NextUP… Tiffany Hernandez
Senior Account Executive at Elev8 New Media
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KATY: Hi, I’m Katy Colón. I’m the Client Service and Marketing Associate here at D S Simon Media.
ISIS: Hi, I’m Isis Simpson-Mersha, Conference Producer and Reporter at Ragan. And today we’re here with Tiffany, we’re so excited to have you here with us today. Tiffany, can you explain your career journey thus far?
TIFFANY: Absolutely. My career journey really started at Illinois State University. I studied journalism, broadcast journalism there. I also had an internship at our school radio station where I worked as, in the promotions department. So, I got a lot of experience with journalistic writing. I got to interview a ton of people, our local community, that was super fun. Producing videos, stories from start to finish, that was super fun and a great experience. In my promotions department position, we did a lot of radio giveaways, and we worked with local vendors, and different events for the radio station, but really for the school. So, anybody who was willing, wanting to have the radio station there to have like a DJ or something at their event, we, kind of, worked with them to have that for them. After graduation, I wasn’t totally sure if I wanted to pursue a whole career in journalism. So, with that in mind, I made a move from Illinois to Kentucky and I became a preschool teacher. And so, I taught preschool for two years and I loved it. It was super fun. I think it was a good learning experience, you get a ton of different perspectives, and you work with all kinds of kids, so that was awesome. And then after that, I decided on a bigger move, and I moved to Los Angeles, and then I started my career in PR.
KATY: Thank you so much for sharing that. I can’t describe your move from Kentucky to Los Angeles. Did you face any struggles during your transition?
TIFFANY: Yeah, so the actual move was an adventure in itself. We drove across the country, so that was scary and exciting. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, I think. As far as transitioning from preschool to PR, it was a little bit tough because I wanted to find a job that I really enjoyed as much as I did teaching preschool, because there’s something new every day and you get to see new faces or familiar faces. I think that was something that I was really looking for in a work culture in my new position in Los Angeles. So, I think that as well as translating any sort of journalistic writing to my new career, so I did want to still pursue something in communications. I think after teaching, I think I found my calling in the communications field. I think that’s where I feel the most comfortable and confident. But yeah, translating anything from my past experience in journalism to a new position in Los Angeles.
ISIS: Tiffany, it sounds like you really took a leap of faith and it truly led to like this huge opportunity for you. And so, I’m really curious about your career, you know, as a teacher. Are there any skills you learned that apply to your public relations role?
TIFFANY: I would say the first one that comes to my mind is patience. In PR, as you guys know, some things can take a long time. So, an article can take a long time. An interview can take a long time to be published. So, honestly, just working with a ton of different kinds of writers from all different, you know, topics and industries, and being patient with them, and giving them what they need to succeed as well as them helping me, you know, get this interview or whatever it may be for my client.
KATY: Yeah, absolutely. Patience is such a great skill to have, especially within this industry. How did you find the right outlet to showcase your writing?
TIFFANY: I think that I really enjoyed writing just from childhood. I feel like that was always something that I was doing creative writing, writing little stories, but I went in to study journalism at Illinois State, and I think that the biggest piece that I liked about it was really being able to shed some light on different kinds of stories and giving a voice to a small business or somebody in a similar position. I think that is my favorite part. So, I think it was not an easy transition, but I think PR kind of goes hand in hand with journalism. So, after looking into that, I really felt that PR may be a good step and I think that so far so good, I really enjoy it. So, I think it was a good transition.
ISIS: Given that Ragan’s Communications Week theme this year is “Meet the Moment”, how will you rise to the occasion over the next few months in your career journey?
TIFFANY: Yeah, I think that rising to the occasion is, you know, something that we should all do every day, but as far as my own journey in my current position, being on top of the news cycle is so crucial. So, I think continuing to do that and helping clients truly understand what kind of message they can put into the news or maybe be a thought leader on certain things and just keeping an eye on that for them. Personally, for my own career, I will meet the moment by just being open to new opportunities and anything thrown my way, I’m ready to tackle.
KATY: Thank you so much, Tiffany, for joining us.
ISIS: Thank you.
TIFFANY: Absolutely, thank you all.