Monday night, we held our second PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) meeting of the year! We invited Leslie Thorton, the Public Information Director for development within the Advancement Division at Clemson University as well as a public relations teacher in the Communications Department. Because of her long title (Public Information Director for development within the Advancement Division) I think some people were confused as to what Leslie’s specific duties were (or at least I was!). Leslie spoke about her duties and clarified her day-to-day tasks that keep her job interesting.
At her occupation, Leslie focuses on writing proposals to perspective donors, keeping current donors happy, and engaging future donors (students). I thought that the most interesting part of Leslie’s job was how she keeps current donors happy. Along with holding annual banquets for large donors, she explained that after a large donation is given, a committee formulates the best way to thank the donor. Sometimes, the donor is thanked during the halftime show of the Clemson football games and other times, buildings or statues are named in honor of the donor. One time, the committee found out that a specific donor enjoyed opera music. In order to thank the donor, Clemson University set up a luncheon and had a Clemson student sing opera for entertainment!
Leslie also reminded PRSSA members that even though a job/volunteer/internship may not have a title that includes the words “public relations”, the job may still include public relations duties. For example, even if you’re not constantly writing press releases or tracking media clips, you may still be helping an organization relate and connect to its publics.
The last two tips of advice that Leslie left with us were: strengthen your writing skills and be organized.