PRSA Hoosier Member Spotlight: Hyacinth Rucker
Considering a move from broadcast journalism to PR? PRSA Hoosier Chapter President-elect Hyacinth Rucker made the jump from TV to public relations and by her own account, never looked back.
In the first of our new PRSA Hoosier Member Spotlight series, we chat with Hyacinth about her move from TV to a career in PR for non-profit organizations, her experience as a member of PRSA, and her advice for those looking to join the PR profession.
Q: What’s your day job?
American Red Cross of Indiana– Regional Communications Manager
Q: How did you get started in PR?I made the switch from the TV industry to public relations almost nine years ago and I have never regretted that decision. In fact, I have never been happier in my career than I am right now.
My first job in public relations was at the beautiful Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. I learned so much about communications and marketing while working there for seven and a half years. One of my proudest career moments was leading the creation and development of the museum’s new reimagined website. It was a two-year labor of love for me.
I currently work for the American Red Cross – Indiana region as the regional communications manager. This position has helped me grow more than I ever could have expected. Not only do I get to be the face of the American Red Cross, but I write press releases, manage our social media platforms, and create our internal e-newsletter — plus manage a team of communications volunteers. It is a dream job!
Q: What’s something you’re currently working on that you’re excited about?
The American Red Cross would not be able to do what it does for the community without the hard work and dedication of so many volunteers. I am excited to kick off a new idea to shine the light on a volunteer each week via our regional blog. Plus, we will also share which volunteer positions are currently needed. Interested? Visit redcross.org/volunteer.
Q: How long have you be involved with our chapter of PRSA and what got you started?
It is kind of hard for me to believe this, but this year marks my seventh year serving the PRSA Hoosier Chapter. I started serving on the PRSSA Committee as a committee member, then I co-chaired the committee for two years.
After three years in the chapter, I knew I wanted to be on the board, and I applied for several positions. I was thrilled when I was asked to serve as the director of member services, then the next year, director of professional development, and last year I served as the director of research and operations. I am elated to be serving as the president-elect this year.
Q: What is one piece of advice you’d like to give to students interested in establishing a career in PR and to anyone who is new to the profession?
I am a strong advocate for internships. It is one thing to think you will like a certain career, it is another thing to know for sure. I believe internships allow you the opportunity to experience first-hand the job you are interested in doing. If you love it great; if you do not that is great too. You can keep searching for the right career for you.
Once you graduate and start working in the PR field, I encourage new professionals to join the PRSA Hoosier Chapter. Get involved and get to know your fellow PR professionals. I have learned so much from my fellow PR professionals. If there are skills that you want to learn outside of your current position, there is a good chance that you can learn them while serving the PRSA Hoosier Chapter. I also believe you will get out of it what you put into it. I am a true example that hard work does pay off.
Q: What do you think makes the Indiana PR community unique?
Indiana is known for its Hoosier Hospitality. I think what makes the Indiana PR community so unique is how my fellow PR professionals make you feel welcome and their willingness to share their skills with each other.
I have learned so much as a member of the PRSA Hoosier Chapter and I know I am a better PR professional because of my involvement in it. What skills do you want to learn or refine? Pick a committee that will help you do that this year. We still have several open positions.
Q: In 10 words or less: Favorite thing about PRSA?
Collaborating with my fellow PR professionals.
The PRSA Hoosier Member Spotlight series profiles active members in our community. Know an exceptional PR professional worth spotlighting? Send your nominations to the membership committee at membership.prsahoosier@gmail.
Interested in joining PRSA Hoosier? Check out our membership benefits and learn how to become a member here.
– Anna Julow Roolf, SVP of operations and people, Propel PRM