Maggie Ziemann, ISU PRSSA’s director of relations, is responsible for overseeing the Chapter blog PRecisely PR and the PRemier Newsletter.
As a junior, how have you benefitted from joining ISU PRSSA?
I have been a member of Illinois State University’s PRSSA for two years now, and I have to say that joining PRSSA has been the best choice I’ve made here at ISU. I have gained so much knowledge and met so many fantastic people. ISU PRSSA also offers awesome opportunities like going on agency tours, sitting in on panel discussions, and going to National Conference, where I made tons of great connections and met other awesome PRSSA members across the country!
What have you learned from your leadership role as the director of relations?
I have learned all the hard work that goes into managing publications. It is definitely a team effort, from the writer to all the people who edit and publish the work. I have had the opportunity to meet so many members in our Chapter that I may not have met otherwise. As director, I have definitely learned the importance of time management. It is like in the real world, where you have to stay on a schedule and do your best to produce quality work. It has been a great experience so far helping others produce writing pieces to build their portfolios.
What drew you to the public relations major?
When I was a junior in high school I was an editor for my school’s newspaper. Each year we attended a conference. The conference consisted of several seminars to choose to attend for the day. For one of the time slots none of the seminars really appealed to me so my friend told me to come with her to the public relations seminar and that’s where I first learned about the field. I immediately fell in love. I remember as the speaker was talking I just kept telling myself that one day I was going to work in public relations. I pursued that career path and I’m here today, still pursuing it and loving everything about it!
We love your blog, imPRess PR - what advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own?
Thank you! My advice is to not be afraid and to go for it! I have had so many people tell me that they want to start a blog but don’t know what they would write about. I have revamped my blog several times to fit the perfect niche I want it to have. My advice is to just start writing and see where it takes you. I used to blog about my personal accomplishments and then realized I wanted to go into a different direction. Be persistent and eventually it will come to you. Then, when you feel confident enough, tell others about your blog and you’ll begin to gain readership. Twitter is a great way to promote your posts and the public relations community on Twitter is so encouraging and welcoming. It’s a great support system!
How do you manage your blog, leadership role, classes and still have personal free time?
I really take advantage of my planner and staying as organized as I can. Every Sunday I sit down and plan out my entire week ahead. To-do lists are my best friend. I make several lists for all the assignments that are due that week, then one for meetings, and then one for all the other things I need to do or go to. It really helps keep me on track. I have also discovered that the Reminders App on my iPhone is a lifesaver and anytime an event comes up or I need to remember to do something on a smaller scale of importance I plug it into my Reminders and set an alarm to remind me.
If you could do public relations for any brand, what company would it be and why?
I am really interested in agency public relations, but if I could work for a specific brand it would be for Starbucks. Not just because I practically live there, but I love the company as a whole; its mission, customer service, and the brand loyalty it has built. I love following all the happenings of the company. They write impressive press releases, have a great social media reputation and I love all their campaigns. And it’s an added bonus that they have great products!
If you were given one ultimate all-expense paid trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Italy. I have always wanted to go there. To me, it’s the full package. You can enjoy beautiful weather with a gorgeous view while exploring iconic tourism spots. I have heard nothing but great things about all the food and drinks!
We all have role models. Who is yours?
My role model is my mom. She has always been there, encouraging me every step of the way. She has worked so hard to put me through college, and I can just see in her face how proud she is whenever I accomplish something. It is a really rewarding feeling. She is such a hard worker, and I hope to have her support the rest of my life.
If you could only chose one for the rest of your life, which would get your pick: Social media or Starbucks?
Oh gosh, this is like my worst nightmare! I have never been asked this question before, and I never thought I would have to choose between the two! I think I would go with social media because I have gained so many great connections and opportunities through social media. I think it is such a powerful tool if you use it correctly. I do love Starbucks, but there are other places for me to grab my coffee fix! (Please forgive me, Starbucks!)
You have a free Saturday to binge watch any TV show of your choice. What would you choose?
“Desperate Housewives.” I watched all 10 seasons last semester and I got so emotionally invested. It is definitely my favorite TV series and I would not mind watching it again!
Questions composed by Melissa Fortes
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.