For my interview with a PR Professional I interviewed Kristin Knoll, PR specialist for Covenant Healthcare. Before joining the Covenant team, Kristin worked for Pumford Construction handling their marketing and communications. She is a member of Young Professionals Network and received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Communications and Spanish. I met Kristin over the summer at Covenant through connections with my dad. I conducted the interview via phone due to Kristin being in Michigan.
Kristin, like many other PR professionals I’ve talked to, said there is no typical week. Even though it changes, somethings stay the same. She gathers info from the different groups at the hospital, attends meetings, and tries to build relationships with others in the company as well as outside. Kristin also deals with media inquires, updates Facebook and the hospital website, and meets with her department on other projects.
One project that Kristin was proud of was working with United Way on a campaign. A series of events took place and they were able to give back to the community. She liked being able to give back and volunteer her time. It was an event covered by the local networks and newspapers. She said it was a win-win for everyone involved.
In order to stay fresh in the world of PR, Kristin reads a lot of blogs and articles on social media. She also said she receives Ragan Communications newsletters and e-mails which keep her informed. In addition she stays current by hearing from people what works and doesn’t work.
Kristin told me that she wished she would’ve had had more experience with the TV side of things in the way they operate, what they want for clips, etc. In the pr world, Kristin said that writing is very important.
I asked what three tips would she give to someone who is just starting out in pr and she said to get as much experience as you can. She also said be flexible since things can always change. The third thing she said was know your strengths and what you’re good at and work on your weaknesses. I thought that was a great piece of advice.
“Technology is an awesome tool,” Kristin said, “There’s so much available.” She is still trying to figure out a good mix of the new technology and the old school ways. Being able to move at such a rapid pace, she told me, makes a huge impact. Kristin gave the example of a journalist asking her about a topic and a few hours later the article is written and being published.
She was surprised to find out that not all her ideas for stories are what the news wants. Also, Kristin was surprised to find out how important relationships really are in pr. She knew that they were important, but the ability to have those connections is so important and you achieve those through building relationships.
Kristin is very accomplished and has a lot on her plate, but was still very gracious and took time out for me to interview her.