Illinois State University alumna and former PRSSA Vice President Annie Hughes returned to campus on November 19 to share her insights into sports and corporate public relations with the Chapter.
After graduating from ISU in 2006, Hughes landed her first job at Loyola University Chicago, where she launched its social media pages. Hughes shared with us how proud she is that she was a part of something that became very successful for the university. Loyola University was not her only experience in the public relations field, as she has worked in agency, corporate and non-profit public relations as well.
Hughes is now a public relations-focused marketing consultant in Allstate’s Integrated Marketing and Communications Department. This department consists of approximately 50 people, and Hughes’ duties including working with Allstate’s sports affiliates and the NCAA. One of Allstate’s largest sports-focused programs is the Hometown Hall of Fame, which honors NFL players who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame and brings them back to their hometowns. Hughes is also currently working on the Allstate-sponsored Sugar Bowl, which will kickoff Jan. 2, 2014.
Members were eager to hear advice about succeeding in the public relations field, and Hughes emphasized the importance of three things: networking, experience and social media. She recommended taking advantage of the opportunities offered by PRSSA, as it is a great way to gain relevant experience. She also mentioned that she found her current position through LinkedIn, underscoring the importance of social media sites. (For our tips on using LinkedIn, check out this post!)
Finally, Hughes offered advice about how to stand out in the job interview. She recommended emphasizing your strengths, letting the interviewer know you are eager to learn, making eye contact and asking questions.
Overall, Hughes gave a great deal of information and advice to students during Chapter. Taking advantage of all opportunities, including attending guest speakers at meetings, is a great way to expand your knowledge of the public relations field.
By Analita Voss
PRecisely PR is the blog of the Illinois State University Chapter of the PRSSA. We write about Chapter events, the public relations industry, member profiles, and more.