Member Profile: Lauren Pitcher
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Associate Director of Marketing and Communications
Making Waves Foundation
Why did you join PRSA and what is one of your favorite benefits that the organization provides?
I joined PRSA to connect with and learn from other public relations professionals. My favorite benefit of PRSA are the trainings either via webinar, workshop or conference to remain up-to-date on the latest in the industry and sharpen my skills.
You have been in PR for almost a decade. Share a few ways it has changed over the years and where you see it going.
I have been in PR for over nine years. There has been a huge shift in the industry with the growth of technology. Many of the traditional news outlets I use to work with are no longer in existence and we’re now focusing on blogs and podcasts. This means we have to be more innovative with how we pitch stories to the media. Gone are the days of just emailing a press release and following up with a phone call. Some of my best stories have resulted from sending a tweet to a reporter or even meeting a reporter an event then informally pitching an idea. Public relations will continue to evolve and practitioners will need to have a more expansive skill set to stay ahead. Also, with constant fluctuations in the economy it will be critical for practitioners to be able to be a one-stop shop not requiring for outside PR agency support.
Tell us about one of your most memorable experiences during your career.
One of my most memorable experiences was early in my career coordinating my first press tour. I booked four interviews for the first day in San Francisco. I was also responsible for driving the spokesperson to each interview, introducing to the reporter and taking notes to follow up on. I did not account for adequate time to find parking in San Francisco between each interview; so we barely made it to each in enough time. After the last interview we walked to my car only to find it had been towed! I was in such a rush to get the spokesperson inside on time that I did not check the street signs. Although I was thoroughly embarrassed, I learned so many lessons that day. Plus, I discovered I found a career that I loved and was motivated to hone my craft.
What’s your best advice to the new generation of PR professionals?
My best advice to the new generation of PR professionals is look for opportunities to work or volunteer in PR within causes you are passionate about. It will make your career so much more meaningful and fulfilling. Secondly, don’t be afraid to make mistakes because the best lessons sometimes come after messing up (as I noted in my memorable experience above).