Member Q&A with Dr. Debbie Davis
The PRSA Hoosier Chapter is conducting member profiles throughout the year to facilitate connections within the Chapter. We are pleased to introduce Dr. Debbie Davis.
Name: Dr. Debbie Davis ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA
Coordinator, Public Relations Program
Faculty Adviser, Cardinal Communications
Employer: Ball State University
BA in Journalism, Franklin College
MA in Public Relations, Ball State University
EdD in Higher Education, Public Relations Ball State University
PRSA Position: PRSA Hoosier Chapter Assembly Delegate
Q: What’s one place you have yet to travel/or your favorite place you’ve visited?
I really have the bug to travel now. I recently went to Rio de Janeiro and the 2016 Olympic Games. It was my first trip outside of North America. While we were working very hard (Ball State at the Games), we had a little time to explore the culture, some of the most famous spots and of course, some Olympic events. The trip really opened our eyes to the contrasting images of Rio: from the favelas (urban low-income communities) to the glamour along its famous beaches. Despite the concerns ahead of time, the Brazilians were excellent hosts.
Q: What was your first job?
My first job was as an overnight assignment editor at WLWT-TV in Cincinnati, but transitioned into a role as a newscast producer within a year. I worked with Jerry Springer when he was a news anchor at the station. My first passion was television news and worked in Cincinnati, Minneapolis and Louisville before transitioning to public relations.
Q: How did you get to where you are today?
Tenacity, networking and keeping an open mind to possibilities. I’ve never had a long term plan, but continued to explore opportunities. This isn’t the life I imagined when I was 20, but I love what I do and am grateful for every aspect of my life that led to this point.
Q: If you could have dinner with anyone in the world (past or present), who would it be and why?
Condoleezza Rice. While she might be best known for her roles as a National Security Adviser and Secretary of State, she has an incredibly diverse set of interests and talents. She’s currently a professor at Stanford, but also served as provost. She was one of the first female members of Augusta National, an accomplished pianist and a member of the College Football Playoff Committee (CFPC), formerly the Bowl Championship Series (BCS).
Q: What advice would you give to new PR professionals?
Be proactive and write, write, write. Employees I’ve worked with and students I’ve taught who showed initiative always stood out from the crowd. Writing has been and continues to be the foundation of all we do as public relations professionals. Write as much as you can and in as many platforms as you can. Keep your writing skills sharp!