Freeze Frame with Bryna Jones (Loyalist PR 08/09)

Today’s Freeze Frame features Bryna Jones (Loyalist PR 08/09) who is now employed as a Communications Specialist with Engine Communications, an integrated marketing firm in Belleville, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program, Bryna completed a B.A.A. in Human Services Management at Loyalist College.

Freeze Frame: What made you decide to enroll in Loyalist PR?

Bryna Jones: I knew after my degree that I wasn’t finished with school. I didn’t want to be stuck in the non-profit world without something to boost my skills (be it Masters or post-grad).

I got an email about Loyalist PR from the college, and took a look at the blog. Two of the most recent grads were working in the exact places I wanted to be: international aid and government.

After talking to Kerry, I saw that it would be a perfect way to marry my loves of the non-profit world and the political universe.

FF: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for your current position?

BJ: It’s almost easier to say how it didn’t help; the list would be shorter. Everything I do, I learned in Loyalist PR! I barely knew what a blog was when I started the program, and I was averse to all things social media. (I’m laughing ironically now.)

Fast forward eight months and a huge part of my job here at Engine is developing their social media strategy, and implementing all SM tools.

I run three blogs, manage three Twitter accounts, and host two Facebook Fan Pages. I just received a “Top 30 Under 30 Tweeter” nod as well.

Without Loyalist PR, I wouldn’t have the job I do.

FF: What's the best thing about your job?

Connecting with people! I love it! I enjoy so much that I get to use my (small) voice to help others.

Another element of my job is to develop our corporate social responsibility model. This is something I’m incredibly passionate about. Using social media to network and connect my business with others, and then to use this forum to give back to my community and the world, is a dream come true.

FF: I know you also support a lot of important causes - tell us about a couple of your latest projects.

BJ: Right now I’m working with Streams of Hope, a local non-profit that connects individual and corporate donors with capital projects in developing nations.

Humanitarian relief work is my personal passion. Through Loyalist PR I was able to work with this group to create a blog that unites voices across organization lines.

Even two of the interviews I’ve done on the blog have been the result of Loyalist PR alumni connections (the ones with Dave Toycen and Ashley Clements).

Kerry was also gracious enough to give me the time to travel to Uganda with SOH to learn about non-profit development in the third world.

I’m also working with the Mully Children’s Family, out of Kenya, right now to organize a promotion/fundraising tour. This is part of the Engine CSR model. We’re also helping some community-based non-profits with branding and marketing – pro bono.

FF: Do you have any words of advice you'd like to share with Loyalist PR students enrolling this fall?

BJ: Be open to connections, and I don’t just mean between people; but between ideas, goals, and organizations. Kerry focuses a lot on creativity, brainstorming, and thinking outside the box. I use these skills every day.

Have fun, be yourself, and bring an open mind to the table. If you do those things, you’ll succeed.

FF: Finally, any favourite quotes you'd like to pass along?

BJ: It may sound cliché, but as Nike (and I’m using them because of their amazing brand recognition) would say: “Just do it!” Get involved, engaged, and active: in life and in school.