Janese Silvey is a story specialist/strategist for Stephens College.
One year ago this month, I quit my job as higher education reporter for the Columbia Tribune and my 14-year career in journalism for an adventure into the unknown world of marketing and communications.
In hindsight, I had no idea what I was getting into. In fact, for years, I asked, “What do PR people do all day, anyway?”
One year later, I can answer that question.
First, though, I will admit it. I miss reporting. I miss meeting people from the community. I miss the adrenaline of chasing down sources and bringing information to light. I miss working in an environment that’s as fast-paced as I am.
That said, I don’t regret making the switch. This college is incredible.
So what do I do all day? I can’t speak for all public relations and marketing professionals, of course, but I can tell you what I do in the marketing office at Stephens.
Over the past year, I’ve:
- Bragged about our students through social media, press releases, emails, etc. A lot. They’re worth bragging about. They’re professional and confident and talented. I mean, we have fashion students winning awards in major design competitions, graphic design students rebranding Columbia Regional Airport, equestrian students bringing home top honors, biology students doubling up on research for the fun of it. I could go on. And on. And on.
- Met some amazing Stephens alumnae doing amazing things all over the world. Got to interview Stephanie Beatriz, who’s making a splash on Fox’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and so many other amazing women for our various alumnae publications. A woman who couldn’t have children so she helped 47 other families have children. The president of the American Quarter Horse Association. Columbia residents don’t realize how successful our alumnae are because many of them relocate, but trust me — they’re doing amazing things.
- Marveled at Stephens President Dianne Lynch. I knew she was awesome — she’s one of the main reasons I took this job. But I had no idea just how much she does for this college. She goes to every single event. She takes time for every student who wants to meet with her. She makes things happen on this campus, from building improvements to providing new types of opportunities and experiences for our students.
- Taken an online Master in Strategic Leadership course from Stephens. I learned so much, not only about how interactive and exciting online classes are but also about leadership and myself. I plan to take more.
You might have noticed that I’ve provided links to back up my thoughts. That’s because I really did miss reporting. So I also launched a news blog dedicated to Stephens.
Because, really. You can take the reporter out of the newsroom, but …
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