After a trek through the South Pacific and just before a swing over to Europe, Andy Polansky ’83 took a breather to sit down and talk with us about his role as the president of Weber Shandwick, a leading public relations agency with more than 80 offices in major media, business, and government capitals around the globe.
Andy started out as a sportswriter for The Trentonian, moved on to become a reporter for the Bucks County Courier Times, and then worked for The Princeton Packet after graduation. But soon afterwards he became attracted to the field of public relations because it connected his passion for writing with the business world.
“A public relations agency is a dynamic environment, and I’ve had opportunities to meet and work with interesting people at some of the world’s most admired companies,” he said.
Interestingly, Andy has been with the same company throughout his whole career as a PR professional, though the firm he started with eventually merged with other companies. Today, Weber Shandwick is the largest global public relations firm with clientele that includes an assortment of Fortune 500 companies like MasterCard, Microsoft, American Airlines, Pfizer and General Motors.
With about half his time dedicated to traveling to the firm’s global offices and meeting with multinational clients, Andy has invested a strong interest in aligning communications strategies with cultural sensitivities. He has traveled to 47 states and more than 25 countries, including some of his favorite cities like Cape Town, Sydney, and Beijing. “Adapting the communications to the local culture and media environment is always a key to success,” Andy said.
Andy’s passion for writing and media stems back to his days at TSC, where he served as the managing editor for The Signal. This is where he met his wife Maria A. Grasso Polansky ’83, also a communications major and the advertising manager at The Signal. The couple recently dedicated a brick in the Alumni Grove to their meeting at the College.
Despite his heavy travel schedule, you can often find Andy on the sidelines watching his sons Jason and Steven play lacrosse. He also enjoys skiing, boating, and traveling with his family.