Beth Walsh of Clearpoint Agency was part of a stimulating discussion for the San Diego New Pros chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) on April 19. The topics: how to get started in the public relations (PR) industry, what it’s like to work at an agency versus in-house, and what educational opportunities are most valuable to young PR professionals. The event was organized by PRSA New Pros and held at Roppongi restaurant in La Jolla.
Walsh discussed what led her to a career in PR, her work in large agencies, and how she eventually founded her own agency. She recounted her time as senior vice president of public relations at one of the largest PR/Advertising agencies in San Diego in the 1990’s, McQuerter Group, where she managed client services and public relations operations.
She provided these tips to young PR pros:
- Read everything you can get your hands on! Be well versed in the world around you and be able to handle a conversation on a variety of topics.
- Improve your writing skills and know AP style as if it were your bible.
- Attend networking functions and join groups such as PRSA, New Pros, North County Communicators, and the Ad Club.
- Seek out a mentor who will not only commit to your success, but will invest time and attention to helping you excel in the competitive PR industry – and don’t be afraid to ask questions!
Allison Altdoerffer, intern at Fleishman Hillard, was inspired by Walsh’s journey.
“As a new pro, the opportunity to hear from a more experienced professional is such a
valuable opportunity. Beth’s candid discussion of her own career – the ups, the downs and the motivation that propelled her to create her own agency – illustrated not only the need for education, but also the power of innovation and taking a risk. She inspired me to soak up and learn from those around me, and to never back away from contributing my own personal insight and ideas.”
Walsh is an honors graduate of Marquette University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. She is past co-chair of the PR committee for the San Diego chapter of National Association of Women Business Owners. Walsh has won eleven Bernays Awards from the PRSA for excellence in public relations. In addition, she has twice been named a finalist in the individual service category of the UCSD Athena Pinnacle Awards, twice a finalist in the
“Women Who Mean Business Awards,” sponsored by the San Diego Business Journal, and in 2001 was named to Wireless Week’s Top 25 listing of “Influential Women in Wireless.”
PRSA New Pros is a group of public relations professionals in San Diego with less than five years of experience. The group is led by committee members Rachel Hutman, Katie Rowland, Michelle Lew, and Amber Lingle. For more information about PRSA New Pros visit http://www.prsasdic.org/content.asp?itemid=15
This seems like great advice for any professional – is it? Does this hold true for YOUR industry? What advice would you give a young professional just starting out in their career?
This post was contributed by Rachel Hutman, Clearpoint Agency Account Executive.