By Posted in - Counselors Academy & Professional Development & Public Relations on March 13th, 2013

Our very own Dana Hughens is the PRSA’s Counselors Academy Conference Chair for the 2013 conference June 9-11 in Austin, Texas. As conference chair, she has the privilege to work with other members of the conference planning committee, which consists of senior-level PR counselors and agency owners from across the United States and Canada. We caught up with these PR pros to find out their secret to success and what they love most about Counselors Academy.

Welcome our next blog series guest — Ann Barks, APR, Chair of the Welcoming Committee for the 2013 Counselors Academy Conference. Ann is the founder and owner of Ann Barks Public Relations. For recommendations and insights from Ann keep reading!

Getting to know you…

Name: Ann Barks, APR

Agency: Ann Barks Public Relations

Position: Owner/Consultant

First job in PR: Public Relations Coordinator/Legislative Liaison, Tennessee Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Your insights…

Most loved thing about being in PR: It allows me to use both my creative and nerdy sides – and I never get bored because there are always new things to learn or explore.

Best source for breaking PR news: The industry people I follow on Twitter.

Number one recommendation to new PR professionals: Get education or experience in business, not just public relations. With business education, you can communicate more effectively with the C-Suite leaders, meaning you will better contribute to and guide the organization in reaching business objectives.

About Counselors Academy…

Most valuable aspect of being a Counselors Academy member: Learning from and interacting with fellow members, who are collegial, inspiring and forward-thinking public relations leaders.

Role on the planning committee: Chair of the Welcoming Committee

Best thing about the Counselors Academy conference: I always walk away with tactics and ideas I can immediately implement with clients. It also has helped me stay tuned to how to use new tools, technology or thinking about communications.

Most fun memory of a Counselors Academy conference: Just one? OK… Watching my fellow members dance with Second Line umbrellas last year in New Orleans.


Festive masks in New Orleans at the 2012 Counselors Academy Conference



(2) awesome comment(s)...

  • Sydney McKinney - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    LOVE your insight to diversify your work experience. As a student and an intern, I have had the opportunity to intern in advertising, marketing, and public relations and feel that I have become more well-rounded in the process. This is definitely something that I would recommend to students and professionals alike.

  • Natalie Baker - Reply

    March 25, 2013 at 10:51 am

    This is great advice! Twitter is a fantastic way to get PR news. I’ve also found it helpful to follow agencies for more industry-related news.

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