Friday, September 09, 2011

Grad Profile: Gloria Fletcher (PR 2010/11)

Today’s grad profile features Gloria Fletcher (Loyalist PR 2010/11) who is now employed as the Marketing Manager at Applefest Lodge in Brighton, Ontario.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist College, Gloria worked for 14 years in the Canadian military as an aircraft technician, and almost 12 years as a production planner in the aircraft industry. As Gloria puts it, she is a “graduate of the School of Life – with honours!”

Loyalist PR: Tell us about some of your current duties as Marketing Manager at Applefest Lodge.

Gloria Fletcher: My duties are varied. Primarily it is my job to create awareness of the facility in the surrounding areas; the end goal of course is to fill the new wing. I do that in a lot of ways. I plan special events, attend events representing the facility, promote thru news releases and media releases, thru networking and of course social media when I can.

I will say that is a struggle, as a lot of the world has not kept up with the times and it is sometimes hard to convince old school that this kind of exposure will work for them. I also participate in chamber of commerce activities and visit the surrounding towns, and speak to various groups such as Lions, Legion, church groups etc.

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to take Loyalist PR?

GF: I was in a place of transition in my life. I knew it was time to make some changes, and I needed to do it before I was too old or lost the courage to try. I came into the college the year before to get some advice on what direction to take, and felt this program would be a good fit. It was a really tough decision as I was rather intimidated by the youth and education of the other students I would be in the classroom with.

I have no regrets; it was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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

GF: There is nothing that I learned that I have not used in this job. On a daily basis you use the writing skills, event management, networking, social and traditional media skills that you learn in this program. You work with people of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds in the classroom as you would on the job. The people you meet and the experiences you have while learning always relate to something you are doing now. I have made some fabulous friends and connections that I know I can call on at any time.

Loyalist PR: What were some of the highlights from your year in Loyalist PR?

GF: I have to say some of the debates and discussions with one of the young fellas who has turned out to be a close lifelong friend. I’m sure we spiced it up for the rest of the class too, lol!

I also really enjoyed the speakers who came and shared their experiences in the field. Fabulous stories and a good look at what was to come. And every one of them was ready to answer questions then and now, connections for life! I really appreciated the opportunity to work for a charity of our choice, and apply the KISS theory. More work doesn’t always raise more money!

Loyalist PR: Any advice for students entering the program this fall?

GF: Embrace the moment. Really get to know everyone in your program, they may not be friends for life but they have something to teach you and I guarantee you will be contacting them for something down the road.

Also, use your professional associations as much as you can and get a mentor. The advice you get and suggestions they make will ensure you success in whatever path you take. Oh, and the professors aren’t half bad either!

Loyalist PR: Ha, thanks, Gloria! Keep making us proud.

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