Public Relations professionals carry the responsibility of readily turning on their “A” game, and Kerry Brown’s interview with a small radio station regarding political stances proved no exception. “One day, in my second job, I was sitting at my desk eating lunch when I got a call. I picked up the phone and heard the words “Kerry Brown! You’re on the air live with…” I had to put down my salad and take a spontaneous phone interview right then and there. At first, it was terrifying. But after my heart stopped pounding, I realized I was fully capable of doing this.” After only two weeks on the job, spontaneous interviews could make anyone nervous.
From public relations, to politics, to graphic design, 2007 graduate Kerry Brown experienced it all. “My first position was as an Account Associate at CRC Public Relations, a Virginia-based PR firm serving commercial and politically conservative clients. After three years there, I moved to Communications Director of the Susan B. Anthony List, a nonprofit focused on prolife issues. I was only there for about a year before I had my fill of politics and decided to go into graphic design.”
Brown graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a Public Relations and Advertising emphasis and a minor in Studio Art. After interning at CRC Public Relations during the summer prior to graduation, she found it easy to settle there for a first job that suited her.
“I know Messiah does a good job of drilling into students’ heads the importance of internships, so you’re probably sick of hearing it, but it’s for good reason,” she said. “In my experience in both creative and communication fields, employers value experience and the work you have to show for it more than education. Most don’t care if you went to Harvard. They care if you can prove you’re able to do the job.”
Brown currently serves as Visual Brand Manager at BIA/Kelsey, a media consultancy based in Chantilly, Virginia. In this position, she produces print and digital materials that promote her clients and company. She also manages the company’s social media, does copywriting and editing, designs on Illustrator, and collaborates with web builders, the marketing head, and clients to fine-tune her creative visions.
Brown advises students to acknowledge that public speaking and professionalism are life skills, use internship opportunities to leave lasting impressions, and lastly, “Listen to Nance. She knows her stuff and every project she makes you do, especially the ones that push you out of your comfort zone, are going to come in handy later.”
- Deanna Preziosi, ‘18