Amy believes you should "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has” as said by Margaret Mead. In her 30+ years of public relations work in the non-profit sector, she has seen it time and time again and it continues to inspire her.
What was your first PR Job?
I worked in an agency in Columbia, South Carolina in the early 1980s and my first public relations account was the National Broiler Council – all things chicken. I worked with food editors from across the country to help promote chicken recipes and helped manage the annual National Chicken Cooking Contest (top prize $10,000). I even tested recipes for this position so I’ve eaten chicken every way you can think of!
What is the part of your job that you enjoy the most?
I currently work in a hospital foundation charged with raising money and promoting different areas of the hospital - i.e. the children’s hospital and the cancer centers. My department plans and implements fundraising events including a golf tournament, silent auction and a walk/race. The most rewarding part of my job is meeting the patients and their families at these events and realizing that the work I do makes a difference.
What would you do if you were could not have a job in the communications field?
I would probably be involved in event planning in some other way – employee events, weddings, trade shows. Event planning seems to have followed me my whole career so I can’t imagine it not being a part of what I do. If we’re talking dream job, however, I would live at the beach and write novels.
Why did you choose to be involved in PRSA National Leadership?
PRSA has been a huge help to my career through professional development and networking for many years. Naturally, I wanted to do something to serve the organization. I thought perhaps my management and event planning experience could be helpful so I volunteered at the chapter level, then the district level, and was then encouraged to run for the national board. I’ve enjoyed every minute of the robust debates and thoughtful consideration of programs and services that could make PRSA even better for its members.
What is the most important quality of a leader?
Let those you lead shine. Give them guidance and direction, but then step back and let them make decisions. Give them all the credit when things go right and have their back when things go wrong. Helping others grow in this way is the most rewarding part of leadership.
What are your thoughts on the future of PR?
Technology is changing daily in the practice of public relations and it’s important to keep up so we can best communicate with all audiences. The basic notion of relationship-building and story-telling, however, is still at the core of what we do and we need to continue to hone those skills while we learn and grow in other areas.