In both her personal and professional lives, Lisa Bigazzi Tilt mostly has moved to the beat of her own drum…or really, whatever instrument felt most appropriate at the time.
“I started playing the piano at age four, chorus soon thereafter, then began the clarinet in middle school and through high school, with some guitar along the way,” said Lisa. “Music has been such an important part of my life. I started my career in radio, then moved to music and event publicity. Today, when I need a distraction or something to change my mood, I’ll stick in my earpods and put on whatever song I’m feeling at the moment.”
Throughout her illustrious career as a PR professional, marketing strategist and executive coach, Lisa has succeeded by following where the tune guides her. In 2006, she opened Full Tilt Consulting, a Roswell-based marketing communications agency specializing in B2B, internal and executive communications and branding. Now, as PRSA Georgia’s 2022 President-Elect, Lisa is preparing to take one of her biggest stages yet, and the task of harmonizing a Chapter that remains the second largest in the nation but is still working to emerge from the challenges of the pandemic.
In our latest Chapter Chat, we catch up with Lisa to learn more about what’s in the “set list” for the year ahead, how a single dollar may define her presidency…and what vote she’d cast in a recurring prominent holiday season debate!
How did you initially become involved with PRSA Georgia?
When I started my business in 2006, the first thing I did was call Denise Grant and become a member…because she said so! And like so many others, Denise and Alicia Thompson (then President) immediately had a committee role lined up for me. I was asked to form our Chapter’s PR committee and took on thought leadership ghostwriting duties for five Chapter presidents. From there, I moved to the membership committee and ultimately served as its Board liaison before joining the executive leadership team. For me, it was always great to stay with the same committee for a few years and build out our ideas.
You’ve been a PRSA Georgia member for more than 15 years, and next year will assume the President role. What’s inspired you to not only remain involved, but take on greater responsibilities within the Chapter?
The PRSA Georgia community and my fellow members hands down are what have kept me coming back. Through PRSA Georgia, I have the opportunity to engage with smart, committed professionals who are different from the smart, committed professionals I have the pleasure of working with in my day job. I can count on them, every time. They aren’t just people I want to be a part of my life, but folks I can call when I have questions and who I know will support me. And it’s a community that sticks around. PRSA Georgia keeps me in touch with colleagues from 30 years ago (ahem) and in each decade since.
What are some of your goals for the Chapter in 2022?
My most basic goal is to make $1 (though I won’t be upset by more!). The pandemic has forced the Chapter significantly into the red these last two years, and I’ll consider it a huge success if we can finish 2022 in the black.
I also have the honor of leading the Chapter during our 70 th anniversary. It’s a significant milestone for our organization, and it will be a central theme to everything we do and how we define (or potentially redefine) who we are and what we offer.
What makes me the most confident heading into next year though is the extraordinary leadership we’ve put in place to run the Chapter – from the executive team and Board to our committee chairs and members. We have nearly 50 people on the leadership team alone. Everyone selflessly volunteers and has fun doing it. I’ve never experienced a group of people so dedicated and calm in the eye of the storm. While it may be “my year,” moving the Chapter forward will involve the contributions of every brilliant and energized mind.
You briefly mentioned the challenges the pandemic has brought to PRSA Georgia. What takeaways from the last two years do you feel will shape how you approach 2022?
I know that “the pandemic will make us stronger” is a cliché at this point, but I believe 2022 will be a year of testing and experimenting and seeing what sticks. Even though we’ve been around for 70 years as the leading Chapter in the national system, that doesn’t mean we can’t adjust our approach. My goal is to continue the great work and ideas of previous presidents and Boards, particularly Karen Cole and this year’s leadership team.
We’re in a unique spot in that 2022 will be more about emerging from the pandemic with a fresh perspective rather than having to “fix” things. As ill-fated as it’s been, the pandemic has created opportunities to make changes within the Chapter that we’ve considered for a while. My early discussions with the Board have centered on reevaluating and potentially revamping what we offer for professional development, how we connect with our community and how we celebrate each other.
One notable change (as conditions allow) will be a return to in-person events. I had so many conversations at the Awards Celebration in November where our members said how happy they were to be back among this group. That committee did an incredible job of creating one of the most memorable events I’ve been to in years.
As to be expected, we’ve also seen a decline in participation and engagement across our virtual events. We’re all suffering a bit of Zoom fatigue. We won’t put a number on how many in-person events we’ll hold in 2022 just yet, and we’ll be strategic and safe in how we move forward, but we’d like to start getting back together more frequently.
What other feedback have you received from Chapter members heading into your tenure?
That we miss seeing each other! To me, it’s how can we capture and deliver on that sense of community and togetherness that’s so important to us. That’s a big reason why we are taking a closer look at our professional development programming and rethinking how we can carry community through what we make available. It may involve figuring out how we have our most seasoned members connect with our newest members, or revisiting opportunities for connection that we haven’t capitalized on yet.
We also want to tailor professional development to where people are in their career and truly deliver something for everyone. Young professionals need different perspective than those coming into management in the middle of their careers, as well as those who have been doing this for a while and are looking at their teams and overall approach to communications differently.
One of our greatest successes from 2021 has been our DE&I (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) committee. Board liaison Rocio Rivera and her team have done an amazing job with integrating DE&I across our programming, membership and growth strategy.
What is your favorite PRSA Georgia memory from the last 15 years?
The Awards Celebration is a non-miss event for me. It’s so pivotal as both the culmination of another year of PRSA and that “once a year” opportunity to see so many friends and former colleagues. I have a memory from almost every single one I’ve attended, whether receiving Chapter or client Awards or most recently being called on to host at the last minute (sorry, Karen!).
You’ve noted your passion for music. What’s been on your “must listen” list lately?
My most recent go-to has to be Adele’s latest album (listening to it from beginning to end of course, as the lady herself requests!), but my tastes and genres vary greatly depending on what I’m feeling in the moment. On any given day I can jump between the Beatles, Post Malone and Enya without a second thought. It’s just nice to turn away from the screen and get lost in music.
What new hobbies did you pick up during the pandemic?
Even at the peak of the pandemic, I was pretty busy keeping a business afloat. But even with that going on, it was nice to take some time to slow down for a bit and reconnect with my family. If anything, I got back into meaningful reading. Previously, I would be so busy that I would start a paragraph and fall asleep. It was nice to take some time to not just read, but engage in what I was reading and try some new genres.
What is your go-to holiday movie?
I’ll always make time to watch “Love Actually.” As a family, we’ll watch “Elf” – we played it for the first time before Thanksgiving and we’ll probably watch it again a few more times. And somewhere along the way we’ll squeeze in “Die Hard”…which yes, 100 percent is a Christmas movie!
Since that’s one holiday hot take down…eggnog, are you in the “Ugh, that gross” or “Sure, pour me another glass” camp?
Pour me another glass. As long as it’s homemade and not from a carton…and maybe has a little bourbon in it!
What would you say to prospective members considering joining PRSA Georgia in 2022?
I would recommend that anyone who is interested, give us a try. We’ve seen recently the importance of connections. Through PRSA Georgia, you will meet a group of professionals who will have your back, offer advice if asked, be there for you no matter what and be the most consistent group of professionals you will encounter your entire career. I’m not overstating it because I’ve experienced it first-hand, and I can think of countless others across our Chapter who would say the same.