The Public Relations professional I interviewed was Lindsey Rivers. Mrs. Rivers is the Communications Specialist, at Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia. She attended Berry College where she earned a BA in Communications with concentrations in Electronic Media, and a minor in English. I met Lindsey through my older sister. We met for lunch, where I conducted the face-to-face interview.
Mrs. Rivers’ said that her position is unique because she works for a small non-profit organization. She said that there is no typical week because everyone does many other positions as needed. Her job varies drastically between weeks and months; however, on a regular basis, she creates flyers, sends news releases, writes press releases and PSA’s about events and initiatives, and designs a monthly news letter. She is most proud about an event the Girl Scouts holds every year called Women of Distinction. At the event they honor seven women and six young women in the community at a fundraising luncheon. Mrs. Rivers is solely in charge of all PR for the event and partners with local TV stations that run 15 commercials the month before the event as well as alert all media about the event. She said, “This is the most rewarding part of my job and I love being a part of it.”
Although Mrs. Rivers is not a part of any professional organizations, she keeps current with the PR industry by subscribing to several Marketing and PR magazines and on slow days she searches the internet for new trends. She said that her education did prepare her for her job because being a Communications major she was able to take classes in all fields of communication. Writing is an extremely important part of her job but she also said that speaking skills are equally important. Lindsey does a lot of graphic design, so she uses technology every day. She also said that it has become important for her to stay abreast of marketing trends through the changes in technology.
When entering the field, Mrs. Rivers wishes she would have known how competitive the field of PR is. She was surprised at how hard non-profits have to work to get their information out there. Especially due to the challenges the media is facing, it is a lot harder to get “something for nothing”. She said that she is consistently surprised with the stereotypes that surround the Girl Scouts of America. These include that they support Planned Parenthood, as well as lesbianism, and are only about cookies and crafts, which are all untrue. She has taken it on as a personal mission to promote the truth of their organization.
When the Girl Scouts are hiring for an entry-level field PR position, they look for confidence and knowledge of the organization. Here are three tips Mrs. Rivers offered to someone entering the field:
- Believe in your product. How can you sell something that you don’t’ believe in? People know when you are faking it.
- Always be prepared for interviews, writing assignments, etc… I have been caught off guard several times when a little extra time preparing could have prevented that.
- Remember to thank those who help you sell your product. The more grateful and kind you are, the more willing they are to help.