For this week, my Public Relations Applications class required for me to interview a Public Relations Professional. Many of the professionals I tried to get into touch with did not respond back, stop answering my calls, or stopped emailing me!
At first I though it was rude, but now I look at that kind of common response as a lesson of how busy PR pros are!
Luckily though, I had the honor of interviewing a fellow classmate who works in PR instead. Her name is Katie Reilly and following below are the interview questions I asked her and her responses to them.
Me: How did you know you wanted to pursue PR? When did you decide that that is what you’re going to pursue in college?
Katie: Honestly, I didn’t really decide I wanted to pursue PR. I wasn’t really aiming to do so. I’m more of a journalist/writer, so the reason I’m pursuing a Journalism/PR degree is more for the journalism than the PR. However, last semester when I actually started on campus (previously I had been taking online classes) I applied for a job in the Advancement Office, working under Dana Davis. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting into, I knew I’d be writing for Southeastern’s alumni magazine and I figured that it would be great experience. At first it was mainly just writing articles and such, but as I’ve done more office work I’ve been taking on more jobs and tasks that are more PR related. These past few months especially have been pretty much devoted to all sorts of PR work and I must admit that I have enjoyed it quite a bit, despite it not being what I expected. So, even though I’m still really focusing more on Journalism, I have definitely gained more appreciation and interest in PR as I have worked this job. And I wouldn’t mind continuing it even after I graduate.
Me:How are you involved in PR now?
Katie: 2. I work for Dana Davis in the advancement office here at Southeastern. Advancement office is basically a fancier way of saying PR department (I’ve come to realize). I do things like help promote events, help organize events, write press releases, edit thank you letters, help make sure that when there are important guests visiting that all their needs are met. There was one point where I was making quite a few phone calls trying to see if local churches would help promote the Forum. Also, there have been times where I have helped with alumni relations, such as visiting an alumni, so that they keep good connection with the university and maybe even support it. That is actually one of the reasons why the alumni magazine was started, to keep alumni in the loop and to help them feel like they’re still part of the SEU community. So, I write articles for that as well as do editing for it. There really is a lot of fostering relationships. And a lot of the jobs (including some little ones that people don’t really think about) are done with that focus in mind.
Me: What’s you’re favorite responsibility of what you do now?
Katie:I honestly probably like writing the articles the most. I really am a writer at heart. However, it is kind of fun to help keep the events on track and just run errands so that everything runs smoothly. (that’s writing the articles for the alumni magazine.
Me: What do you hope do with your PR/Journalism degree when you graduate here?
Katie: To be honest I’m not entirely sure. I do want to do freelance work because I like the freedom and think I would work well with that. However, I wouldn’t mind continuing work with Southeastern, maybe even become a permanent part of the advancement team, not sure if that would actually happen, but I wouldn’t mind that.
Me: Is there anyone/ anything from SEU that has helped you as you move toward your PR degree?
Katie: Dana Davis, my boss, has actually been a huge help. She has taught me so much, both in regards to PR and writing. She is an excellent editor and really is a go getter. It has been a learning process for both of us since she was relatively new at this as well, but I have learned quite a bit about what all is involved in PR from her. She really has been a great role model for me.
To read some of Katie’s work or get in touch with her, visit her blog at http://applyingpublicrelations.wordpress.com!