The following is part of our Member Spotlight series. Twice a month, the PPRA blog will feature a profile on one of our members. Today’s post highlights PPRA’s Community Service Chair Khaila Edward.
After attending a number of events as a non-member, I finally joined PPRA in 2012.
How did you get into PR?
My undergraduate degree is in Advertising and Graphic Design with a sprinkling of PR electives but after a PR internship at cause communications firm GMMB in Washington D.C. exposed me to how public relations can truly shape perceptions, I realized that my strengths as a writer were better suited to the PR industry. After college, I worked briefly in PR at LevLane, in marketing for a global refrigeration distributor and while getting my Masters in Communication at Villanova, found my way back to PR at the PHLCVB.
Tell us a little bit about your current position.
I’m currently the Communications Manager at the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), where I work to raise Philadelphia’s profile as a national and international meeting, convention and sporting event destination through media relations and social media.
What is your favorite aspect of your current job?
I love that every day is different. One day I could be writing a press release about a convention of orthodontists coming to Philadelphia and the next I’m promoting the National Curling Championships. There is always something new to experience and to learn at my job, which keeps me on my toes and challenges me professionally.
Are there any PR trends that you’re really into right now?
I am very interested in PR measurement at the moment. Tying PR efforts to impact on business has always been challenging and with the development of the Barcelona Principles for PR practitioners I love that there is now more conversation about global industry standards, legitimacy and how our jobs really impact business outcomes. I would love to see more academia injected into PR.
What social media platform do you use the most in your personal life? What about for business purposes?
In my personal life I tweet a lot and am also active on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. I don’t use Facebook for business at all but will sometimes use Twitter to reach out to media. I also manage the PHLCVB’s @meetPHL Twitter account.
If you could give one piece of advice to current PR students about getting into the industry, what would it be?
My advice would definitely be to hone your writing. Fall in love with grammar, read as much as possible and expand your vocabulary. A well-written cover letter or writing sample catches my attention every time. Also, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone, be tenacious and people will take notice.
What is your favorite thing about Philly?
There are too many favorite things to name but it would probably be Kelly Drive during the summer.
Anything else we should know about you?
I’m originally from Trinidad & Tobago and only moved to the US for college (H-UUUUU!).