Jennifer Boroff

Small Chicago PR Firm a Fit for Strategic Communication Major

Written by Brendan Johnson
Miami Strategic Communication major, Class of ‘15
Jennifer Boroff

Jennifer Boroff is a 2008 Miami University graduate from Beachwood, Ohio. With a major in Strategic Communications, Boroff set herself up for a career in the public relations world.

There is no such thing as a typical day for Boroff as a public relations professional at a small firm in Chicago. Whether she is working angles on a red carpet or participating in conference calls and strategic meetings, Boroff is always on the move. So her only routines are in the mornings. “I always start my day by flipping back and forth between the Today show and Good Morning America,” says Boroff, an account manager at Henson Consulting. “After getting ready, I hop on the Red Line to work and scoop up an iced Zen tea from Starbucks. Then I’m ready to roll.”

Boroff has worked on numerous PR accounts throughout her five-year career. Some of her past clients at Stern Advertising, a top Cleveland-based agency, included Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Disney on Ice and Kay Jewelers. Boroff worked with Jane Seymour, the Emmy award-winning actress, to help promote Seymour’s Open Heart paintings and artwork through a national art tour.

“Working with Jane Seymour and her Open Heart tour was such a rewarding experience,” says Boroff, referring to the publicity campaign to build awareness about Seymour’s Open Hearts artwork. “I was right out of college, so it was fun to travel to different cities and it was such a good way for me to be exposed to different markets and hit the ground running in the PR industry.”

Nothing like a celebrity endorsement!

Working the Open Heart tour turned out to be more than just another job for Boroff, it helped her land her current position. “Jen joined the Henson Consulting team in 2010 after Jane Seymour referred her to me,” explains Kathleen Henson, founder and CEO of Henson Consulting. “Jane came to me and said that I had to have Jen at Henson.”

Henson Consulting was awarded the Platinum Award for 2012 National Best Small PR Firm of the Year from PR News. At Henson, Boroff leads lifestyle accounts including Crystal Light, Country Time Lemonade, The Pampered Chef, among others, integrating consumer brands and celebrities, as well as traditional media relations.

“Jen has done some incredible things for us,” says Henson. “She is so dedicated to her work and so helpful with all of our clients. She is a great representation of our office.”

This motivation and dedication to do her best isn’t something new for Boroff. As a student at Miami University, she was a teaching assistant for the Introduction to Strategic Communications and Public Relations course.

“Jen was extremely organized, mature, and studious both as a student and TA,” says Bill Brewer, the professor for that course. “The one thing I’ll always remember about Jen was how caring and compassionate she was with others. She is extremely smart, but she never hit you over the head with that. She was an excellent team player.”

While Boroff may love her work, that love doesn’t come easy. According to PR News, a public relations manager is the 5th most stressful job in America. With different responsibilities for different clients it is easy to get overwhelmed.

“It is extremely hard work, but all that work is so worthwhile,” says Boroff. “I love to meet new people and build relationships with them, and this job allows me to do exactly that.”

Boroff polished her skills as a relationship builder in her days at Miami. She was involved in a number of organizations, including Alpha Phi sorority and Miami’s chapter of PRSSA, the Public Relations Student Society of America.

While much of a skill or trait can be learned, some of it just comes naturally.

“Jen was friends with everyone at school,” says Kelli Aquila, one of Boroff’s good friends from Miami. “We would walk into a party and everyone would want to hang out and talk with her. She had such a natural ability to relate and converse with almost anyone.”

Working on the red carpet

One story stands out when looking at these combined set of hard working and communication skills that Boroff possesses.

Her current boss, Kathleen Henson, remembers a red carpet event that they worked together two years ago. It was an event at Jane Seymour’s house for the Open Hearts Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes selfless giving even in the face of adversity.

Trying to keep the event running as smooth as possible was no small task. Boroff and Henson helped escort media guests up and down the cobblestone driveway, all while wearing heels and elegant dresses.

To make it even more difficult, it rained all night. After hours of work in the rain and no food, they were starving but happy with the event’s success.

The ladies decided to celebrate the best way they knew how.

They got cheeseburgers and ate them while they soaking their sore feet in a bathtub at 3 a.m.