Garland Stansell, APR, is a 32-year student of communications. He has experience in the corporate, social services and healthcare settings. Garland is a passionate advocate for children’s health and safety, his family, epilepsy causes, the arts and PRSA.

What was your first PR Job?

My senior year of college I did a two semester internship for a mortgage banking firm and they subsequently created a position for me. I had the fancy title of assistant director of corporate communications. It was basically handling the employee communications.

What is the part of your job that you enjoy the most?

I am energized by work that is more than just a job. I love that I work for a Children’s Hospital that has such a noble mission. I also enjoy the fact that no two days are the same and that I have the opportunity to interface with every area of our health system in ways that strategically make us better.

What would you do if you were could not have a job in the communications field? 

I think I would like to be a food and travel critic. I like to experience new places, new foods and to share those with others.

Why did you choose to be involved in PRSA National Leadership?

My involvement with PRSA began in college with PRSSA. I was a student officer and helped to start our university’s agency. I began service in PRSA as a way of giving back to the industry and welcome opportunities to be a part of setting strategy for where the society is heading and setting the stage for future leaders.

What is the most important quality of a leader?  

Listening. As PR professionals we like to talk. It is important that a leader listens to what is being said and what is not being said. The more we listen the more we learn. You know, there really is something to be said for that two-way communications model.

What are your thoughts on the future of PR?

I think we will continue to see Public Relations and other communications disciplines integrate more and more. It will be necessary for communications professionals to have a broad understanding of all the disciplines and how each can strategically combine to meet the needs of our organizations and publics. I am also greatly encouraged by the young professionals in the industry and the students in the pipeline. I think our future is in good hands.