Doing Something Different: Pursuing an Atypical PR Career

Photo courtesy of Alicia Morrisey

Photo courtesy of Alicia Morrissey

The summer before I began college the nine-story building that housed the library began to undergo renovation. I was furious. Why hadn’t I heard about this before? I wasn’t going to have a library to utilize until I was a junior! I immediately called my mother to complain (mature, I know), but there was nothing I could do about it. For the next two years, the “library” was going to be in a tiny little building until the renovation was complete.

I joined my school’s Library Student Advisory Board after I heard the news of the renovation. My membership in the Advisory Board meant that I would get regular updates on how the renovation was going, as well as give feedback, advice, and help generate ideas about what students would want to see in the library. This organization opened so many doors for me, but the biggest of all was serving under the leadership of Erin Dorney, my school’s outreach librarian. Erin is in charge of all communication going in and around the library. It can be little things such as what signage looks like, to bigger things like planning and publicizing programs or activities in the library.

I began working under Erin as the library’s communication and publicity student assistant my sophomore year. At that time, the renovation still wasn’t completed. Therefore, my job involved informing and updating the campus community about the renovation. When the library opened this past August, my job changed. I now get to make signs directing students where to go and write articles publicizing library events (that are held in the actual library!). I even put together a foreign film series, so every month the library will show a foreign film.

The agency life is not for me, nor is government, fashion, or entertainment. I had never heard of the unconventional things you could do with a public relations degree—I only had heard of the common ones. But after meeting Erin and working under her, I found what it is I want to spend the rest of my life doing: serving others as an outreach librarian. In the words of Erin, “Each day is different, and in the end, I am helping students learn and create. What could be better than that?”

What kind of career in public relations interests you? Share in the comments below.

Alicia Morrissey is a junior at the Millersville University of Pennsylvania majoring in speech communication with an option in public relations and minoring in English with an option in print media studies. She works at her university’s library as the communication and publicity student assistant. It is her dream to make everyone in the world fall in love with reading just like she has. Follow Alicia on Twitter @leeeshamo or on her LinkedIn account.

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One Response to Doing Something Different: Pursuing an Atypical PR Career

  1. Anita A. Brightman, APR March 10, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

    What a wonderful story! Do what you love because you build a career though passion and not the size of the account you service or the placements you obtain.

    The public relations field, PRSA in particular, should be more open and accepting of the non-traditional practitioner.

    [Reply]

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