How to make it in America? Just add Israel

What’s the best way to succeed as an aspiring Jewish business leader in America? Great marketing and a strong connection to Israel, that’s according to Pennsylvania-based PR guru DeeDee Rudenstein.

She has spent 14 years in the business and is the founder and CEO of Propel Strategic Communications, who specialize in marketing and branding for tech start-ups and healthcare companies.

Philadelphia PR Guru DeeDee Rudenstein
Philadelphia PR Guru DeeDee Rudenstein

Rudenstein previously lived and worked in Jerusalem between 2003 and 2007, with her first two children being born there. She believes connecting to the Startup nation is pivotal for future executives.

Rudenstein said: “Israel is a huge tech hub and there are so many brilliant people, entrepreneurs, research and ideas coming out of there. Also it’s really a country set up in a way to encourage entrepreneurs and help them to flourish, so I would definitely say it’s beneficial to be connected on a professional level. There’s so much coming out of Israel that you have to tap into it. You’d be surprised how many products, or parts of products that we use here in America were developed in Israel.

“Also on a personal level, I love Israel – I have a strong connection to the country and I really believe in Israel as the Jewish homeland.”

Rudenstein will be speaking on April 7 to AlmaLinks Philadelphia chapter, offering their members advice on how to increase market share and brand reach through use of both the press and social media.

She said: “After hearing about what Almalinks does and meeting the chapter President Brad Hoffman, I  was excited by their mission and wanted to get involved. Also I love working with startup companies. That’s my passion and I’ve been doing it for a very long time now.

She added: “I’ve also worked with a lot of Fortune 500 companies but what I love specifically about startups is that you see them grow from something very small into something large. I think that’s really special and if there’s all these entrepreneurs in my hometown that I can help go towards their long-term goals, it’s exciting and that’s what I love about my job. As a PR person you are really pivotal in using the media to get them international attention and help them grow.

“I’ve probably worked with over 50 clients in Israel over the years.Recently I’ve helped several companies there in the tech field to get a lot of international attention. That’s our goal, to take companies that no-one knows about and give them presence. The key is to understand your consumers’ wants and needs so you can position yourself to fill that space.”

Rudenstein was a English Communications major with a Journalism concentration at Yeshiva University, she initially wanted to be a news anchor before switching over to regular journalism and then landing a job in PR after graduating.

She said: “I think having a journalism knowledge base makes it easier to do my job because one of the keys for marketing or public relations is being able to get into the mind of your audience. I understand what the reporters want so I can make sure I’m giving them the right stories.”

“I got my first job working in PR 14 years ago before starting my own business in 2015. I’ve been privileged to work with and learn tremendously from really fantastic people, and now I have a great team to help me at Propel.

”One key piece of advice I’d give is that good PR is huge, it can make or break a company. You can have a great idea or product but if nobody knows about it you’re not going to go far. You can’t attract investors or customers if no-one knows who you are and good PR can really help a company become well known on the international level.”

”You have to establish yourself and understand your market base and exactly who they are. You also have to get the right marketing to reach that base. If you know who your audience is and what they need – you have the potential to go really far.

“I think AlmaLinks mission is fantastic; encouraging young entrepreneurs to get closer to Israel and give back to Israel is something that really speaks to me.”

AlmaLinks is a global network of  dedicated to increasing the connection between diaspora business leaders and Israel; with 11 chapters and over 500 members worldwide.

Philadelphia AlmaLinks chapter President Brad Hoffman said: “We are very privileged to bring DeeDee’s years of experience to our members. We focus on providing value to everyone who is a part of AlmaLinks; from those who are fresh out of college and hungry for success to senior executives who can add to the pool of connections being a member of AlmaLinks brings.”

DeeDee Rudentstein will be speaking to the Philadelphia chapter of AlmaLinks on April 7.

About the Author
Carmit Sapir Weitz is an Israeli journalist and writer for many national publications including Maariv. She is Media Director for AlmaLinks, working to bring new stories of the Start-up Nation to the world.
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