Posted by: kris10ly | April 2, 2010

The PR Pro: Rachel Miller

Rachel Miller

College has always been referred to as the best years in life, so when Rachel Miller was offered a job as an admissions counselor at her own institution, Georgia Southern University, she did not hesitate at humbly accepting this position. Now, four and half years later, she has moved up the ladder and currently holds the title of “Coordinator for Visitation Programs.” Rachel graduated from Georgia Southern with a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations (PR), one that she has noted to be beneficial in helping her successfully accomplish the tasks brought to her in her job.  Having previously met Rachel through the University and mutual contacts, she happily volunteered her time to me over some coffee, so that she could share her experiences and knowledge of the Public Relations field in an interview with me.

There were some prominent themes in the advice that Rachel offered to me, which I feel are important for all aspiring PR professionals should adhere to. Her first word to me when I asked her for tips was the usual, but certainly not UNimportant advice to “network!”

“Remember names and faces, this is important for the rest of your life! Also, find a way to keep up with people you meet, make notes about what they look like if it helps!” I have found in my own experiences that after talking to a professional, it is extremely helpful to write on the back of their business card what they looked like, where I met them, and what we talked about, to later jog my memory.

Rachel was off to a good start and continued going when she also stressed the importance of being professional and keeping customers in the forefront of our thoughts.

“Be professional, this includes showing maturity and excellent communication skills. Also, always remember customer service is key no matter what job you have!”

To prove her point even more she expanded on how important customer service is to her job. “As a recruiter, I go to college fairs either during the day or at night, making high school visits to all the top 30 high schools in my territory. I make calls to prospective students constantly and am always talking with parents and students answering their questions.”

Her job description above entails people 100%, and just like a corporation, she has clients, prospective students and parents. How she portrays herself and the University to them is key in influencing them to choose Georgia Southern as their investment in education. “I feel like no matter where I am, I am a representative of Georgia Southern and I feel that is an obligation to always represent [it] and what we stand for, no matter where I am.”

The majority of our conversation was about ethics and ways to excel at any job in general, but I wanted to get more specifically into what her position and the Public Relations field entailed. Knowing Rachel for some time, I have seen her come in and out of Statesboro constantly, so I asked her how much she traveled and how many hours did she put into her job, to get a better feel of what my years are going to look like after graduation.

“I travel a lot, especially during the travel seasons,” when she is visiting high schools and recruiting prospective students. “During travel season, I maintain a 50-60 hours per week schedule and even then I still take work home with me.”

Wow, that is a lot of hours. And what about travel:

“I have been living in Atlanta the past two years and I still travel to Statesboro twice and month, up to North Carolina twice year, and I am responsible for the whole Macon territory.”

So, her year is booked, especially during the recruiting season, but she has reaped the awards. She proudly told me about the promotion to the Coordinator for Visitation Programs she just recently received which will relocate her to Statesboro. Maybe some of those travel hours will get cut down?!

Talking with a professional in the field was extremely helpful in preparing myself for the near future and Rachel’s tips are definitely going to get me off on the right foot once I step into the office of my first job.

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Responses

  1. I liked reading about your experience interviewing a PR professional. I never really thought of a college recruiter as a public relation position.. but it so is! It seems like every day I learn of a new job that I could utilize my PR skills. I thought it was especially cool that she writes a description of people she meets on the back of their business card. That is such a great idea! I have some trouble placing people. I rarely forget a face.. but names and where I met them just leave my brain sometimes. I am definitely going to start using her trick! Thanks for sharing all this great information! Sounds like you had a great interview!

  2. […] 11. Comment on Kristen Kelly’s Blog: The PR Pro: Rachel Miller April 11, 2010 I liked reading about your experience interviewing a PR professional. I never really thought of a college recruiter as a public relation position.. but it so is! It seems like every day I learn of a new job that I could utilize my PR skills. I thought it was especially cool that she writes a description of people she meets on the back of their business card. That is such a great idea! I have some trouble placing people. I rarely forget a face.. but names and where I met them just leave my brain sometimes. I am definitely going to start using her trick! Thanks for sharing all this great information! Sounds like you had a great interview! […]

  3. Hey Kristen! Rachel seems like a really great mentor with some excellent advice. I feel like I’ve been beaten over the head with the word “networking,” but I guess that since everyone continues to talk about it, it must be pretty important. I liked your advice about writing down where you met the person, what they looked like and what you talked about on the back of their business card. That information would be really helpful if you decided to send them a follow up email or if you saw them at another event. I also liked Rachel’s comment about remembering that customer service is key. I think that is great advice no matter what industry you’re in. I’m currently a server at a restaurant in Savannah and I rely on tips for income, so I know firsthand that if your customers aren’t happy then you will not make money. Thanks for the advice!

  4. Your interview was so helpful! The tip she gave about writing a description of the person and what you discussed with them on the back of their business card is such a great idea! I’m horrible with names, so putting a face to a name in the beginning would definitely help a lot.
    She also made a good point about customer service. Good customer service is so important in any job. When your customers aren’t happy, your boss usually isn’t either. It’s definitely good to maintain a good relationship with your publics. She seems to be like a very insightful person to have during your journey in public relations!

  5. […] commented on Kristen Kelley’s blog about her interview with Rachel Miller.   Leave a […]

  6. Hey Kristen. You picked a pretty cool person to interview because I actually work with Rachel Miller whenever she comes back to the Statesboro campus in the Office of Admissions. I was also surprised to see how closely college recruiting and public relations were related. Rachel is a very busy person and the fact that she does so much work away from her “home site” is so amazing. She has an enormous territory that she handles extremely well and she loves what she does so she is definitely an example of public relations hard at work.

  7. Hi Kristen!
    I read your blog about Rachel Miller. She sounded so interesting and I thought it was cool that she worked in the field of public relations here at Georgia Southern. I can definitely agree with her when she said that college was some of the best years of her life! Georgia Southern has been an am zing and educational experience for me and I am just thankful that people like Rachel can still work for such a great institution. I hope that when I get a job in the field of public relations that I can work for such a great establishment. -Kristin

  8. […] 15. Kristen Kelly-The PR Pro:Rachel Miller […]

  9. […] https://kris10ly.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/the-pr-pro-rachel-miller/#comment-23 […]

  10. I enjoyed reading your “The PR Pro: Rachel Miller” blog. That is pretty cool that she got a job here after graduating. That is so true what Rachel said about always being professional and keeping customers in the forefront of our thoughts. That statement is such a big part of PR. 50-60 hours and she takes her work home often times ! ! WOW, I must applaud her, she works hard. What she said about the importance of networking is true too. A lot of the times its all about who you know. Relationship building and growing with your clients is definitely a must. Enjoyed this blog.


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