Renée S. Edelman grew up learning about public relations from her father, Dan Edelman, one of the modern public relations industry pioneers. Today, as the senior vice president of Edelman, she has devoted her professional life to helping clients accurately communicate their stories and take actions that improve society. Proclaiming the mantra “Earning trust through communications,” Edelman is a global communications firm that partners with businesses and organizations to evolve, promote and protect their brands and reputations. For decades, Ms. Edelman’s stature has created its own cachet as she has been featured numerous times in the media, including but not limited to Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and the Marquis publications Who’s Who of Distinguished Professionals and the Millennium Magazine. Forging new paths into the future, she counts a career highlight as being a co-founder in 1998 of the Edelman sister company PR21, which now operates as Zeno Group.
Ms. Edelman gives credit for her success to the love and mentorship of her parents, including her mother Ruth Edelman, her brothers Richard and John Edelman, close friends, and work colleagues over the years. Her parents taught her to value lifelong education, self-reliance, and giving back to one’s community. Another mentor, fashion photographer Victor Skrebneski, encouraged Ms. Edelman to pursue a career in which she could be creative and courageous.
Ms. Edelman also attributes her achievements to an affinity for writing and cheering herself on by being persistent and curious. As a result, she enjoys mentoring and helping to launch young professionals. Within the next five years, she plans to spend more time coaching individuals from diverse backgrounds on how to build careers in communications. Ms. Edelman advises anyone who aspires to enter the industry to learn to write well, stay current on news and popular culture, read books and a variety of publications, travel, build relationships with smart people, be a team player, never stop learning, seek new challenges, and trust their own instincts.
As the senior vice president at the firm that bears her family name, Ms. Edelman focuses daily on technology communications, diversity, inclusion, and global human resources while working to recruit employment candidates with diverse backgrounds, organizing educational events, and building the Edelman Alumni Network. She also serves as a media relations strategist on selective client accounts. Most rewarding to Ms. Edelman is that every day presents new challenges that she faces head-on while continually learning new skills to stay competitive. Her clients demand teams with diverse skills, want to talk with one contact, and need quality work delivered on time. She cites a big change through the years as technology and how it has disrupted the communications and the news businesses and forced nearly every industry to operate as a technology and media company, adapt to change, and tell their own stories.
After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy boarding school as a bright and eager student in 1973, Ms. Edelman earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Yale University in 1977 and a Master of Science in journalism in 1980. She then worked as an account executive and technology vice president at Media Group, a news assistant at the New York Daily News at City Hall, and a reporter for Central Jersey Home News before permanently joining Edelman in 1987 in various capacities leading to her current role. A literature enthusiast who enjoys memoir writing, photography, walking, and yoga, Ms. Edelman is a member of the Theater for the New City board, the Phillips Exeter Academy Women’s Leadership Council and its Leadership Circle, the board of directors of Daniel J. Edelman Holdings, Inc., and formerly of the board at Children’s Museum of Manhattan.