Event Recap: Professional Pointers from Kristen Prazenica

By: Ann Klinck and Jackie Wilkinson, Communications/Digital Strategy Committee Members

Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 11.33.40 PMThe first general meeting of the year featured Kristen Prazenica, distinguished Penn State alum, who discussed her experience through the corporate world of public relations.

Kristen double majored in public relations and supply chain and information systems. Through a graduate fellowship with Johnson & Johnson, she was able to earn her master’s degree in communications (digital media) from Rutgers University. After the completion of her masters, Kristen went on to work for Siemens, the largest engineering company in Europe, as a global communication specialist at Siemens Financial Services.

After recounting her transition into the public relations field, Kristen reviewed the different sects of PR that are commonly seen within large corporations. A notable portion of the presentation relayed what Kristen called, “Things I wish I knew,” which included beneficial suggestions for undergraduate students who have yet to experience PR in an official workplace setting.

Kristen detailed the importance of social media in the branding of a company. One of the most important facets for branding a company is making their social media channels representative of their views. For example, Siemens is considered to be a conservative corporation, therefore, most of their social media portrays a more logistical side of business rather than direct appeals to the general public.

Kristen also detailed the significant role played by social media when portraying one’s self as the spokesperson of a company. When doing so, it is vital to understand the difference between personal and professional accounts; therefore, when managing one’s sScreen Shot 2015-10-26 at 11.24.04 PMocial media, one must designate what social media accounts will remain private and which will reflect them as a professional.

Another major topic covered was the quantification of one’s work in order to build one’s portfolio. Simply taking note of the tasks you have completed can aid in showing employers your progression in the field.

Overall, Kristen’s specifics seemed to answer many of the audience’s questions and concerns about the transition from college to the professional community. Kristen finished the presentation by impressing upon the audience her most important piece of advice: “Be authentic, be yourself and don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

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