5 Questions with SPPR featuring Ashley Hudson

This week we’re excited to welcome SPPR’s newest Senior Account Executive, Ashley Hudson, to the blog. Ashley joins Soda Pop PR with experience in design, architecture, and real estate public relations, and with a passion for strategic communication and how it can be applied to every industry.

Continue reading to learn more about Ashley’s advice to new PR professionals, what her perfect 24-hour food day would look like and where she would go on her dream vacation.

Ashley Hudson

1. In your opinion, what’s the best kept secret about LA?

LA’s food scene is slowly gaining greater recognition on a national and global scale, which typically includes our city’s Mexican, Korean and iconic American staples. However, access to consistent and locally-sourced farmer’s market ingredients has allowed for the recent burgeoning of fresh and thoughtful Italian eateries in Los Angeles and surprisingly, this has been flying under the radar.

I’ve been doing my best to eat my way through the Italian spots in my neighborhood on the Westside, so here are a few must-trys for the next time you’re out that way. Definitely book a reservation at Evan Funke’s, Felix, in Venice Beach and watch the master himself twist and roll fresh handmade pasta for dishes inspired by Italy’s various regions. Also, do not miss the house focaccia. Another great pasta eatery is the quaint, Forma, in Santa Monica. Forma specializes in their impressive cheese offering and charcuterie, but they have a few great pasta dishes that stay on the menu including the tortellini bathed in mushrooms, light cream, truffle oil then tossed in Bella Lodi cheese. Last but not least, make sure to check out Pizzana in Brentwood for a cozy #neoneopolitan pizza as they call it. It hits the spot for your true wood-fired pizza craving.

2. Describe your perfect food day from start to finish.

This is challenging to answer as there are so many great cuisines and it would depend entirely on my mood. I’ll go with an ideal food day in LA.

Although I’m not a morning person, I would have to wake up extra early so I could make sure to fit in all the must-haves in a 24-hour period. First, I would start the day off with a nutrition-packed smoothie to get my fruits and greens in right away. A couple hours later for breakfast part two, I would head to DTLA for an almond milk cappuccino from nice coffee and a croissant from Pitchoun. For lunch, I would go to my favorite empanada spot in West LA, Empanadas Place for their two empanada and salad special – I love empanadas. For dinner, it would be a toss-up between Korean BBQ in K-Town, Argentinean at Malbec in Santa Monica, or market-driven fare at MB Post in Manhattan Beach. I would finish this perfect day with the monkey bread dessert at Salt Air in Venice Beach. I’m full and happy just thinking about it.

3. If you had unlimited funds and two-weeks off, where would you go?

I would book the first flight to Oslo in October. I would spend the two weeks road-tripping through Norway, stopping to hike the Fjords, riding on dog sleds and staying in a bubble/igloo resort to see the majestic Northern Lights. If I had a couple extra days, I’d hop over to Iceland to dive the Silfra fissure where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet and are drifting apart at about 2cm per year.

4. What advice do you have for college students hoping to have a career in public relations?

Stay curious and value relationships.

A career in PR requires an inherent curiosity, but as our field continues to evolve, PR professionals must stay curious in non-traditional ways. As digital continues to take command of the way we practice public relations, we must be curious and informed of the latest tactics and tools that build brand equity and meet the bottom line. We should also be curious outside the silo of public relations practice. Companies are starting to consolidate public relations, marketing, and advertising into teams of well-rounded generalists. If PR is where you want to specialize, it’s still important to understand the fundamentals and best practices of these different disciplines to be nimble and forward-thinking in your career.

At this stage in my own career, the most important lesson I have learned is the value of relationships. Every person you will come in contact with over the course of your career is important, especially when the success of our daily work as PR practitioners depends on the strength of our relationships with the media, the public, our colleagues, clients, influencers, etc. The more connected our world is, the more important it is to nurture authentic connections. I have found that to date, my most meaningful work has been done in partnership with those I have spent the time to build quality relationships with.

5. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing publicists today?

I would say the biggest challenge facing publicists today is in educating clients about public relations practice and defining how it applies to them as the PR field steadily transforms. When clients understand the purpose and central value PR adds to their business, they are more inclined to work symbiotically with their publicists and provide essential resources to create something special.


Meet the Men Behind the Ladies of Soda Pop PR

Being in a relationship with a PR girl isn’t always easy – there’s never a dull moment.  This blog post goes out to the men who make us laugh, listen even when we use PR jargon and accept our social media addictions. With no further adieu, we present to you, the men behind the ladies of Soda Pop PR.


