Posted by: loveleigh | April 8, 2009

Interview with a PR professional…

chik-fil-aEven though I’m only a sophomore in college and still have a lot to learn about public relations, I am becoming more and more excited about what type of career lies ahead of me. My public relations professor, Dr. Nixon, gave us an assignment to interview and PR professional. I was actually excited about this assignment (weird right?) because I realized that there are so many exciting jobs out there in the PR field and this would give me a chance to read about all of them, not only from my interview, but reading my classmates interviews as well.

I interviewed Christie Richardson, a marketing director for Chik-fil-A on St. Simons Island. Even though she does more marketing than PR,  I enjoyed listening to her answers. She had some very insightful information.

1.) How did you become interested in PR?

I have always enjoyed working with people and understanding forms of communication.
2.) What is your typical day/week like?

Each day is planned out monthly, I have 2 events that are hosted weekly in the store, family night and a spirit night fundraiser. Out of the store activities are based on events hosted in the community, I take the cow out into the community to invite people to dine with us. Making emotional connections with our customers is a big part of the Chick-fil-A culture so I send a lot of my time talking.

3.) How important is writing in your career?

Important, however I do not write a lot Chick-fil-A corporate has its own PR department so press releases are provide. My writing consists of weekly newsletters and emails to customers.

4.)What three tips would you have for someone entering the PR field?

  • Volunteer as much as possible
  • Do more than one internship
  • Network

5.) What do you do to keep current in the PR industry?

I mainly use the internet to keep up with current events, I also read the newspaper for opportunities in the community.

6.) Tell me about one of the projects you are most proud of within your career.

Becoming a part of the Chick-fil-A grand opening marketing team is one of the things I am most proud of the project consists of traveling to Chick-fil-A’s that are opening and spending a week opening the store. We work 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. for 5 days straight having a successful smooth opening with all the events is what I am proud of.

7.) What kind of people do you associate with on a daily basis?

Customer, Employees, Teachers, Parents, Tourist.. I come in contact with 100’s of people each day from all walks of life.

8.) Do you plan events? If so, what kind of events and typically what planning goes into those events?

Yes, I plan small and large events from small family nights in my store to grand openings on a national level. I plan every detail, from scheduling employees to every minor details. A lot of the time I am a one man show!

9.) Did your education prepare you for your career?

Communication classes really helped mold my skills of effectively communicating with others and understanding how decipher others communication skills.

After interviewing Christie, I feel like this is the right major for me to be in. I am minoring in marketing, so it was really neat to hear about her job and how she does a little bit of both, PR and marketing. There are so many different types of jobs that have to do with this field, which is really exciting but also a bit overwhelming. So I’m glad I got this opportunity to figure out what kind of job I would want and don’t want.


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