If you are on TikTok, you may have seen the hilarious video of a boy named Abe telling his mom what a “terrible sandwich” she packed for his lunch.
Ricki Weisberg is now known as the “terrible sandwich mom” online, but she is also a successful nonprofit publicist and CEO of her own public relations agency, Bird Hill PR.
After graduating college, Ricki got her start working for a nonprofit organization called Women for Women, which provides support to female survivors of war around the world. She worked as the assistant to the CEO and wrote pitches for television shows and other media to spread the word about the organization.
Ricki ended up landing the organization on the Oprah Winfrey show nine times, leading to a large amount of fundraising and awareness about what was happening to women around the world.
This is what drew Ricki to public relations — the power of communication and getting people to care about certain issues.
“I’m a work-aholic, so if I’m going to work this hard, I want to make a change in the world and put all of my energy and passion into making the world a better place,” Ricki says.
She worked at Women for Women for about seven years and went on to work in corporate public relations for several years.
Three years ago, Ricki decided to start her own agency, which provides public relation services for nonprofit organizations to help share their valuable work. Since then, she has built her team of seven employees, who are all women.
She had always wanted to start her own business and was able to use her background in marketing and public relations to do so. She loves the freedom and flexibility as well as being able to take care of her employees.
“I love paying women what they want [and] what they deserve, and giving them the freedom and flexibility to work and do what they want to do,” she says.
Ricki recently had one of her clients, International Medical Corps, featured in People Magazine — an accomplishment she is very proud of.
Ricki is also proud to say that her agency is transitioning to a four-day work week, giving herself and her employees more work-life balance.
Early in her business, Ricki struggled with the habit of taking on too many things at once. Once she found her niche — working with nonprofits — she was able to scale it down and have a specific focus.
“You’ve got to find that niche, and you’ve got to find that core service offering,” she says.
The pandemic was also a challenge for Ricki, as her son was home doing online school. She had to put her ambition on the backburner to be there for her son, and this was true for many working moms.
For Ricki, motherhood gives her “the permission to be silly and be present.” Abe’s happiness is the most important aspect of her role as a mother.
Ricki adores her son Abe, who has had a taste of internet fame the past few months. She says she has taken on a “mom-ager” role, using her PR skills in a different way and appearing on shows like Good Morning America and The Today Show.
Ricki and Abe’s video reached a million views in just one day, and it now has over 40 million views.
“The amount of laughter that it has created in the world gives me goosebumps,” she says.
Ricki will continue to grow her PR agency and make a change in the world.
“I can grow a big business and also be there for my kid,” Ricki says. “[I can be] a mom who is present physically and emotionally. I can do those things.”