Working public affairs for the U.S. Air Force at entry level is very interesting. I am part of the P.A.L.A.C.E. Acquire program, which is a paid management internship program that offers you a permanent position upon completion of training. At a major command, you must rotate through community relations, media operations and internal information, which is my current assignment.
- A Lesson Learned: You can never be too prepared. When I worked in community relations, the public affairs offices at base level looked to me, at command, as the expert. I read and reread, then read again, how a program worked before sending out instructions. I also highlighted certain areas so I could provide answers quickly if someone called.
- Social Media: At work we use Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. Personally, I use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Having a smartphone has increased my Twitter usage and I am starting to use Foursquare now.
- Specializations: I enjoy writing articles and seeing them published, but I community relations has been my favorite assignment so far. I like being able to make an impact and meet with people face to face.
- Education: Bachelors degree in media studies (public relations and journalism) and a minor in business administration from East Carolina University
I don’t always follow a set schedule, but here are the tasks I perform in a typical work day:
- Coordinate coverage with video crews for interviews.
- Conduct research for print stories.
- Submit stories for editing and revision.
- Load edited copy to website.
- Link video, pictures and fact sheets to story.
- Create links to stories on our website with Facebook and Twitter (hashtags are used as well).
- Upload video stories to our YouTube channel.
- Load photos onto Flickr with datelines, cutlines and tags.
Harry Lundy is a Public Affairs Specialist for the United States Air Force and is a member of the PRSA New Professionals Section.