Meet Your 2015 PRSA Board, part 3
In PRSA’s Meet Your 2015 Board series, we asked board members to send in a casual photo and answer a few questions so we can get to know our officers. In this post, we introduce Emily Kibling, Megan Bulla, Brittany Melvin, and Deborah Davis.
Emily Kibling, PRSA Advocacy Officer
Job: Account Director
College: University of Iowa
Q: What do you wish you had known earlier in your career? Don’t be afraid of rejection. Media relations has always been a large part of my job and rejection is inevitable. It took me some time to realize that rejection is part of the job and I have learned to let it make me stronger and more determined, rather than deter me.
Q: How did you get where you are today? When I was a junior in college, I took an internship at a boutique PR agency. The people I met, experiences I had and work I was exposed to helped me realize that the PR industry was where I saw myself having a future.
Q: What skill set would you like to learn? I have always been envious of people who can throw a bunch of ingredients into a bowl and make a delicious meal from scratch. I am far from one of those people. Maybe I will sign up for cooking lessons!
Megan Bulla, PRSA Director of Member Services
Job: Owner, Indy Brew Bus & Bulla Communications
Q: What’s your coolest career experience to date? As the Communications Manager at the 500 Festival I oversaw all aspects of media relations for the organization including celebrity interviews and appearances. Spending time with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper was a definite highlight. He was very gracious and spent a lot of time talking to students about journalism school and different career paths you could take. In a field where sometimes celebrities are not all they are built up to be, he was just as wonderful as I had expected!
Q: What’s a favorite place you’ve visited? My favorite place in the world is St. John, U.S.V.I. In addition to the obvious beauty and sweeping Caribbean views, the fact that 75% of the island is undeveloped National Park land (donated by the Rockefeller’s in 1956), makes the island feel untouched. Often times you can find a stretch of beach where no one else is. It’s a great place to escape, reflect and reboot!
Q: Did you ever see yourself working in the field of public relations? I have loved writing since I was a small child. I knew that I wanted to somehow combine that love with a chance to use my energy and creativity. From working at a small non-profit, to balancing clients at an agency, to working through a crisis plan at a special event, to overcoming challenges as a business owner, I feel blessed to have found a profession that I am so passionate about and I never stop learning.
Brittany Melvin, PRSA Director of Professional Development
Job: Account Manager
College: University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Q: Which blogs or websites do you regularly frequent? I recently set my homepage to Vox.com. It’s a news site that fits my style—long reads for when I have time and quick, to-the-point news articles, when I don’t. My blogs of choice tend to skew toward food and fashion. A few of my favorites are The New Potato, Cupcakes & Cashmere and TV Dinner by Jamie Stelter.
Q: What advice would you give to new PR professionals? Setting up informational interviews pays off. Keep networking and keep asking questions. I’ve found that PR professionals in Indy are willing to meet for coffee or exchange emails. Take advantage of that!
Q: What are your hobbies outside of work? I love exploring Indianapolis with friends and experiencing all the wonderful food, beverages and entertainment it has to offer.
Debbie Davis ABC, APR; PRSA Assembly Delegate
Employer: Ball State University
Job: Instructor and PR Program Coordinator & Faculty Adviser, Cardinal Communications
Principal, Triad Public Relations
College:B.A. Franklin College in journalism, M.A. Ball State University in public relations
Completing my dissertation for an Ed.D. In higher education from Ball State
Q: What’s your coolest career experience to date? Working on the $20 billion merger of Anthem and WellPoint. From working on the team to prepare the initial announcement through the final deal, it was an incredible learning experience and the chance to utilize PR to make a difference
Q: What’s your favorite part of your current job? I love working with the students in our PR program. They are very talented and enthusiastic about the profession and the future. Every day is different. Whether it’s in the classroom, working with the agency (Cardinal Communications) or discussing career options, I get a wonderful glimpse at some of the future leaders in PR.
Q: What was your first job? Overnight assignment editor at WLWT-TV in Cincinnati. I later moved into a producing role and worked with Jerry Springer when he was a news anchor at the station.
Q: What advice would you give to your 15-year-old self? Always listen to all options, even if they weren’t what you had in mind. At that point in my life, I wanted to be a TV news producer (which I was for 10 years). While I loved that role, I began to listen to different opportunities and moved into PR then into teaching. My teen self would have been very surprised to see me now, but I love what I do and wouldn’t change anything.