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Meet Ashley Corrado of PRbyAC

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Corrado.

Ashley, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I fell in love with marketing while working at a nonprofit organization about 10 years ago. We were a small startup abuse hotline on a shoestring budget, so everything we did, we did ourselves. And of course, this included all marketing and outreach activities. If we wanted print materials, we had to make them. If we wanted a new website, we had to design it. I honed most of my graphic design experience during this time, and I loved every minute of it. To this day, I think of that organization as my ‘baby’ and nonprofits will always hold a special place in my heart.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Historically, I’ve been a serial entrepreneur. Whether it was spearheading charity fundraisers in high school or starting an events company in the middle of a recession, I’ve always had that ‘go-getter, I can do that’ attitude. But to say the road has been rocky is a complete understatement. I’ve had too many failed business ventures to keep track of. I even tried being a DJ once. That was pretty embarrassing looking back. Though I had the passion, I didn’t always have the foresight needed to start and maintain a successful venture.

However, through these experiences, my love of marketing, branding and design only grew stronger. I used to view my past ventures as failures because it was heart-wrenching to pour my soul into something that never fully came to fruition. But looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Every roadblock, every seemingly wasted investment of time and money led me to where I am today. I think the biggest struggle I’ve faced has been the focus. My heart was always in the right place, but I never really focused on what I was good at. And as it turns out, in the simplest sense, I’m good at making things pretty.

PRbyAC – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I started PRbyAC three years ago. This was the first venture I actually put my name on. I had always hidden by naming my ventures something kitschy or something I felt would resonate with my target. I never put my name on the line. PRbyAC was and is different. My primary goal is to make small business owners fall in love with their venture all over again by way of visual identity and overall branding. My clients are the experts at what they do, whatever it is they do. It’s ultimately my job to remind them of that and get them excited about putting that expertise out there.

PRbyAC does everything from designing business cards to designing and launching websites, and everything in between. To date, our specialty has been website re-designs. We’ll take a ‘DIY disaster’ and turn it into something sleek and streamlined. I view my clients as the experts. They’re in business for a reason. I just have to analyze their target and conceptualize an aesthetic that matches their expertise and ideal client’s preferences.

More than anything, I’m proud of the attention I give my clients. Most of my clients come from referrals and I believe that stems from exceptional customer service. Whether I’m working with a successful law practice or a part-time crafter just getting started, I pride myself on giving my all to my clients. I think this is something that sets PRbyAC apart from other firms. I really do view and value all of my clients as equal. That’s something you don’t get if you go to a big firm. I’m not a cookie-cutter corporate robot. There really is a human behind the brand.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moments of my career thus far have to be the times in the very recent past when I’ve been asked to speak and/or present in front of small business owners. To be recognized as an expert in my field is really an honor.

My formal education is in business management, but everything I learned about design, marketing and PR, I learned on my own in the trenches. I’m proud that I continuously put my brand out there, knowing that there are more failures and setbacks to come. It’s been a rollercoaster so far, but I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.

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