Chris Cowperthwaite, APR
Job Title and Function: Manager of Communications and Outreach for the North Carolina Nurses Association (NCNA). I’m the entire in-house PR department, so I do a little bit of everything. Responsible for managing the Tar Heel Nurse, NCNA’s bi-monthly magazine; writing news releases; fielding media inquiries; assisting with legislative advocacy; shooting/editing videos; social media; overseeing all e-newsletters (Inside NCNA, APRN E-News, and all quarterly regional newsletters); and anything else that falls under the communications/PR umbrella.
Most Rewarding thing about working in PR today: I really enjoy digging into complex/important issues and figuring out the best way to explain them to people who might not be in the know. When we get the message out and it’s well-received, it’s rewarding to see the appreciation from my “clients” who understand the value of PR.
Craziest/most challenging thing you’ve done in PR: Craziest: Getting to wander around a gigantic solar array on top of a factory when I worked for Southern Energy Management. Most Challenging: A sustained legislative issue where our political opponents have had 10 times as many resources ready to deploy than we could ever hope to match.
Advice for new PR pros: Vigorously maintain your credibility in this era of alternative facts and “fake news.” Refuse to cut corners when it comes to ethics.
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