Diana Baculus: Advice to Live By

 by Genevieve Krier

We are quite a marketable group of people. Just ask Diana Baculus, local public relations professional and speaker at the October 15th PRSSA meeting.  Baculus brought to the group stories from a variety of experiences, beginning with radio broadcasting.  From being on air, to radio advertising, and eventually becoming sales manager of the station, she was piecing together different aspects of PR, building her marketability.  Throughout her early career, Baculus contributed twenty-two years of PR and marketing in both the hospital and government sectors.  “Public relations skills are very transferable,” stated Baculus. 

   Much of what is learned in the PR field can be applied to nearly any job where one interacts with people.  On the local level, one could be a spokesperson for your city’s government or an area special interest group, or as a PR specialist for a nearby school.  Baculus decided to use her diverse background to start her own firm right here in Iowa City. 

   “There was a huge learning curve for me,” she recounted, “(because) a firm is more about business building than public relations.”

   Her firm, The Summit Group, has been advising clients, handling crisis communication and branding for over four years, garnering multiple awards for her services. 

   Baculus couldn’t stress enough the importance of “trend spotting” within a specific sector.  As PR professionals, we must always be a few steps ahead when it comes to managing the image of an individual or company.  Making the most of the media means jumping into the blogosphere, following posts found on nearly every news media website and more specifically, Twitter.com.  It comes down to networking with those already established in PR and those of interest surrounding a hot PR lead.  Doing research to keep up-to-date on the latest news, trends, and controversy illustrates one’s knowledge and drive, giving young professionals a leg-up in the industry.      

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