Meet Paige Vaughn, the Texan and creative force between public relations powerhouse blog PR Girl Paige. That Working Girl recently chatted with Paige about her experience in PR, finding a work-life balance in college and what's next for her career. Read on to learn more!
Q: What is your background in PR, and when did it "click" with you that you wanted to pursue PR and media professionally?
A: My background in public relations has been an exciting one. My experience has ranged from social media marketing, to photography, to graphic design, to classic public relations. I've worked with a nonprofit, a start up, a university, student organizations - you name it. It's really given me a taste for the wide variety public relations offers!
PR was love at first sight for me. After a brief stint studying history, I stumbled upon public relations and was hooked instantly. It's a profession that allows for meaningful connections with those you work for and with, and it's always changing, which keeps things fresh and encourages all practitioners to keep learning and growing.
Q: You're currently a student at Texas State University - how do you balance your classwork with an otherwise fast-paced PR lifestyle?
A: Balance is something I strive for in my life constantly (it's even in my mission statement.) How do I keep that balance, you ask? One word: planning.
I'm currently 9 months from graduation, that being said, my course and workload is heavier than ever now. It's taught me to plan for every possible case scenario (which is essential in PR) and use organization as a way to stay sane and stay on top of everything. As of late, I've been using the The Day Designer as my go-to planner, and its worked wonders for my scheduling, planning, and prioritizing (and it's specifically made for creative entrepreneurs, which is awesome!). Now I have all the time I need to balance internships, blogging, working with my school's PR agency, student organizations and keeping up my GPA - none of this would be possible for me without planning.
Q: What inspired you to start your blog, PR Girl Paige? A: I'd always wanted an outlet where I could connect with ambitious women who wanted to do it all. I wanted a place with creative conversations and that bred support for each other. I figured there would be no better way than to create this outlet myself - that combined with my overwhelming love for public relations, photography, writing, and self empowerment led to PR Girl Paige. My blog is very dear to my heart, so to see it develop from sketches in my journal to now warms my heart with gratitude for my readers.
Q: How did you grow your personal brand, and do you think that personal branding is an important skill for PR pros master? A: I grew my personal brand through an effort to be completely genuine, online and off. I wanted to share with the world my perspective on what it means to be a go-getter millennial in an age of stereotyped laziness. Personal branding is invaluable to all professionals, but especially PR pros. How can you expect to represent others if you can't represent yourself? Branding allows for you to be known for what you're good at, sets you apart from everyone else, and can position you as a niche expert. You have a story to tell, so get out there and tell it!
Q: We know it's a hard question to answer, but we have to ask! Where do you see yourself in 5 years, and what would you like to accomplish by that time? A: Thank you for asking this question! It's so important to have goals, especially as a twenty-something. Five years from now my ideal workplace would be in an agency, where I would get to work with many different types of industries and content. It's truly important to me to work somewhere with a mission that resonates with my values. I will hopefully be graduating with my Master's around this time, as well. As for ventures outside of the workplace, I can still see myself with a camera around my neck, a coffee in hand, chasing after a corgi puppy, living in Austin, Texas.
Q: Think fast: what is the one best tip that you would share with up-and-coming PR pros? A: Take a moment and look around instead of constantly looking up - use your peers and fellow pros as a resource. They can change your life with encouragement, knowledge, perspective, and opportunities. Instead of see each other purely as competition, your energy could be much better used to support one another.