To get a professional understanding about the world of Public Relations I interviewed Linda Schactler, who does the PR for Central Washington University. Schactler’s specializes in issue/ crisis management and government relations. Before she started working for Central in 2010, Schactler owned her own communication business where she provided issue management, government relations and communication services. Her clients included Washington State Horticultural Association, Central Washington University, Washington Realtors, and other public agencies.
Handling good and bad press on a daily bases, I thought Schactler would be a great person to interview because of her on going career in communications and have knowledge of good qualities in the professional world. Although Schactler’s official title is Public Affairs for school but she the work she does seems to have a PR feel to it. Being a busy woman I was able to ask her a few questions that I found interesting to me that could help me with my future career.
What is your background; how did you get where you are today?
BA and MA in English Lit. Work experience includes reporter, producer and anchor for radio and television; Director of Communications, Washington State Senate; Deputy Director, Higher Education Coordinating Board; owner of my own public affairs business, Schactler Communications.
What are some major skills that have helped you without your career?
The ability to write and speak clearly; to absorb and translate a wide variety of information and data quickly and clearly; thick skin
What is different about Public Affairs from Public Relations?
Public Affairs is much more broad and is strategically focused. Where PR is more focused on one thing, image.
Do you think LinkedIn is important for a PR profession to have?
No. I am ON linked in, but have never used it–not even a little bit. It might be helpful, but not necessary. What is necessary is the accumulation of experience – projects, internships, anything–excellent communication skills, and persistence. Without those things LinkedIn is useless.
What is the one thing that everyone entering a career in the PR world should know?
Get ready to adapt! I can’t think of an industry that changes as quickly.