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Deirdre Breakenridge is the CEO of Pure Performance Communications, a company that fuses strategic communications with innovative technology to impact business communications from consumer interest to brand loyalty and advocacy. Deirdre has been in PR and marketing for over 25 years, helping senior executives in mid-and-large organizations better communicate with their stakeholders.

Deirdre also does reputation management and social media relations. She’s a LinkedIn Learning instructor and was an Adjunct Professor at NYU, and she has written many books including Answers for Modern Communicators, and her latest one book, Answers for Ethical Marketers.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Deirdre Breakenridge shares the inspiration behind the FEEL First Test and how the test is structured
  • Deirdre talks about how the FEEL First Test influenced her approach as a communicator
  • A case study of the FEEL First approach at work
  • What does it mean to be a relationship agent?
  • How Deirdre helped Richard Bistrong rebuild and rebrand his reputation
  • Common mistakes people make when connecting with influencers and what you can do to build a better connection
  • Deirdre shares her outlook on the future of communications and the role of artificial intelligence in communication
  • Deirdre’s favorite books and podcasts

In this episode…

As humans, we want empathy, understanding, kindness, ethics, good judgment, and love. When we add these elements to how we communicate and market our products and services to people, these can positively affect people and influence consumer behavior.

However, not many business leaders know how to add these attributes to their communication and marketing process. Deirdre Breakenridge, CEO of Pure Performance Communications, has created the FEEL First Test to help leaders ignite their engagement. It begs them to ask questions about facing their fears, communicating with empathy, using ethics and good judgment, their love for their mission.

But how exactly can the FEEL First approach help businesses improve their outreach and how effective is it?

On this episode of Inspired Insider, Dr. Jeremy Weisz talks with Pure Performance Communications CEO, Deirdre Breakenridge, about the FEEL First Test and how people can transform the way they communicate and connect with others. Deirdre shares the data and inspiration behind the FEEL First Test, the work she did with Richard Bistrong, and her insights on what communication may look like in the future. Stay tuned.

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Episodes mentioned:

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Episode Transcript

Jeremy Weisz

Dr. Jeremy Weisz here, Founder of where I talk with inspirational entrepreneurs and leaders and I’m excited for today’s guest. And I need to have and I think everyone needs more women leaders. So this is part of the top women leaders series and I checked out other episodes Andrea Heuston Artitudes Design talks about her company, building her company over decades. And she also talks about some of most tragic things in her life and what resulted in them. And Dame Stephanie Shirley talked about her book, Let It Go, and how she was a child refugee at age five because her parents wanted to protect her from the Holocaust. And later on, she ended up giving away over 67 million pounds to charitable organizations. So check out that episode, her book is fantastic. And before I introduce you to today’s guest, this episode is brought to you by Rise25, which I co-founded my business partner John Corcoran, and at Rise25 we help businesses give to and connect to their best relationships through running your podcast. So we help people we’re kind of the easy button for a podcast, we help with the strategy and all the backend execution. You know, Deirdre, for me, the number one thing in my life is relationships. And I’m always looking at how can I give to my best relationships and over the past 12, over 12 years of podcasting, it’s allowed me to profile my friends, thought leaders and companies that I really love and I believe in and share them with the world. So if you’re thinking about launching or rerun a podcast and you want you have questions, you can email us go to and check out more. And also a big shout out to SEMrush, you know, Deirdre I use SEMrushfor research, and you know, you can run your SEO, PPC, social media marketing with 40 plus advanced tools I don’t I probably use like, like a fifth of it, or 5% of it. And all you have to do is enter in a domain. And you basically know your competitors, traffic sources, the ranking social media results and so much more. And they have more than 6 million users. And you know, one in four fortune 500 companies is an SEMrush client actually. And so they gave me and I don’t I don’t get anything if you sign up for this, by the way, but they were kind enough to give me a you get 30-day free trial of their Guru account with no credit card required. That’s typically $200 a month. And you can go to, and I looked up Deirdre you know, in her website, and they have over 44,000 backlinks. And what I love about it is I can see what are some of the most index pages on your site, so that I should be researching it for the interview and one of the most indexes social listening when AI takes over. So I go there and like okay, I need to check out this because that’s a very highly index page on your website. So everyone should check out that that post as well. So without further ado, let me introduce today’s guest today we have Deirdre Breakenridge, she’s CEO of Pure Performance Communications. She’s been in PR and marketing for over 25 years helping senior executives in mid and large organizations with their communications and to their stakeholders. She helps executive communications reputation management, social media relations, and so much more. And she was an adjunct professor at NYU and she also is in LinkedIn learning instructor. So she actually does courses for LinkedIn. And she’s written countless books, check them out, like Answers for Modern Communicators, and her latest one is called answers for ethical marketers. Deirdre thanks for joining me.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Thank you so much. It’s great to be with

Jeremy Weisz

you. This is where I get to stop talking and use to talk. So, um, you know,

Deirdre Breakenridge

wonderful introduction.

Jeremy Weisz

Um, you know, there’s an amazing case story that I’m going to have you share. But I want to start off with Feel First test, I took the Feel First test, and I’ll be talking about what the Feel First test is, and just start the insert. I think it’s really powerful about the inspiration behind the Feel First test.

Deirdre Breakenridge

Thank you so much for bringing this up. Because it’s a story the inspiration is a tough story to share, but there’s so much purpose and hope behind it. So after I think it’s like, actually 30 years now, in PR and marketing. I’ve always been focused on strategy in communication, and something happened in my world. Our daughter, my stepdaughter, Noel, left us she passed away And it was sudden, and it was tragic. And when that happens, you can only imagine what a family goes through. And I realized