Meet the Board Monday: Danielle Calhoun
March 11, 2019
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Here's our latest edition of ‘Meet the Board Mondays’, a series to help you get to know your 2019 Board of Directors. In this installation, we bring you Director of Professional Development, Danielle Calhoun. In her day job, she's Director of Platform Strategy at Weber Shandwick.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Danielle Calhoun, and I’ve been working in public relations for more than 10 years. I’ve worked with everything from the government, to Spanish wine regions (yes, whole regions, you read that right), to health tech, to razor blades. And my favorite part of my job is working with our internship program and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee to make connections and create opportunities for recent graduates.
What’s the reason you joined and serve PRSA?
I’m passionate about helping unlock the mysteries of landing a job in PR if it’s your dream, especially for first-generation college students. I’m Latina and the first in my immediate family to graduate college, and I remember feeling perplexed at the end of college about transitioning what I’d learned into landing a job with one of the top firms in the country. I joined PRSA to connect with other people with a similar passion to drive our industry forward, and find opportunities to help younger professionals get where they want to go in their careers. (Spoiler: I figured out how to get in with my dream firm, and I’ve been with Weber Shandwick for nearly six years now.)
What are your specialties in your personal and professional life?
At work, I’m a platform strategist with Weber Shandwick. That means I look at all the different channels where companies can tell their stories, and work across the integrated media specialties to make sure every story is told in the right place, at the right time, to the right audience. Before that, I worked in earned media and graphic design. So, a little bit of everything.
In my personal life, I’m a puzzle master figuring out how to make my favorite recipes with no gluten/soy/nuts/egg/sugar/dairy (I mostly eat air, it seems), am an amateur accordion player, and am slowly re-learning sewing skills deep in my memory.
What advice would you give other PR pros?
The best advice I have is to stay curious, and keep pursuing whatever you find interesting in our industry. PR is such a large field now – what used to predominately be media-relations is now a world of social, digital, graphics, employee engagement, web, advocacy, copywriting, video production (and, of course, media relations). So, if you majored in one area, but a year into your job you want to try something new, raise your hand. Or if you see a class about video production but you’ve “never done video,” just try it. All of these skills will pop up somewhere in your career, and it’s so much more fun if you follow the things that actually interest you.