For this interview I chose to interview Amy Jacques. Amy is an associate editor of publications for Public Relations Society of America. She graduated from the University of Georgia for undergraduate and then went on to Syracuse to complete her master’s degree. The interview was done on the phone and she really focused on the importance of writing and technology in the Public Relations world.
- What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?) No week is typical. Last week I went to an event for PRSA. The silver anvil award is the highest award in PR and last week went to the meeting that the judge presented the PR cases of who should win the award. I was in charge of interviewing people. Then I also attended a conference for PR companies where they talked about PR and all the technology that was important.
- Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of. For my job I get to interview a lot of cool people at various media events and interview them about news and technology. I interviewed Meredith Vieira, Campbell Brown and Dany Levy who does “Daily Candy”. That kind of thing is very fun because get to meet people up close and have a conversation with them when usually you just see them on television.
- What do you do to keep current in the PR industry? Attend lots of networking events even if you just go to a concert or art opening. Every event has a pr person and meeting them and making that connection is very important. I read PR blogsevery day to see what people are saying about PR. I also read the New York Times and other newspapers. I even will read a lot of blogs just to see what people are saying. It is also important to attend several different conferences that people have that involve the heads of general media.
- What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR? How important writing is and how much you have to write all the time. When I was in school I never paid much attention to the PR writing classes or new reporting and writing, but what you learn in those classes is really what you do every day. I also wish I would have known more about technology and how important it is in the PR industry.
- How important is writing in your career? Extremely important. I have to write all the time. There are press releases and people corresponding constantly. Professional emails one must know how to write because they are important. People all day are sending emails back and forth. It is important also to know how to write for twitter. When writing on twitter is needs to be a tight headline that grabs people’s attention.
- What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR? One would to be ethical. Second make sure whenever you read or hear about new technology look it up online immediately because one must know. People will bring up new technology all the time in conversation and you need to be prepared on what they are talking about. Maintain good relationships with reporters in the media because they will keep in touch with you and that is a good connection to have.
- After interviewing this person, are you (the student, not the practitioner) more or less likely to want to have a career in PR? Why?
I am more likely to want to have a career in PR because she seems to have a lot of opportunities to do many great things. It is a busy business though. Our phone interview had to be done right after work because she even had an event to attend that night. It seems like many of the classes that we have taken as students really will help when we start to work at whatever jobs we may receive.
- When your company is hiring for an entry-level PR position, what makes a candidate stand out? Technology. All older people in PR want to hire new people who know and work with technology. The better the understanding of new technology the better chance one has to get a job because they want you to teach the older people all the new technology. This includes everything as podcasts and editing and using blogs, twitter, and facebook. They will even have people make a campaign about how these technologies can help in other PR campaigns.