For this blog, I decided to interview a PR Professional to get their take on the PR world. I asked Lesley Bateman, Senior Level Marketing Strategist at Design4, if she would be able to answer a few questions for me.  Lesley “heads client service, new media expansion, and new business development efforts for Design4.

She received a BS in Journalism/Public Relations from the University of Florida and her Master’s in Public Administration from the University of South Florida.”  I was able to contact her through my friend who is an intern at Lesley’s company.  I conducted the interview via cell phone.

Here’s the interview:

What’s a typical week like?
•    Every day is different and unexpected.  Just the other day, I spent an hour and a half with a client strategizing in goals for the company using communication and lobbying.  I am constantly planning and brainstorming with my colleagues.

Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of.
•    Our client, The Witherspoon Institute, had a two-day conference at Princeton University where scholars discussed the social cost of pornography.  We created promo videos and made a brand and design for their book.  Previous clients that Design4 had worked with referred the client to them.  We love to deal with social issues.

What do you do to keep current with the PR industry?
•    I read online newsletters and also some print newsletters.

What do you wish you would have known before starting your career in PR?
•    I wish I had more in-depth experience in school on the business side of PR.  I would have loved to know more about accounting and have a business perspective because there are spreadsheets, budgets, margins, and revenues.  I had to learn to speak numbers just to get a word in at meetings.

How important is writing in your career?
•    It is extremely important! Not only do I sometimes write press releases, but also I write ad copies and direct mail copies.  Also I need to know grammar to write emails all day long.
What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR?

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•    Always have a pad and pen to take notes in meetings.  You want to write down everything so you don’t forget a single word.
•    Have good communication skills in the office with your colleagues.  You need to have internal communication skills and complete tasks on time and report them to your supervisor.
•    Be current on social media and integrate that into work.  I want an employee teaching me the latest on social networking and media.  They should be knowledgeable on the newest ways to communicate.

What has surprised you the most about working in PR?
•    Trade publications.  There is not a clear wall between editorial and advertizing in the industry.  We were taught that there was in school yet I think that the line is not defined very well.
When your company is hiring for an entry-level PR position, what makes a candidate stand out?
•    They must have experience and utilize things taught in school. It is always good to have several volunteer positions stated on your resume.

For more information on Design4 click here.