Test Drive My Job: PR Account Executive Christine Randle
Christine Randle, 38
Account Executive, about 3 years
Mopwater: Describe your path to PR. What made you want to get into the field?
CR: This is a difficult question, because I really fell into this field. I have a B.A. in history and an M.A. in Urban Studies. When I was looking for jobs after graduate school, I wanted to work in nonprofit—likely in a research capacity. I landed a position with a large workforce development agency in Philadelphia as a communications manager, simply because I was a good writer, understood the issues and could synthesize information quickly and concisely. I immediately fell in love with communications and can’t see myself doing anything else. In particular, media relations are an enormous amount of fun. There’s nothing quite like seeing an article appear in print or online that you’ve pitched and placed.
Mopwater: What aspects of the industry are you most excited about?
CR:I think social media is exciting, in part because so much of it is uncharted territory. The rules are changing as quickly as they are created, so you really have to be on your toes.
Mopwater: Describe your office and workplace.
CR:My company, DPR Group has two offices—one in Germantown, MD and one in Cary, NC. It is a fairly laid-back environment, as long as you deliver results for your clients. We are lucky enough to have a casual dress code and the ability to telecommute on an as needed basis. How many co-workers do you have? DPR Group is a small firm with 7 people in the MD office and 7 people in the NC office. Where, how, and how often do you collaborate with them? I collaborate with my co-workers quite frequently, seeking regular advice on a range of issues from media relations to client relations. We connect several times throughout the day using email, phone and face-to-face contact most often, but we also connect via Twitter, sharing industry news related to both PR and our clients’ respective markets.
Mopwater: Describe a typical workday including your work hours. What do you do all day?
CR: A typical workday is spent answering pounds of email, pitching article ideas, interviews and press releases for my clients. I also spend a lot of time following up with clients and editors on pending projects. Writing is a core skill in PR and I spend large chunks of time writing press releases, case studies, articles and pitches. Additionally, I conduct about two interviews a week to compile the necessary background to write the documents. I also hold weekly meetings with each of my clients. A typical day in an agency PR setting requires a flexible individual that can quickly shift gears from one client to the next, without missing a beat.
Mopwater: What are your favorite and least favorite PR tasks?
CR: I don’t like writing weekly and monthly reports, but they are absolutely necessary to staying on task, on time and on budget. Do you love to pitch? I love to pitch, especially when it’s successful! Do you dread writing releases? I don’t mind writing press releases, I can practically do them in my sleep!
Mopwater: Describe a recent project where you produced results you were really proud of.
CR: Since most of my work really centers around media relations, I’d have to say that I’m truly proud of the mass of coverage that I’m able to obtain for my clients. Still, most recently, my client Dave Sobel of Evolve Technologies launched his first book, “Virtualization: Defined,” and I was able to get a book excerpt published with Enterprise Management Quarterly . While we received other coverage, this was especially significant because it was the lead story in a key trade for his company.
Mopwater: What is your favorite thing about working where you work?
CR: We are given a great deal of independence and flexibility.
Mopwater: Do you think you’ll be in this position in 5 years? If not, where do you see yourself?
CR: No, I hope to have advanced significantly, either with my current company, or with another. I see myself moving more towards the social media side of PR.