What communication work are you doing now?
We are in the middle of launching a new communications plan here at NFPRHA. I’ve been busy rolling out a new website, working on new messages, and creating a media engagement plan.
How did you get started doing communication work?
I was always interested in communications. First, I wanted to be a photographer. Then, I wrote for the school newspaper in High School and thought I wanted to major in print journalism in college. But , print journalism didn’t allow me the leeway to advocate for issues that I am passionate about and I couldn’t see myself in a newsroom, so I became more interested in public relations, particularly with non-profits and social justice organizations. My first PR position was as an intern for NOW (National Organization for Women).
Why is communication work important for change making and/or organizing?
I think it’s especially important for the issues we work on. We are not just talking among ourselves and others who work on the same issue. [Effective communications and organizing] means stepping back and looking at the communities we serve, and engaging them at their level, along with other stake holders – moderates, policy makers, and other movement people. There’s a lot of work and roles to play for everyone. We help make those connections happen.
What is it that you most enjoy about doing communications?
Connecting with people on the street, getting the word out, and talking to new people.
What is your greatest challenge?
Time is a huge factor. News cycles are quick working in DC. We try to be news savvy, and the work falls to communications folks to ensure that everyone understands newsroom deadlines. There’s also the challenge of the work internally, publications and other [constituent] communications you must send out.
When you were a kid did you think you were going to be doing this type of work?
Yes! (See my answer to the second question.)
Why are you a PCN member?
There are so many benefits to being a PCN member. I can ask questions on the listserv. Sharing information with people doing similar work has been really helpful. I love that members share their contacts, insight and expertise.. Also, I felt so welcome as a young person [at PCN]. I didn’t feel marginalized, ignored, or exploited. Young people’s thoughts and ideas are valued. I was surprised they asked me to join their Leadership Council! Another thing I like about PCN is their commitment to diversity. The group set this goal to be diverse and made plans to reach it.