PRSA-WV Member Spotlight- January 2017

Member: Tara Curtis
Company: WVU School of Nursing
Title: Director of Communications & Marketing
Joined PRSA: 2015

What has been your most memorable PR campaign you led, created, assisted with?
— When I worked in the energy sector, I started working more and more on crisis communications, including preparing for the “dreaded” Y2K. There was so much fear regarding what would happen. Even though we working on a crisis plan, it felt much more like an actual crisis. The amount of detail and work that goes into to developing this plan, particularly when the news was reporting large power outages to occur, was overwhelming. It was an extremely valuable learning experience in how to put a crisis plan together.

What would be your dream job?
— My dream job would be to oversee communications/public relations for a children’s hospital or an NFL football team.

What advice would you give your younger professional self?
— Don’t wake up saying “what if?” Sometimes you succeed, sometimes you fail. It’s better to take a chance then wake up one day questioning yourself. Those successes and failures will make you better at what you do.

What do you do for fun, outside of PRSA?
— I’m an avid college sports fan and love my Mountaineers! Traveling is also a passion for me, and I enjoy getting to out around the state and beyond for skiing, hiking, biking and kayaking/whitewater rafting. Photography is a fun hobby for me, and hope to continue to hone my skills.

PRSA-WV Member Spotlight- December 2016

Member: Emily Myers Duke
Company: Moroch
Title: Communications Manager, East Division
Joined PRSA: 2008

What has been your most memorable PR campaign you lead, created, assisted with?
–My client is McDonald’s, so every campaign is new, exciting and different! One of my favorites was a social media campaign to launch the new Egg White Delight McMuffin. We created a scavenger hunt throughout the market and took photos of the Egg White Delight McMuffin in iconic locations. I also enjoy working with Ronald McDonald House Charities as a result of my affiliation with McDonald’s, and the capital campaign to raise funds for our new House in Charleston has been exciting and challenging.

Who would be one of your dream clients?
–Fashion and lifestyle brand Lilly Pulitzer

What advice would you give your younger professional self?
–Networking and volunteering are key to making great contacts throughout your career, but especially when getting started. I have made some great friends, met future colleagues and even my husband through volunteering in community organizations that are near and dear to my heart. Keeping those relationships up and on a positive note are important to keeping your career moving forward. Relationships are the key to success in PR – whether those are with your coworkers, media partners or clients – and often help you win and keep business.

What do you do for fun, outside of PRSA?
–My husband I love to travel and explore new places and restaurants, both in and outside of West Virginia. We love kayaking in warm weather and Mountaineer football in the fall! I love to cook and recreate recipes that we’ve had on our travels, especially when they involve ingredients from our home garden. I also love flower gardening and hope to have time to become a master gardener someday!

President’s Corner – January 2017

As the new President of the PRSA – West Virginia Chapter, I’m inviting all public relations practitioners, communicators and educators to join us for an exciting year of programming, professional development, networking and other great events designed to engage our membership.

One new way we will engage our membership will be through our new chapter website. The newly designed site will make it much easier for us to share chapter events, news about our members, upcoming PRSA webinars and much more.

We will explore ways to incorporate technology to provide more access and sharing to chapter events, networking opportunities, mentoring and connecting with the next generation of our profession, our student chapters.

Our January meeting will feature a new face to the West Virginia landscape, as we will be on the campus of West Virginia State University to meet with public relations students and welcome WVSU’s 11th President, Dr. Anthony Jenkins.

Our Professional Development seminars in April and October will be hosted in the Northern part of the state to reach PR professionals who may not always make it to Charleston.

Our annual Crystal Awards Gala is on Wednesday June 28th, at the Culture Center in Charleston. The Crystal Awards has grown to be one of the most competitive public relations awards programs in the nation and the call for entries will be coming soon.

Whether you are a new public relations practitioner or a veteran of the communications world, whether your membership is currently active or has lapsed due to time constraints, I’m inviting you to take the time to join us for what will be an incredible year for our chapter.