Monday, September 17, 2012

September Member Spotlight

Sarah Nadal of Shell Point Retirement Community

How long have you been an FPRA member?

I have been a card-totin' member for nearly a year, thanks to Jessica Clark, APR.

What is your favorite part of your job working at Shell Point?

It's hard to pick just one favorite part! When I started at Shell Point Retirement Community as an intern many years ago, it was just a summer job that I thought would be a fun learning experience. But after nine months working with my boss and Shell Point's AVP of Marketing & Communications, Lynn Schneider, APR, CPRC, she had me convinced that I was destined for marketing. She turned my whole professional life around and I would not be who I am today without her guidance.

My primary role as a marketing assistant is to handle scheduling and “special projects as assigned.” Those are the best! Lynn has a keen eye for weaknesses and strengths, and provides me with diverse opportunities to hone both at every turn. She has assigned me to conduct interviews, write feature stories, draft press releases, coordinate the logistics of photo shoots, assist in planning events like our annual spring fashion show, and even to oversee production of our Shell Point Life magazine and six monthly newsletters while our editor took maternity leave. Lynn also encouraged me to develop graphic design skills, which I soon put into practice doing the layout of four monthly newsletters for a whole summer. And would you believe I have yet to take a single marketing class? While I am definitely excited to begin my major courses, I'm already starting to feel pretty capable! It's all because Lynn has pushed me and stretched me and trained me. I could not be more grateful.

So, if I had to pick one favorite part of my job, it would be the mentoring relationship that I have with Lynn, along with the learning opportunities which continually grow me into a better PR professional. 

What was the most useful and applicable information you took back from conference this year?

I thought I’d come away from conference with an itemized list that would justify why FPRA and Shell Point sent me to the conference. Instead, conference pushed me to see beyond the day-to-day public relations activities of my everyday work to see the bigger picture – the purpose and driving goals of PR as a field and discipline. During the speakers' sessions, I not only learned about technical aspects of our trade, but also gained a sense of how the different disciplines within PR fit together. At the end of the day, conference removed any lingering doubts I may have had about entering the field of PR and left me with an overwhelming enthusiasm for the future.

What are your goals as an FPRA member this year?

FPRA is my one stop shop for professional development and my goal this year is to get most out of my FPRA membership. I can't emphasize enough how much value I have found through the quality programming FPRA puts forth on a yearly basis. The practical knowledge gained by a training session like the recent crisis communications seminar through the Lee County Port Authority cannot be found through another organization. The many seasoned professionals in the Southwest Florida Chapter of FPRA readily share their expertise as monthly speakers and at networking events. Finally, the tours of various local media like WINK-TV and the News-Press provide a behind-the-scenes look at the other side of the table that is extremely helpful. 

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