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PRSA Tampa Bay Member Spotlight: Jennifer Medeiros

November 26, 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 Medeiros

Jennifer Medeiros

Jennifer Medeiros, Public Relations and Media Manager at Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, says one of the many reasons she loves working as a PR professional is because, to her, “it’s the most exhilarating feeling to see your stories pop up in different media outlets after months of pitching and wooing!”

Name: Jennifer Medeiros

Title: Public Relations and Media Manager

Company/Organization: Girl Scouts of West Central Florida

PRSA Involvement (past and present):

–         PRSA Tampa Bay: Chapter Treasurer (January 2013 – Present); Assistant Chapter Treasurer (June-December 2012); Sunshine2012 Conference Facebook Manager (March-July 2012); Chapter Webmaster (July 2011 – December 2012); Chapter LinkedIn Manager & Job Board Manager (July 2011 – February 2012); recipient of the 2012 President’s Award and 2011 “Rookie of the Year” Award.

–         PRSA Gulf Coast Chapter: Webmaster and Social Media Chair (April-December 2010)

–         PRSSA: Graduate School, UNC Charlotte; Undergraduate, University of Central Florida

Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @jennrmedeiros and connect with her on LinkedIn: http://lnkd.in/UF4h5D.

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

I am a proud graduate of both the University of Central Florida (BA) and UNC Charlotte (MA) and received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in communications/public relations. While in graduate school, I was awarded a scholarship to study abroad for a semester in Manchester, UK, and had the unique opportunity to experience, first-hand, how public relations is practiced in the United Kingdom. While in school, I took advantage of every learning opportunity I could get my hands on.  As an undergraduate, I held public relations internships in the fields of healthcare, nonprofit, and sports entertainment; as a graduate student, I was a research assistant and did everything from conducting qualitative interviews with victims of traumatic brain injuries to serving as a student editor of two published communications textbooks.

Professionally, I’ve worked for a nationally recognized Chamber of Commerce in Orlando, as a member of a two-person public relations firm with multiple clients in Southwest Florida, and now most recently in the nonprofit field as the public relations and media manager for Girl Scouts of West Central Florida which serves eight counties here in the Tampa Bay area. Each new road I’ve taken has been built upon the relationships and networks I’ve grown from past experiences and I’m a true believer that public relations, at work in my personal life, has gotten me to where I am today.

2)    Have you ever done anything out of the ordinary to apply for and/or get a job?

Yes! In college, we were challenged to display our resumes and cover letters in a creative way in order to capture the attention of potential employers. For my project, I designed and created a unique coffee cup/coffee sleeve set featuring my resume (coffee cup) and my cover letter (sleeve). I based the design off of Starbucks’ traditional set. On the cup itself, I created a small, concise version of my resume on stickers which I attached to the cup. On the sleeve, I incorporated my cover letter by, for example, changing the checkboxes for coffee attributes, such as decaf, milk, syrup, etc., into personal attributes, such as driven, creative, team player, etc., and checking all the boxes. The idea behind it was that upon arriving for an interview, I would present the coffee cup to the interviewer(s) instead of my traditional resume and cover letter. Aside from a high grade in my class, it definitely helped me score an internship!

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

I love the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others. Through public relations, I’ve been able to change public perception by sharing the stories of countless companies, organizations, and people that work tirelessly behind the scenes to make our communities stronger and more vibrant; generate community and financial support of events that benefit remarkable causes; help advance the image and reputation of brands, both local and national; and so much more!

I also love working as a PR professional because, to me, it’s the most exhilarating feeling to see your stories pop up in different media outlets after months of pitching and wooing! It’s truly a privilege, especially in the nonprofit arena, to build positive relationships with the media because for us, they are the gatekeepers to the public and allow us the chance to share the very real difference Girl Scouts are making in our communities and our world.

4)    In grade school, what things did your teachers note on your report cards that you feel correlate to the PR pro you are today?

In grade school, I had a passion for reading and writing and also loved making class presentations; my teachers would most often note my creativity and initiative which are both traits that I feel contribute to my success today. In 5th grade, I was a member of my school’s on-air morning news team so I like to think that was the beginning of my path toward working in media relations. I also remember that my teachers had to make several phone calls home to my mom because I was constantly talking to others in class. Thankfully, I never got into any serious trouble as a result! I like to think, though, that this symbolizes my passion for public relations through building successful and sustainable relationships with others.

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

Outside of work/PR, I love to travel and spend time with friends. I especially love traveling with friends! In fact, some of my favorite memories are centered on trips I’ve taken with friends, including: a five-day trip to the Bahamas with some girlfriends from college, a week-long trip to the Cayman Islands with my best friend, and a weekend trip to NYC with two of my closest girlfriends.

I also love spending time with my new seven-month-old puppy, Jackson. He’s a fifty-something pound bulldog/lab mix that my boyfriend and I adopted from the Humane Society (though, I tend to think he adopted us). Jackson constantly keeps me on my toes with his boundless energy, and he’s taught me more about unconditional love than I ever knew before his big, gray eyes locked with mine for the first time.

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

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