In January 2009 I stepped away from the career I loved and had never imagined leaving. After working for more than a decade as a full-time reporter covering arts, entertainment and news across metro Detroit, I watched newspapers, magazines and media outlets shrink and collapse around me. I knew I had to find a new way to use my writing skills and media experience. I had worked as a freelance copywriter for Publicity Works in the past and had a great working relationship with both Lisa Maas, the president of Publicity Works, and PR Manager Jim Miller.
The moment I announced I was leaving journalism and looking to make the move into public relations, they were both very supportive. I was hired on in a temporary capacity for a position that quickly led to my current full-time job as an account executive and content manager. I hope I was able to bring a reporter's perspective to our work, a sort of insider's understanding of deadlines, newsroom culture and story angles. I also made the move at a key time as social media began to take hold and transform in the industry. On my first week of work, Lisa suggested I read David Meerman Scott's The New Rules of PR and Marketing. With so much new to explore in the realm of social media, I was really drawn to the myriad of ways we are able to help share our clients' messages.
At Publicity Works I was encouraged to jump in with both feet and learn the PR ropes from every angle. I still spend much of my days writing – though now it is more often in the form of new business proposals, press materials and correspondence with reporters or clients. I love the fact that, as in my previous career, my days are never predictable. There is always a new challenge to tackle. We work with a wide range of clients – from restaurants to fashion taste-makers, non-profits and unions to financial experts. The approach changes to suit the needs of each one. I'm constantly researching some new topic. I've spent mornings looking on as one of our chef's cook on television; days running around Fashion in Detroit runways to connect reporters with designers; and evenings supporting charitable events we've promoted. The work is fast-paced, interesting and unpredictable.
To keep my inner-journalist happy, I write a blog and freelance whenever there is time and opportunity to do so. I've found that as long as I'm doing work that I believe can make a difference, or shed light on something wonderful happening in the metro Detroit area, then I've accomplished something worthwhile. I feel lucky to continue to have that opportunity each day.