Say hello to another one of Clairemont’s summer “E” interns, Erin Kelley! She joins us as a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is a J School student. Already, Erin has shown us what she can do, and without further ado, we’d like to share this interview with you (no, we did not mean for that to rhyme – it just did).
So Erin, you’re from Winston-Salem. How long have you lived in North Carolina?
My entire life…so almost 21 years.
That’s a long time.
Yeah, and my family has always stayed in the same house, even. We never moved.
Sheesh. You’re quite the NC lover. Is that why you love UNC so much?
So, about that. How did you decide to study PR in college, anyway?
I declared public relations as my major the day after I finished up my freshman year. The real answer is that I took Business 100, and it wasn’t what I thought it would be…so I added marketing and communications to the mix to make things more interesting.
And now you’re going into your senior year. What are you looking forward to the most?
A class called Branding of Me with Gary Kayye. I want to integrate all of my social media accounts and have a website where you can find me on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest and on my personal blog. This class should really help me with that.
Do you know Gary Kayye? He’s pretty awesome. I spoke to his class last year.
He presented at one of our PRSSA meetings this past year, and that’s how I heard about his class.
So how involved are you in PRSSA?
I was attended a lot of meetings this past year, and next year, I will be the treasurer, making everyone pay dues! It has been such a great experience because it has helped me with my resume and cover letter, and it’s great for networking. It gets you in with the speakers, and from there, you can build meaningful relationships and get a better understanding of what life will be like after college.
So you realize the importance of networking?
I feel like with today’s economy and the way journalism is evolving, that’s the only way to get into an agency. And, of course, having the UNC connection is always really helpful.
I’d say so. That’s why I was so excited about your resume – I saw the UNC email address!
Thank you! I guess the thing I am really working on right now with networking is keeping in touch with important contacts and making sure I reach out to someone if I have any questions or need advice.
And that’s really important. It can be the difference between forgetting about someone and keeping them at top of mind….So what have you learned so far at Clairemont?
Well, first off, I have learned that I love working in downtown Raleigh! I have also learned the importance of using the correct tone when you’re speaking to different audiences. For instance, when I am helping to write a Drexel Heritage blog post, I am always cognizant that I need to be using the voice of a fashionista. I have also learned a lot about the importance of media lists and thinking about strategy when you’re pitching. Oh, and I’ve been thinking a lot more about the appropriate channels to go to with my stories. I never realized how involved it all is!
Indeed, it is! You’re a quick learner, Erin! Anything else you want people to know about you? Any hobbies?
I signed up for the City of Oaks half marathon in November. It will be my second. I am following in the footsteps of Dana!