Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Grad Profile: Ashliegh Gehl (2013/14)

Today's Loyalist PR graduate profile features Ashliegh Gehl (2013/14) who is now employed as the Social Media Marketing Coordinator at Loyalist College.

Prior to enrolling in the Post-Graduate Public Relations Program at Loyalist, Ashliegh completed a degree from Lakehead University in Indigenous Studies and an advanced diploma in Journalism from Loyalist College. She continues to expand her learning with courses in creative, food and travel writing. 

Loyalist PR: What made you decide to enrol in Loyalist PR?

Ashliegh Gehl: When I was working as a journalist, I focused on arts and education. I found myself compelled by the public relations professionals I was interviewing. These people are lifelong learners who are perpetually curious about the world. I had spoken to a Loyalist PR grad (who also studied journalism) and the program seemed like a perfect fit.

Loyalist PR:  What are some of your duties as Social Media Marketing Coordinator? 

Ashliegh: My position is extremely well-rounded. I have a hand in every aspect of Marketing and Communications. I write profiles, edit magazine submissions, craft social media messages, monitor the media, send out press releases and attend events.

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

Ashliegh: When you’re developing a social media strategy, you’re tasked with making your content come alive. In small, meaningful social spaces (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram), you’re igniting a story. You’re building (and fostering) a community. Loyalist PR focuses on community building, strategy and creativity. Three essential skills I use every day.   

Loyalist PR: Are there any highlights of your year in Loyalist PR that you’d like to share?

Ashliegh: Discovering the depth and scope of Public Relations was a continual highlight. The field is like a bicycle wheel. Each spoke represents a different aspect of the field. From fundraising, to events, to agency, to education and the arts, the depth of the field seems endless.

Loyalist PR: I love that bicycle analogy (and plan to use it!). Any words of wisdom for this year’s graduating students?

Ashliegh: Take a cue from Canadian author and journalist Pierre Berton. In everything you create, be it in print or online, write about the people, write about the places. Berton died before Facebook, but I think he would’ve been an amazing digital storyteller (bowtie and all). 

As you venture into the exciting world of Public Relations and you’re writing your first social media strategy, take a step back and think of Berton. Every great story has people and every great story has place. 

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