A native of Columbus, Ohio, Jaqueline Eckhardt first fell in love with media, storytelling and communications early in her high school career. After taking several classes during her first semester at Butler University, she soon realized that she was meant to be on the other side of the industry.
In the second installment of our PRSA Hoosier Member Spotlight series, Jacqueline shares her career journey, what she’s currently working on as director of communications at 16 Tech Community Corporation, along with her favorite aspects of PRSA as a long-time volunteer for the Hoosier Chapter.
Q. What’s your day job?
Director of Communications at 16 Tech Community Corporation
Q. How did you get started in PR?
I’m originally from Columbus, Ohio and fell in love with media, storytelling and communications early in my high school career. I entered Butler University in 2009 as a journalism major. After a few eye-opening classes during my first semester, I quickly realized I was meant to be on the other side of the industry. I jumped into all things PR & Advertising from internships at Conrad Indianapolis, Visit Indy and BLASTMedia to student competitions and organizations. When I graduated in 2013, I started as the PR & Marketing Manager at Conrad Indianapolis. I have also held positions at Indiana Humanities as Communications/Community Relations Manager and at Downtown Indy, Inc. as the Associate Director of PR & Community Engagement. In July 2020, I started at 16 Tech Community Corporation as the Director of Communications. My career trajectory is a true testament to my underlying passion and purpose: strengthening Indianapolis.
Q. What’s something you’re currently working on that you’re excited about?
So much! 16 Tech Community Corporation is responsible for the programmatic and physical development of the 16 Tech Innovation District, a 50-acre district dedicated to world-changing innovation and economic growth. We opened our first two buildings in 2020 and 2021, and we have more than 60 companies and 500+ people working in the District. We’re all about uplifting innovation, talent and entrepreneurship and I’m excited about continuing to share stories of conversations, brainstorms, programs, interactions that are leading to big, game-changing ideas for our city and our state.
Q. How long have you been involved with our chapter of PRSA and what got you started?
I’ve been a member of the PRSA Hoosier Chapter since I graduated in 2013. I was an active member in the PRSSA Chapter at Butler University serving in various leadership roles – so it was a no brainer when I graduated to join. I have enjoyed participating in various volunteer roles over the years including the PRSSA and scholarship committee.
Q. What is once 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?
Get connected. Reach out and build meaningful relationships.
Q. What do you think makes the Indiana PR community unique?
The people. Talented, thoughtful.
Q. In 10 words or less: Favorite thing about PRSA?
Connections that inspire me to do my best work.
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.