During one of the Outreach sessions at the Winter Workshop, EcoCAR 2 Outreach Coordinators (OCs) participated in a panel discussion with public relations professionals to learn about the career paths they chose as well as industry tips for the students as they consider their own career choices. There was a good amount of diversity amongst the panelists, who represented careers in PR agency, corporate PR and government, and there were even a few who started on the media side and moved into communications.
- Andy North, Corporate and Microcontroller Public Relations Manager, Freescale Semiconductor
- Carol Hanko, Senior Vice President, Lois Paul and Partners in Austin
- Aaron Kellogg, Senior Media Consultant, Greenough in Boston
- Kimberly DeClark, Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions Communications and Logistics Manager, Argonne National Laboratory
Each of the speakers spent years working in the industry and shared their professional development stories and discussed the numerous differences in PR careers. They also touched on the various areas PR practitioners specialize in, including marketing, media relations, speech writing, employee communication and public affairs. Given the technical background of several panelists, there was ample discussion about how to take complicated technical information and convey it to the media – something OCs are challenged with every day.
One coordinator commented, “I really thought I always wanted to work in corporate PR, but after this panel, I’m seriously considering looking at agency work instead.” A big thank you to our PR professionals on the panel. Your insight is helping shape future communicators!