My interview with a Manager of PR

After interviewing Paulette Rippley, Ashley Spokeswoman and Manager of PR, I became much more aware of what’s required of someone in this field. “No two weeks are alike,” she goes on to explain, mainly dealing with different forms of media press, approving articles written about Ashley in different magazines and newspaper articles, magazines such as ‘Furniture Today’ and many more, which are very well-known sources.

“We handle our own press,” Rippley explains, referring to any article or form of media that goes out about Ashley first has to run through her approval and examination. Rippley goes on to inform me of how one key element when dealing with the press/media is to be sure to only have one spokesperson, this is something all major companies try to have regulated within their system in order to prevent mix-ups and false stories floating around in the press.

Rippley handles the templates which go out to all Ashley stores during the process of grand and soft openings, she gives them the basics so to speak, to include within the template. Rippley has been with Ashley for nearly 36 years, and has headed the department of PR since 1990, so one can imagine the change she has seen and experienced first-hand within the industry. One specific project out of many that Rippley takes a lot of pride in heading up and preparing is the company anniversaries, preparing background stories in the furniture magazines and newspapers. This is something all of Ashley takes great pride in, being that Ashley has been in business since it’s establishment in 1945.

A few tips she shared with me on staying up to date with times is keeping up with technology and Social Media/Networking. She mentioned how important it is to keep up with things like Twitter, Facebook, and whatever other forms or sources that are made available for forms of media and advertising.

Three key points Rippley shared with me:
1. Be aware of technology, and Social Media.
2. Always have a good positive attitude, determination, and drive.
3. In PR one has to understand to be careful with what you say, and with statements to the media, things may be misunderstood, or even misused in cases.

When I asked how big of a role did writing play in her position she replied, “writing is essential.” she went on to explain to me how much PR has changed, and how it used to be all about newspapers, and the printing press, now it’s all about technology, and the thing with technology is now it’s no longer just a resource used in the home but on Blackberry’s, iPhones and other forms of PDA’s.

Now, for all those striving to earn major positions at big name companies, Ms. Rippley gave me a few tips on how one stands out above the rest when going into interviews at an entry-level position. “You can tell a lot about a person just from an interview,” it’s very important one has a positive attitude, that one is clean-cut, and has the basic skills needed in order to carry out the positions’ requirements, whether that has to do with experience or knowledge, but as many already know experience goes a lot further, and if it’s for a PR position or something in that field that one has some form of a Communications degree, and a sense of motivation, everything else Ms. Rippley explained can be trained.

I learned a lot from this interview, not only about Public Relations and issues they deal with on a daily basis, but that one should always give it their all, whether it’s with a project, or an assignment, because you never know what type of major opportunity might grow from that. Thank you Ms. Rippley.

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