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PRSA Tampa Bay Member Spotlight: Jennifer Hamilton

August 6, 2013

Every two weeks, we put a spotlight on a PRSA Tampa Bay member to learn more about their public relations background, advice on best practices and why they love working in the field.

Jennifer Hamilton, Senior Account Executive at Hill+Knowlton Strategies, is up next in #PRSATB’s Member Spotlight. When asked what advice she has for PR students in the competitive job market, Jennifer says “Have confidence in yourself and let others see it. You need to be sure of your own capabilities and experiences.”

Jennifer Hamilton

Jennifer Hamilton

Name: Jennifer Hamilton

Title: Senior Account Executive

Company/Organization: Hill+Knowlton Strategies

PRSA Involvement (past and present): 2012 membership committee chair, 2013 membership committee co-chair

Links to Personal and/or Professional Social Channels: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jlghamilton

1)    Tell us a little bit about your career, educational/professional background and how you got to where you are today.

I have five years of experience in the public relations and marketing field. I am a member of the Sustainability, Marketing Communications and Change + Internal Communications practices at Hill+Knowlton Strategies. I am currently engaged on two national environmental accounts, focusing on social and behavior change marketing and B2B communications, as well as managing marketing communications for a local education client.

I graduated magna cum laude in 2008 from Florida Gulf Coast University with a major in communications and a double minor in marketing and interdisciplinary studies. I started working at a Southwest Florida PR agency during college and have stuck with agency life since then. Shortly after graduation, I accepted a job with a local Tampa agency, where I worked for two years before transitioning to H+K in 2011.

2)    What do you suggest students do to stand out among applicants in the competitive job market?

Have confidence in yourself and let others see it. This is such a competitive job market that in order to stand out from other applicants, you need to be sure of your own capabilities and experiences. Whenever I meet with PR students, the ones who I remember the best are those who greet me with eye contact, have a firm handshake and can talk succinctly and intelligently about why they are interested in working in PR.

3)    What personality traits and intangible qualities do you look for when recruiting new PR talent?

Before I say what I do look for in a PR professional, I just have to say that whenever someone says they want to work in PR because they’re a “people person,” it automatically throws up a red flag for me. I believe the thought that PR is about dealing with people is one of the greatest misunderstandings about this industry. I don’t think that the number one quality for a talented PR professional is necessarily people skills. There are some days that I may not even need to talk to another person to get my job done! Instead, incredible attention-to-detail and having a strong commitment to project at hand (whatever that may be!) are two key qualities that I look for in new PR talent.

4)    What’re some of your personal hobbies outside of work/PR?

My husband and I welcomed twin boys in January, so pretty much all of our personal hobbies have taken a backseat for the foreseeable future! When I’m not working, I’m spending every free moment laughing and playing with our two beautiful boys.

5)    What is your favorite part about working in a PR agency?

Since taking my first PR class in college, I have always been drawn to the agency side of PR. For me, I enjoy the vast opportunities that working for an agency like H+K brings. I’ve had the pleasure of working on some incredibly exciting and fun projects over the years and even the most mundane assignment brings a new experience for me and the opportunity for a fun memory. I never know what is going to come my way each day and I like to think that agency life helps keep me on my toes and my skills sharp.

If you are interested in being featured in a “PRSATB Member Spotlight,” please reach out to Jenna Stock.

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