Member Q&A with Jessica Miller

The PRSA Hoosier Chapter is conducting member profiles throughout the year to facilitate connections within the Chapter. We are pleased to introduce Jessica Miller.

Name: Jessica Miller

Employer: Parkview Health

Position: Public Relations Manager


Bachelor of Arts, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.

Master of Business Administration – Marketing & Management, Indiana Tech, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?

Outside of work, I love to do anything outdoors! I live near several lakes, so boating, kayaking, fishing and swimming are among my top hobbies. I also recently took up golf, so I’ve been spending (too much) time perfecting my game.

I also enjoy traveling, reading, cooking, wine tasting and spending time with friends and family.

Q: What are you reading now (or have read in the past) that you think other PRSA members would be interested in?

I’m currently reading “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg. I first heard about this book in 2013 and, now that I’ve finally gotten around to reading it, wish I would have picked it up then! It’s an excellent message for both women and men and has really opened my eyes to my own behaviors in the workplace and the behaviors of my co-workers. In reading this book, I find myself coming to work with a different mindset, and a more courageous demeanor.

Q: How did you get to where you are today?

I always knew I wanted to work in a communications field. As a young child, I was writing short stories, and in high school I was the editor of both the school newspaper and yearbook. It was inevitable. However, it wasn’t until I got to college that I really knew my dream job was PR.

I started as a journalism major at Ball State University, hoping to work for a magazine in New York City someday. Think Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada. I got a taste of telecommunications, though (and the rush of being an anchor and reporter), and switched gears sophomore year. Then as a senior, with one semester left, I interned at a Fort Wayne TV station and decided (once again) that the fit wasn’t quite right. I finished my last semester out by picking up a few PR classes and had a tough time finding a job after graduation – in December 2009, post-recession – but I knew PR was where I wanted to be.

I spent the first year out of college working as a bartender and interning (with no pay) at a local advertising and PR agency. I figured working for free in a field I loved was better than doing nothing at all, but I eventually landed my first “big girl job” at Fort Wayne International Airport in April 2011. That’s when things really started happening for me. In five years there, I took on big projects, got involved in the community, networked with others in the industry and got some excellent experience in not only PR but also marketing, event planning, business strategy, economic development and more.

Throughout all this, I maintained a relationship with the reporter with whom I had worked during my internship in Fort Wayne. When he eventually became the Director of Communications at the largest employer in northeast Indiana, he encouraged me to apply for the PR manager position on his team. And here I am.

Q: What advice would you give to new PR professionals?

The advice I would offer new professionals stems from my answer to the previous question. I think there are three lessons to be learned from my career journey:

  • Always stay true to yourself. If a career doesn’t feel right, or you’re not entirely happy, keep searching until you find something that gets you excited to come to work and inspires you to keep growing.
  • Work ethic is everything. Even when things don’t go your way, be flexible and always work hard to earn the respect of those around you.
  • Make new connections whenever you can, and never burn your bridges. You never know who may be hiring you someday.

Q: What’s one PR rule that you live by?

One of my favorite phrases is, “Don’t just answer questions, deliver messages,” and I stay true to that concept in everything I do. It’s my role to favorably position my organization in the eyes of the community, so I take every opportunity to share the great things we’re doing at Parkview Health. That means every time someone says, “How are things going at Parkview?” I don’t just respond with, “Great! We’re very busy!” but I take the opportunity to share how neat it has been watching the new Parkview Cancer Institute go up outside my office window or how impactful it has been to be involved in the community conversations targeted at controlling the opioid crisis.

Never miss an opportunity to share a positive message.

Connect with Jessica, here: LinkedIn.