Interview with a Public Relations Professional

Anna Lipseyrecently interviewed one of my former Phi Mu sorority sisters, Anna Lipsey. Anna is currently working as an event specialist and in August is going to attend law school. She is one of my very close friends and I do look to her for advice in many aspects of my life one being PR. I can easily relate to Anna in a sense that she did graduate from GSU with the same degree as I will. I chose Anna because I knew her insight would be very honest and helpful. I hope others can relate to her just as I can.

 

 *What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?
 A typical week involves meeting with potential and actual clients, menu tastings, developing contracts for each planned event and carrying out each event. Every week involves different issues and problems; the more experience you get the easier it is to deal with each new issue.

*Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.

 I do a lot of weddings, so each time a bride is truly happy with her wedding day I feel like I’ve done my job exceptionally well. It’s rewarding to have someone thank you for making the most important day of her life exactly as she imagined it.

 *How important is writing in your career?

Writing is extremely important in my every day work; it comprises about 80% of my interaction with vendors, clients, and members of the events team. The quality of your writing in these seemingly simple interactions makes a huge impression on those with whom you communicate.

*What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK. The more people you know the better. In the communications field, this is undoubtedly THE most important aspect of what you do. The right contacts can make or break any project.

2.Be realistic about where you will be after graduation. You will NOT be the newest member of Britney Spears’ PR team. You will barely make enough money to survive and there will be a million other highly qualified college grads competing with you for your dream job. (This is where the networking part comes in 😉

3.Complete as many internships as possible. Don’t spend the summer laying out at the pool–work towards what you want to do after graduation. The more real life work experience you have, the bigger the edge you have over those you’re competing with for jobs.

 

*What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

 As an event specialist, my vendors are responsible for offering the best, most current services. I rely on them a great deal for new trends in events.

 

*What was it like trting to get a job in the PR field?

 I wish I would have known how difficult it is to find a job. Unfortunately, the economy has made it nearly impossible for people in the marketing/advertising/PR field to find jobs. Recent graduates are in an especially difficult position because most jobs require at least 2 years experience in public relations. Again, NETWORKING is required to land the few jobs that exist in the field.

*Did your education prepare you for working in PR? How

My education did prepare me for my current job. GSU did an excellent job preparing me from an educational standpoint, but they did nothing to prepare me for the “real world” of PR. It is a competitive field where few jobs exist and the ones that I qualify for are low-paying and do not allow me to make the most of the PR skills I possess. Most of the PR graduates from my classes have decided to go back to school for degrees in a different field (i.e. teaching, law, business) due to the difficulty in finding jobs in PR.

 

As a PR student, I do want to continue my studies in the PR field. I feel as if I could do well in the Pr profession. I have learned a lot sense I have been at GSU. There are many things I still want to learn, and if think I am a very hard worker. I am excited about being a Pr professional one day. I know it might be hard to get a job, but I’m hopping that will get better. The economy is hard for everyone right now, so any job that I receive I will be happy with

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