Member Profile: Clay J. Curtin
Meet our members! We will periodically feature veteran and new PRSA San Francisco members, and tell the story of their public relations career. If you would like to suggest a PRSA San Francisco member for a profile, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clay J. Curtin
Assistant to the City Manager
City of Menlo Park
Why did you join PRSA and what is one of your favorite benefits that the organization provides?
I joined PRSA after hearing about it from a peer in another agency. I really value the online forums, online training and Public Relations Tactics newsletter.
You have been in PR for over 5 years. Share a few ways it has changed over the years and where you see it going.
I feel like public relations is and will always be constantly changing. The growth in social media and video content, as well as the importance of brand management has been remarkable.
I think for those of us in the public sector, we need to embrace this change and focus on the opportunities it brings to our organization to provide more value for residents in our communities.
Tell us about one of your most memorable experiences during your career.
I remember an incident several years ago that occurred on a holiday and there was no PIO on duty. Our police chief was calling everyone in so that they could deal with the on-scene media and begin preparing a news release. By the time I received the call I was driving and about 100 miles away. Each of us rushed back to town as fast as we could to respond to the scene. I ended up arriving second and supporting my colleague who was already briefing the press. Moral of the story, be prepared and communicate with your team to ensure you’re ready for anything, anytime.
What’s your best advice to the new generation of PR professionals?
Keep up with technology, but don’t feel that you have to utilize every tool available every time, and always look for ways to impress upon your management the value of public relations/public information professionals. Skilled PR professionals are vital to every organization.