On Tuesday April 8th, 2014 my communications class had the privilege of hearing Sally Rutledge speak via Skype. She is an accomplished PR representative whose background experience is working with Chambers of Commerce with 600 or more members. Her no nonsense attitude was prominent as she describe her role in creating marketing, PR and advertising plans for these non-profits. She is the author and copyright holder of US Anti-Trust Documents used in non-profit organizations.
During her speech she described the importance of PR and having a plan to promote the successful continuation of a business. She gave specific examples of both successful jobs and unsuccessful jobs. Change is difficult especially when rebranding and while companies and non-profits may say they want change, that isn’t always the case. She stressed understanding that you will win some and you will lose some as you move along in your career. She worked with one Bed and breakfast who wanted to rebrand and describe how the process was painful for the owners as she made major changes to the business’ reputation and target market. In the end the changes were made and the B&B’s business grew exponentially. There was also a Chamber of Commerce that hired her and didn’t take her advice or implement anything she stated they should do.
It is also important to stress the worth of a PR representative as being something invaluable in a business. The description of a PR representative was made clear as she recounted the uses of developing relationships, a reputation, and healthy work environment to promote and keep a business moving in a positive and successful direction.
I really enjoyed her insight and personality. I always find relief when speaking with professional people who let their personality shine through everything they do. I find the corporate world to be very intimidating and wonder if it’s a place I could really make it in given my own personality. Hearing first hand the experience of others always helps alleviate that fear because I know I don’t have to be a drone. I can be myself and be successful.