Lynne Arciero Positraction Marketing>

For more than 18 years, Lynne Arciero has worked to make a difference in strengthening brand images for global companies including Land Rover, Maserati, McLaren, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, and Toyota. Based in La Jolla, California, Arciero went on her own and founded Positraction Marketing in 2012.

She has often been asked, “How do you land a job in automotive PR or marketing?”
“Unfortunately, I don’t have a step-by-step guide book for someone who might be interested in pursuing a career in automotive PR or marketing. You have to be passionate about what you do and hope for a little luck.

“If you are still in school, the best bet is to try to secure an internship. As an intern, if you show up every day hungry to learn and take on any project (and I mean any… including stuffing envelopes or taking out the trash), you make it difficult for your prospective employer to let you go.

“In addition, requesting interviews for information is a good way to make connections in the field that you are interested in learning more about.”

First automotive job?
“I attended California State University to get my bachelors degree in public relations under the school of journalism. In my third year, the program required that each student do an internship.

My goal was to intern at the most innovative, creative agency that I could find. I was thrilled to land a position at Chiat/Day. Known for its cutting edge advertising, at the time, it had a PR division. I was a little concerned when I learned I was being assigned to automotive accounts. After growing up watching my father wrenching on our family vehicles, it didn’t sound very glamorous. I was also pretty intimidated because I didn’t have any technical knowledge of cars.

The first thing I did to prepare for my newfound position (and what turned out to be my career) was to call my dad. We went to the hobby shop and a bought a kit motor. With his help, I built it to understand the basics. To this day, I can relate back much of my technical knowledge to that point.

After graduating with a year and a half of internship experience, I received a call from Holly Ferris who was also a Long Beach alumna. She was with Toyota at the time and was looking for someone to help her support PR for its motorsports division. For the next six years, learned many lessons and met some of the most incredible people who still influence how I think about business and life today.”

What is the most important tool you have taken with you through the years?
“If the devil is in the detail, heaven is checking it off of your list. When I started at Toyota, there wasn’t such a thing as an online calendar. Many people used paper planners to keep their day-to-day organized. I recall sitting through a class on how to effectively use a planner.

The system is based on a daily checklist. Until the instructor mentioned it, I hadn’t really thought about how great it feels to check things off of your list. For me, depending on the task, it is almost euphoric. I know not everyone gets the same level of satisfaction by these two pen marks. Keeping a checklist has not only helped me pull off some amazing programs over the years, it has also helped me keep my sanity and accomplish things outside of work, as well. Just by writing things down, I think more about what steps I need to take to achieve them.”

Who mentored you in this industry to help you get started?

“Aside from my father who helped me lay the groundwork for my technical knowledge, I’ve been extremely lucky to have many mentors in my life. The list is long, but a few people that come to mind include the following:

~ Kevin Wilkerson was my first manager when I interned at Chiat/Day. He took the time to help me hone my writing skills (very important) and introduce me to many journalists and influencers in the automotive industry with whom I still keep in touch with today.

~ One of the most creative people on the planet and always has my back — Jim Hancock. He basically taught me that in marketing, being targeted is everything. No program should attempt appeal to everyone. Aim high or aim low – but never aim for the middle. He also passed along a quote I remember whenever I’m in a tough position: “never say ‘whoa’ in a bad place.”

~ Off-road racing legend, Ivan Stewart – Taught me competition is good and how to use it constructively.

~ Chris Perez, owner of the PR firm that I worked with on the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race – He explained “touchstones,” or the importance of keeping in contact with friends and colleagues from different times in your life to keep you grounded.

As a woman what features are your favorites in a car?

“My favorite features in cars are the same qualities I appreciate in people and life – authenticity. I’ve been fortunate that many of the brands I have worked with in the past offer great examples: Land Rover for off-road capabilities; Maserati for its beautiful design; Rolls-Royce for the pinnacle of luxury; and McLaren is the epitome of automotive technology and racing innovation.”

Why does the auto industry seem like a difficult environment for females?

“It definitely can be…. But I think you have to take the good with the bad sometimes. Being a female in the automotive industry has helped me differentiate myself in an industry that is predominately male.”
Proudest professional achievement?
“Launching McLaren Automotive in North America and unveiling the McLaren MP4-12C at Pebble Beach in 2010.”

Current challenge at work?

“Keeping up with email.”

Dream job?

“I’m in my dream job now.”

What you do to relax?

“I put any free time I can aside to spend with family and friends. Any time left I try to use for travel and working out.”

For more information about Lynne Arciero visit Positraction Marketing.