Scottsdale woman builds successful public relation firm - East Valley Tribune: Business

Scottsdale woman builds successful public relation firm

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Posted: Sunday, May 1, 2005 7:31 am | Updated: 8:58 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Each workday morning, Dana Arnold removes a silver angel dangling from her desk lamp and reads aloud the words written by Helen Keller etched on the angel’s back: "One can never consent to creep ... when one feels an impulse to soar."

The message has become the 28-year-old business entrepreneur’s mantra.

"It helps me start my day," said Arnold, founder of Soapbox pr, a public relations agency at 14300 N. Northsight Blvd. Scottsdale.

Arnold started her agency two years ago today from the bedroom of her home in Cave Creek with three clients, one employee — herself — a computer and a strong determination to succeed.

Now, she has 15 clients, including several national companies, five employees and an office in a lavish commercial community with a pleasant view of Camelback Mountain and lingering Arizona sunsets.

"Each day I think, what am I going to do today to make my company great," said Arnold, whose husband, Keith, 28, is an accountant with Deloitte & Touche, LLP. "There’s really no limit."

She also believes in living life joyfully, and one of her favorite fun-loving pastimes, when she’s not promoting one of her clients, is cooking.

"My background is Hispanic and I really enjoy making Mexican meals," said Arnold, whose other enjoyment is playing with her pet dog, a bichon frises named, Jasmine.

She also enjoys doing pilates three times a week, an exercise similar to yoga but more muscle-demanding.

Arnold spent her childhood in Toledo, Ohio, where she graduated from Notre Dame Academy High School.

She earned a degree in communications from John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio, and, at age 21, started her first public relations job with a company in Hudson, Ohio.

After three years of working as an account manager, she moved to Scottsdale and continued in public relations until she decided it was time to start her own firm.

At the time, she had three local clients but still needed a name for her new company.

"An associate and I were trying to come up with a name for his business and he suddenly blurted, ‘What about Soapbox, pr?’ and the name sounded perfect for me. A light went off !" Arnold recalled.

On May 1, 2003, Soapbox pr was born, and Arnold and her small staff moved into the Northsight Boulevard office in Scottsdale.

In less than two years her revenue have increased by about 200 percent, and she has added a dozen new clients including retail companies, residential developers, food and beverage distributors and national firms.

Among them are Alpha Vision, The Bamboo Club, Bar-S Foods, Celebrity Fight Night, Centex Homes, Fidelity National Information Services, Fain Signature Group, Kierland Commons and the Scottsdale Culinary Institute.

All of the clients came as a result of referrals, a key to a successful enterprise, Arnold said.

"Soapbox pr is a fantastic company," said Meredith Barnes, director of marketing for the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. "They’ve got contacts all over the Valley, especially in the food industry. And I get a feeling that they’re part of our institute rather than an outside company. We’re very happy with their work"

Arnold said her goal is to continue expanding, although she tries not to look too far ahead.

"There’s a lot of competition among public relations firms in the Valley, but I’m very competitive," Arnold said. "I think the secret to growth is good planning, setting goals and then, going after them. However, it should be quality growth."

Dana Arnold

Age: 28

Family: married, husband, Keith Arnold, 28

Resides in: Cave Creek Business: President and founder of Soapbox pr, a public relations agency at 14300 N. Northsight Blvd., Suite 215, Scottsdale Information: (480) 361-8104 or www.soapboxpr.com

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