Today's Freeze Frame interview is with aluma Marina Apperley (Loyalist PR 09/10).
Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Marina graduated from the Business Program at Loyalist. Marina currently runs her own business, PIVOT, in the Quinte region.
Loyalist PR: What made you decide to take Loyalist PR?
Marina Apperley: I was actually enrolled to complete the third year of Business at Loyalist, for both Materials Management and Human Resources; however, I loved my job within the Loyalist Alumni Office and knew that to make a move in that direction required a public relations certificate.
It wasn't until the last week before school started that I made the official decision to switch to Loyalist PR. I think it took so long for me to make this decision because Business and Materials Management was my ‘safety zone’; I knew how to do it naturally and I felt my future was safe there.
Loyalist PR: Tell us about the business you have started since leaving Loyalist PR?
PIVOT is a public relations, social community management and administrative business. The passion that is in the work that I do and hope to do in the future, revolves specifically around one notion: to help others make their mark on the world.
PIVOT’s services run anywhere from copywriting to social media marketing, consulting, virtual assistance and much more. If a client needs something specific done, it is worked into the schedule. If it something that I may not be the best for, I make sure to point them to those that can help. The goal is, as said, making their success.
Loyalist PR: Can you describe some of your day-to-day duties?
MA: Every day is slightly different than the last as clients change, projects are completed and new ones begin. Currently, my days have the basic foundation of: email (and replies), scanning for new information/news regarding PIVOT’s topics of interest but also those of current clients; scanning social media for PIVOT and for clients (intervals throughout day); social media engagement (PIVOT and clients – intervals throughout day); research and article/blog writing; media list creation; research and news release writing; marketing for PIVOT; setting up next day’s social media/planning ahead; and studying new information and news that affects PIVOT and its market.
Loyalist PR: How did Loyalist PR help prepare you for what you’re doing now?
MA: Wow, big question with a big answer: everything. It sounds almost silly to say but I found ‘myself’ and my professional ‘future’ in Loyalist PR. The family-like atmosphere, the constant encouragement, the general environment made it easy to be comfortable, open and honest.
These are major factors in finding my professional passion as well as my personal self.
The environment allowed for all of us to discuss and debate which helped us to express ourselves and gain our own ‘voice’; all while still providing us with the necessary skills and knowledge.
Loyalist PR: Can you share with us any highlights of your year in Loyalist PR?
MA: Definitely the trip to Toronto: Steam Whistle Brewery, CBC and a live taping of The Hour. Those that were able to make the trip were able to solidify friendships and become a team of sorts. It was a long, exhausting, incredibly fun trip that played a major role in how we interacted throughout the year.
In addition, Diana Degan’s (aka Robinson) visit to our class was a highlight for me as I am sure, many others. She spoke of her PR ‘adventures’, her business and her professional lessons learned as well as provided us with mentor of sorts, an open invitation to contact her at any time. Her stories made me excited to get ‘my hands dirty’, to begin my life in the PR field. It’s interesting now, owning PIVOT, to realize that she became a role-model in that moment, for what I want in my life.
Loyalist PR: Any words of wisdom for current students or anyone considering taking the program?
MA: Be open. Let yourself put aside the social aspects of school (in mind only) and realize what it is you want for yourself. Your future is starting in this moment whether PR is in your professional future or if it is a stepping stone to the next stage.
Be conscious for you choices and protect your brand/your reputation. It is what can make or break you in anything that you do.
Loyalist PR: Anything else you’d like to add?
MA: Beginning your own business, whether it is PR related or another topic of your choosing, is not simple, nor easy. It is long days that tend to seep over into your personal time, every time. It has to be a focus; without focus it can so easily get away from you. You have to have organizational skills, time management skills and a strong foundation whether family or friends, that will help you through its processes.
But if you have these things and a passion for what you are doing and doing it on your own terms, it can be the greatest decision. I love what I do, every moment of it including the stress. I also know that without Kerry Ramsay and the Loyalist PR program, I wouldn’t have made it this far. Thanks, Kerry!