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PRSA Tampa Bay Member Spotlight: Kelsey Albina

May 29, 2014

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.

The #PRSATB Spotlight shines on Kelsey Albina, account executive at RFB Communications Group. When Kelsey comes across a great story in the press, she instantly thinks about the people behind the story – curious as to what they said, what they pitched and how they felt when their story was placed.

Kelsey Albina

Kelsey Albina

Name: Kelsey Albina

Title: Account Executive

Company: RFB Communications Group

PRSA Involvement (past and present): I’m a new member to PRSA, but was involved with the University of Florida PRSSA chapter for the past four years and a member of the UF Bateman Team in 2013 earning honorable mention with our Spot It, Stop It campaign combatting bullying in Gainesville, Fla.

Connect with Kelsey on LinkedIn.

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

I graduated in 2013 from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. At UF, I was a member of the 2013 PRSSA Bateman team, which involved researching, planning, implementing and evaluating an entire campaign in our community. It was the most tiring, stressful and ultimately rewarding thing I’ve ever done. If you have the opportunity to be a part of it at your school, take it!

My passion lies in the ocean, so my first internship, which ended up being an extended internship with a little volunteering thrown in, was with the Sea Turtle Conservancy in Gainesville. After that I interned with RFB Communications Group (where I work now) doing mostly media relations work. I then joined the Bateman team and didn’t have the time for any more internships, but think that it was equivalent if not more experience than an internship anyway!

I started out right after graduation as an Account Coordinator with RFB, and quickly moved up to Account Executive. I couldn’t be more thankful for what my current boss has taught me and allowed me to be a part of here. I’m getting wonderful experience in so many areas. I also currently volunteer as the Communications Coordinator for Florida Boxer Rescue, which includes everything from media relations, newsletter creation and distribution and even web development.

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

Everyone always says the PR field is growing all the time, but nobody tells you how much! It’s incredible all of the new skills you’re expected to have or have some knowledge about. I’ve had to at least dabble in web design, SEO and graphic design – I should’ve triple-majored!

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

Intern – and make those internships relevant. You have to get experience. School is one thing, but having real knowledge of what it’s like to pitch a reporter and coordinate an interview with a client is completely different. I don’t remember much about the pitches and releases I wrote in my classes, but I definitely remember the first time a reporter replied asking to have my client available for a live shoot!

I’ve also noticed in interviews, you get few questions on what you learned in school. Employers want to know that you can turn your education into something valuable for them, and you can’t show them that without having practiced in an internship, competitive team (I’m biased here coming from a Bateman team) or prior job.

4)    When you see a great story in the press, what’s your immediate thought?

I’m constantly thinking about the people behind the story. I want to know what they said, what they pitched and how they felt when their story was placed. I do this for everything though, from commercials to print ads and news articles to magazine spreads. Can you imagine how the person who first shouted, “Let’s have a camel talk about hump day!” in a meeting must feel now?

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

On weekdays after work you can find me at either of the two Davis Island dog parks with my rescued dog, Finn or doing Bikram yoga at Yogani. On weekends you can find me at the beach, on the boat, scuba diving or anything involving the ocean. Except gamedays. Gamedays I’ll be cheering my heart out for my Gators.

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

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