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PR Professional Interview

I recently conducted an interview of a PR practitioner.   Read on for the interview!
The person that I interviewed was Cari.  She has worked for two marketing and communications firms, Simantel and Landers & Partners.  She is involved in the marketing aspect of PR.  I found this person through extended networking with my friends.  We conducted the interview over the phone.
What’s a typical week like?

Everyday is filled with new deadlines and unforeseen challenges so it’s hard to say there is ever a typical week. However, if I had to pin point some consistency I would say following up with people and communicating with the client consumes the majority of my day/week.

Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.
I worked on a project for the Peoria Zoo in Illinois. The zoo was in desperate need for renovations and expansion. It was our job to get the awareness message out to the public. We created a logo and mascot (among other branding elements) and I got to be the mascot for an event. We were able to have fun with this campaign as well as exceed the fund raising goal. 

What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?
Our office keeps staff current by subscribing to several industry publications and always doing research on other companies in the same field. Of course, you can always do classroom training but there’s nothing like watching your competitors. 

What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
I wish I would have know that this is a 24/7 career field. You never stop thinking of new and innovative ways to do the same old thing. If you aren’t careful, things that used to be entertaining – radio, TV, movies, billboards, magazines etc – can become work so you never rest. 

How important is writing in your career?
Writing is paramount in my career! Whether you are communicating to the client or communicating about the client you have to be well spoken/written. Proposals, commercials, publication articles and press releases – almost everything I do can be linked back to writing. Learning to write in a variety of different styles can be the thing that makes your company unique and more desirable as a PR representative. 

What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?
Three tips –
Be flexible while still having structure. Things never go as planned but almost always work out. It’s important to put a plan in place but adjust the plan when needed without having a breakdown. 

Know about your client/project on a detailed level. Read up on the history of where they were, where they are and where they want to go. The more information you absorb, the better you can relate a genuine message from the voice of your client.

Always be teachable. Listen and watch the people and world around you. You never know where you will draw inspiration from for a current or future campaign!

After interviewing this person, I am more likely to be more involved in PR in my career.  I am a theology major, so I will have to do some PR in my career, and after speaking to this person, I am more inclined to take on more of the PR aspects.
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