Name: Byrne Offutt

Husband of: The Boss Lady aka Dyan Dolfi-Offutt

Hometown: Hot Springs, Arkansas

College: The University of Arkansas…Woo Pig Sooie

Profession: Director of Sales and Marketing for Mountain Valley Water Los Angeles. I’ve also been a professional actor for the last 24 years.

What is a big risk you are happy you took?

I would have to say my move to Los Angeles. It was quite a culture shock but I met the love of my life here so hell yes.

To win a talent show you would…

Sing “I Remember You” by Skid Row.

What TV show character do you most relate to?

Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead. In the face of seemingly insurmountable odds he presses on. It’s a good allegory for life. Of course so is, “Stay away from Zombies.”

What is your movie theatre candy of choice?

Popcorn. I realize it’s not technically a candy but I cannot express to you the depth of my love for this stuff. I will not watch a movie without it. I don’t care if I’ve had a five course meal preceding it, I will have popcorn at the movies.

When you are not at work, you can be found….

Training for my next marathon or singing in my band, Maiden-LA (an Iron Maiden Tribute)

What is your signature drink?

My drink of choice at present is Blanton’s Bourbon over one cube of ice, preferably with a nice cigar.

If you could attend the concert of any musician (dead or alive) who would it be?

The Moscow Music Peace Festival in 1989.

Tell us one thing that would surprise us about your significant other.

She’s surprisingly goofy. Lots of comedy in our house.


Name: Andrew Johnston

Boyfriend of: Kelly Phelan

Hometown:  Edina, MN

College: Miami University (Ohio)

Profession: Coordinator for Electus, a TV/Digital Production company

What is a big risk you’re happy you took?

Moving to LA to work in the entertainment industry having not ever been to California before – so far so good

To win a talent show you would…

Play the guitar

What TV show character do you most relate to?

Well I love Dexter but not really into the whole serial killing thing, so probably E from Entourage or Jim from the office

What is your movie theater candy of choice?

Twizzlers, no wait peanut M&M’s no actually Twizzler’s, how about chocolate covered peanut Twizzlers…do they have those yet??

When you’re not at work, you can be found

On the golf course.

What is your signature drink?

Maker’s Manhattan

If you could attend the concert of any musician (dead or alive), who would it be?

Stevie Ray Vaughn or Led Zeppelin

Tell us one thing that would surprise us about your significant other.

She started a very successful fashion & lifestyle magazine in college!


Name: John Bailey

Husband of: Erin Bailey

Hometown: Agoura Hills, CA

College: Oregon State University

Profession: Electrical Engineer

What is a big risk you’re happy you took?

I’m pretty young so I haven’t had to take too many risks, so as of now I would have to say moving to Oregon to get my bachelor’s. The only people I knew there were Erin (gf at the time) and my good friend Joey who also went to Oregon State. I had also never lived outside of the state of California up to that point of my life. Turned out to be a great decision.

To win a talent show you would…

Build a robot.

What TV show character do you most relate to?

Tough, I’d say Walter White from Breaking Bad but my meth cooking isn’t that great. I guess Louis CK (from Louis) or Larry David (Curb Your Enthusiasm) I just love their cynical outlooks; quite funny.

What is your movie theatre candy of choice?

Not a huge fan of sweets, I usually get popcorn.

When you’re not at work, you can be found..

Walking our dog Jax, changing diapers, or watching the Lakers, Raiders or Dodgers depending on the season.

What is your signature drink?

Ninkasi Tricerahops (dbl IPA) or Johnny Walker

If you could attend the concert of any musician (dead or alive), who would it be?

Led Zeppelin

Tell us one thing that would surprise us about your significant other.

She’s an incredible snowboarder, better than any of our friends.


Name: Jake Broselle

Boyfriend of: Carley Rudd

Hometown: Naples, FL

College: Stetson University

Profession: Office Assistant at Freestyle Picture Company

What is a big risk you’re happy you took?

Making the move from South Florida to California.

To win a talent show you would…

Do my crazy legs dance

What TV show character do you most relate to?

Jack Bauer (24)

What is your movie theatre candy of choice?

It would be a game time decision between sour patch kids and milk duds.

When you’re not at work, you can be found…

At the beach or working on new material for my comedy group Leisure Dojo.

What is your signature drink?

 Hmm.. it depends on the situation, but usually a gin and tonic. (Root beer float if we’re keeping it PG)

If you could attend the concert of any musician (dead or alive), who would it be?

Woodstock ’69

Tell us one thing that would surprise us about your significant other.

She is a very talented artist!