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PRSA Tampa Bay Member Spotlight: Marissa Segundo

September 9, 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.

Marissa Segundo, APR has used her second language skills to her advantage over the course of her career. She encourages PR students to study abroad and couple their PR studies with a language – the ability to communicate with potential customers in their native tongue can be a key selling point.

Marissa Segundo, APR, LEED Green Associate

Marissa Segundo, APR, LEED Green Associate

Name: Marissa Segundo, APR, LEED Green Associate

Title: Recycling Coordinator

Company/Organization: City of Largo

PRSA Involvement (past and present): Past Chair/Founder of Diversity Committee, Current Board Secretary

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

My PR path began at Southeast Missouri State University, which had an accredited PR curriculum. I double-majored in Mass Communications- Public Relations and Foreign Languages-Spanish. I was fortunate to study a semester abroad in Madrid, Spain. As a student, I envisioned utilizing my PR knowledge coupled with my Spanish fluency to support an environmental cause. After graduation, I worked as an intern for a year in Monterrey, Mexico. When I moved to Florida in 2004, I was hired as the PR Coordinator at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Tampa Bay. There I was afforded the opportunity to be a bilingual media representative for print and broadcast outlets on a weekly basis to help get pets adopted. Currently, I am the Recycling Coordinator for the City of Largo. I use various communication methods to reach our residents to promote recycling and sustainability.

2)    Have you earned your Accreditation in PR? If so, do you recommend pursuing an APR and why?

In 2011, I began the process of taking the APR. I always wondered why they called it a “process.” I quickly found out as I took the Chapter-sponsored, 6-week course with Karen Frashier, APR Fellow PRSA. Through this course, you become a family with your fellow APR candidates. Everyone supports each other, so “the process” is not so intimidating. I would recommend it to anyone who has been in PR for more than 4-5 years and feel they are ready. I was pregnant when I went through the APR process, so I understand how life factors also play a role in the decision to take the exam.

3)    What do you love most about working as a PR professional?

I love the inconsistency. There is never a typical day. You never know how a phone call or an expedited deadline might drastically change the course of your day.

4)    What do you wish someone had told you when you first started your career in PR?

Someone did give me a valuable piece of advice in college. In one of my first PR courses, Dr. Susan Gonders said, “If you are looking for a byline, the journalism school is down the hall. PR is not about getting credit for your hard work.” She also said something about how most PR professionals are afraid of math, which I found comical.

5)    How do you feel your language skills have affected your PR career?

Language has always put me at an advantage when looking for a job and maintaining that position. We live in a global society. Even if the job you seek does not require a second language, the ability to communicate with potential customers in their native tongue can be a key selling point. I encourage PR students to study abroad and couple their PR studies with a language. It is never too late to learn a new language. I continue my language studies by learning conversational French.

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

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