Member Q&A with Jeremy Ecenbarger

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

EcenbargerJ03Name: Jeremy Ecenbarger

Position: VP, Marketing

Employer: AAJ Technologies

Q: What’s your favorite part of your current job?

I currently work for AAJ Technologies — a full-service systems integrator based out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. that helps clients capitalize on the latest technologies to boost their competitive advantage. As a company that works with Integrated Communications teams on developing mobile apps while simultaneously working with HR to implement employee portals, there’s always an interesting story to tell — which keeps things fresh and interesting.

My favorite part of the job is the work I do around change management and employee engagement. Whether acquiring new companies, onboarding new clients or signing on with a new technology partner, AAJ is in a constant state of flux. It’s very rewarding to play strategic role in guiding our internal communications efforts — empowering employees with the information they need to drive both business and personal success. It’s truly a pleasure to watch and an honor to orchestrate behind the scenes.

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

I regularly offer three pieces of advice to new PR professionals:

  • Take your time to become “the boss.” New professionals often think the ultimate dream job out of college is to start out as “the boss.” When in actuality, starting out at that level can culminate into a disadvantage later on. My advice for first time job hunters would be to find a work environment where there are mentors to learn from. New professionals have their entire careers to lead the show, but the early years are often the most valuable time to learn from the experiences of peers. When you’re the boss from the start, there’s only one place to go from there — down.
  • You must love what you do. The PR profession is rarely an 8 to 5 job — at least not if you’re doing it right. With this profession in particular, you must really love what you do because there’s just no easy on and off switch. There’s a high expectation to consistently bring your “A game,” as your company’s reputation is on the line. It’s something you often live and breadth, so you just have to love it. For me, I can’t imagine doing — nor would I want to do — anything else. While it has its days, I can sincerely say I do love it.
  • The right company matters — A LOT. Appreciating that your company sells a particular widget, supports a social issue you have a passion for, or provides a service that you can’t live without is not reason enough to take a job. When interviewing with potential employers, be sure to ask the questions that matter most. It’s critical to learn about the company’s culture and get an understanding of how they perceive the role of PR to ensure it’s truly a good fit for you.

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

What got me to where I am today? Well, I’ll keep it simple… hard work — and a willingness to take a chance. I’ve taken some real gambles in my career and feel very fortunate that they’ve paid off. I’ve always followed my instincts (and ethics), and I’m truly proud of where they’ve taken me. After more than 15 years in PR and marketing profession, I still have A LOT of enthusiasm for the work I do, and I’m only just now truly reaping the rewards.

In the end, it’s all about having confidence and pride in the work you do — and putting in the work to see it through. I’m a talker, I’m a strategic thinker, I’m a doer… and that’s a powerful combination in the right environment.

Q: What are your hobbies outside of work?

My hobbies and interests are so deep and wide. There’s a lot to do in this world, and I’m anxious to try most of them. As I often say, I’m old enough to know better, but young enough to do it again. With that said, some of my most common hobbies include working out (exercising), reading, traveling, watching Survivor, beer / wine tasting, bowling, and hanging out with friends and family. If I’m being completely honest, don’t be surprised if you find me singing a karaoke tune or stalking a celebrity. I’m a big movie buff and enjoy “kanoodling” (check out an urban dictionary for the definition of that one) with celebrities.

Connect with Jeremy.