My public relations professional was Vivian Thompson. She is one of my very close friends and (considering I am an older student returning back to school) we grew up together. She went to Ole Miss, and then worked for Cox Media. She just recently moved back here to Statesboro and has built and started her own venue for entertainment rentals. She named it ‘The Belle House’ and it is absolutely beautiful. You can choose to rent it out for family functions, weddings, or parties. She is the only one managing it right now so even though she is no longer with Cox she is still handling PR and marketing everyday with getting this new business up and running. During the interview we choose to focus more on her experience with Cox. I met with Viv on Tuesday out at The Belle House, and it was so great to catch up with her!
She started out by reiterating the fact that no week is ever really the same, but last week started out pretty normal. She checked emails, voicemails and her calendar to see where she stood with my clients. The calendar showed that she already had 4 appointments during the week. This was to discuss campaigns with her existing clients. Emails and voicemails were more of the same. It was a busy week of face to face appointments with folks that wanted to further discuss or begin discussions about Cox’s services and their benefits.
Working with a partner at Cox Media, she was assigned to two of the Butler dealerships in the Macon area to put together an effective PR campaign. Not only was it her company, but the Butler enterprise was looking at all other competition (i.e. tv, newspaper print, radio) and in the end would only choose one campaign to spend their entire budget with. It was her job discuss with the owners their goals and objectives and to conduct a CNA (customer needs assessment). This is an in depth Q&A session that allows her as the consultant to get a better idea of the company and their target audience. After learning more about what their needs were, the next step was to conduct research to decide the networks the commercials would be placed and what times they should air. She used all resources at her disposal to conduct this research. It gave us a better idea of who they were gearing the campaign towards and the type of consumer they would be speaking to. After putting everything together…summary of meeting, research, findings, actual schedule, she and her colleague went back to present the campaign to the panel. It was later that afternoon that they found out they would be using her and the company’s services.
To keep current in the PR field, she told me that there are numerous ways. Her examples and things that she does to stay current are reading trade journals, joining the Chamber of Commerce, hosting event such as Business after hours, creating a Facebook page, and being active in the community are all effective ways to stay up to date. She is using a lot of her local contacts right now also to get her new business off the ground by hopefully using word of mouth too.
One thing she would have liked to have known before she started her career in PR is all the different opportunities that are available as far as a career is concerned. There really are a bunch of different directions you can go.
Writing is huge part of her day to day activities. Communication is a vital role in public relations. TOMA…Top of mind awareness is very important for the client. The consumer should know who the client is and should think of them first when the public needs a good or service. This cannot happen without writing and other communication.
I really enjoyed my time catching up and getting some advice and pointers in the PR field from Viv. This interview also opened a new door for me. She asked if I want to help her with The Belle House, so of course I jumped at the opportunity! So if you know of anyone needing beautiful space to rent out for any type of event in Statesboro, GA send them our way!
Check out the website! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Statesboro-GA/the-belle-house/127873113898045