Meeting Recap with Liza Dunning 

by Mia Bonfiglio

On Feb. 13, the Drewry chapter of PRSSA hosted Liza Dunning, Associate Creative Director of Video at Apple. Dunning went to UGA and majored in advertising with an English minor. After graduation she went into PR but found herself wanting to head in a more creative direction. Many career pivots later, she is now working at Apple producing videos for internal communications. She shared her career progression and answered many questions on her experience.

Career Background:

Liza Dunning and Morgan Jones sat down to answer questions at the meeting this past Tuesday.

She started in PR and event production in LA after graduation. To spark her creativity, she went to Creative Circus where she learned how to build her portfolio and copyright. She moved on to an internship in Atlanta and then began working with startups and in freelance. She helped found Scoutmob and built the company’s brand up in the startup world. After some time, she began brand writing for Airbnb where she embarked on her film journey as well. She continued to freelance and landed at Apple to focus specifically on film and how to tell stories for retail employees internally.

Thoughts on Pivoting:

Dunning highlighted how she has always loved being creative and using writing as a creative outlet. This never changed for her and she continued to find more passions and find true stories to tell in ways she never imagined. In hindsight, she stated that although she felt like a failure and scared in the moment, it was the best thing she could have done for her career.

Memorable Experience:

Her favorite experience was working in the startup world with Scoutmob. There she was able to build the brand and then focus on daily editorials of what was happening around the city. To further this on a larger scale she went to Airbnb and built brand around guest and host stories to show the human voice of a brand. She values being able to figure out all the foundational questions and start something from nothing.

How do you handle burnout?

  • Take a break, vacation
  • Find inspiration again, you can’t be a good creative on an empty tank 
  • Blocking your time be protective about time to yourself 
  • Find things exciting to you in daily life

Advice to Your 20-year-old self:

The advice Dunning offered directed students to preserve. She says that it is okay to fail and that you don’t have to get it right out of the gate. Her “failures” led her in a different path that ended up being a great fit for herself. She also recommends surrounding yourself with people who are leveling you up to show what really great creative looks like and in turn this will create a network of talented peers to help you get to your next step.