged her brains and brawn as much as her beauty and stardust. Impressive!
  4. Malala Yousafzai — her advocacy for women’s rights is unparalleled. As the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, Malala almost lost her life to an assassin who was retaliating against her activism — and yet — she survived and thrived through her devotion to making a difference.
  5. Jimmy and Eleanor Carter — this power duo have devoted their life to being of service of others. Their positivity and humility are things I believe would profoundly impact me and leave a lasting impression of goodness through action.

What is the best way our readers can follow your work online?

You can find me on Instagram at @krista.webster or on LinkedIn at

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

Krista Webster of Veritas Communications: Five Ways For Influencers To Monetize Their Brand was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.