Member Profile: Joel Andren
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.
Why did you join PRSA and what is one of your favorite benefits that the organization provides?
I joined PRSA because it's where PR people learn from each other and help make our profession better. PRSA's emphasis on professional development is an area that I'm very interested in. My company PressFriendly [http://www.pressfriendly.com] makes software to help us as PR people streamline and track media outreach. I'm very interested in helping PR pros get results and also follow best practices.
You have been in PR for over 15 years. Share a few ways it has changed over the years and where you see it going.
I started out in PR 15 years ago at a small agency in Seattle and then moved in-house and eventually transitioned to marketing leadership roles. As I started to dive deeper into PR in recent years, I was appalled at how people were still using the same tools I was using 15 years ago. I think we'll see new tools for PR pros utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning come to the forefront in coming years. This is going to make everyone's job easier.
Tell us about one of your most memorable experiences during your career.
It was a personal project that came in my first year working in PR. I was living in Seattle and a friend and I were huge baseball fans and, of course, loved the Mariners. Ken Griffey, Jr. had left the Mariners the previous year and we wanted to help the team keep their current star, Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod). Our "Stay-Rod" campaign received over 100 mentions in local and sports press and got us interviewed on SportsCenter. Alas, we weren't successful, but there's no crying in baseball.... or PR
What’s your best advice to the new generation of PR professionals?
Learn from the best and be true to yourself. PR can often times be overwhelming, but everyone has gone through the same issues before. There's always people to help you because they've had to deal with the same things. At the same time, as the new generation, you are bringing something new to the industry, yourself. Be true to your experiences and ideals and lead PR to a better place.