By: Nikki Mikolon
On Friday, Feb. 12, PRSSA members took a trip to downtown Detroit and visited Lambert, Edwards & Associates. Lambert, Edwards & Associates is a public relations firm and also works on public affairs and investor relations. LE&A prides itself on being “the PR firm that can read an income statement” (source).
When we first arrived we were right in the middle of downtown. When we entered the office we were greeted with smiling, welcoming faces at the door. We were then taken into the “Locker room,” LE&A’s version of a conference room. The room had four lockers; each locker housed a jersey and memorabilia from each of the Detroit teams.
A quick introduction section was held to start the tour, where we learned more about the company, who they are and what they do. As a usual PR firm would do, LE&A do digital, media relations and media outreach. What sets them apart from other firms is the talk of investor relations and financial communications. Instead of only talking with media outlets and the public, LE&A take their work to the next level. Not only will they be tracking exposure, but they also look at how their efforts are affecting a business’s bottom line. LE&A has more than 100 clients across 20 states and six countries including Goodwill, Downtown Detroit Partnerships, Jamba Juice, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Ypsilanti’s very own Aubree’s Pizzeria & Grill, and more.
Following the presentation, we had a Q & A session with some of the associates and senior associates. The Q & A session left members with nuggets of wisdom.
Senior Director Tiffany Jones said as a PR person it is important to read and know what’s trending and being talked about: “You should be able to walk into an elevator and have something to talk about with anybody that walks in.”
Other advice that we found helpful from the other associates:
- Graciously accept criticism.
- Seek any opportunity you can. If you want something, ask for it. Don’t be afraid.
- Be coachable.
- Be hardworking.
Anyone with an aspiration to work in PR knows good writing is a key asset to have in life’s tool belt. Associate Amanda Dunford assured us that good writing is not the end all be all. Dunford said that even if you are not the best writer, recognize that and be coachable. Be able to take criticism from your peers and improve every day.
Associate Bob Miller gave members a way to boost résumés. Getting an internship can be hard, and as students it sometimes feels like the first is the hardest because companies are wanting prior internship experience to qualify for theirs. The questions remains, how does one get that first internship? Miller said to try applying at a favorite company and offer to work for a couple hours a week volunteering. This allows for the opportunity to get that experience on a resume to boost chances of getting accepted for desired internship positions.
LE&A’s philosophy is focused on a work hard, play hard environment. So if an internship where there is a bike-powered smoothie machine, random cornhole games, inside basketball court, and endless popcorn does not peak your interest, then it is best to look for another one.
Nikki Mikolon is a junior majoring in public relations and minoring in marketing and communications. This is her first semester on EMU’s PRSSA E-board serving as the Vice President of Professional Development. As a Detroit native she hopes to spend her beginning years in the work place working for the city and being a part of its renaissance. Connect with Nikki on Twitter @nikkimikolon.