Name of Professional: Leah Davies

Profession/Title: Community Relations and Alumni Affairs Coordinator

Business/Company name: Dallas Cowboys

Date of Interview: 29 September, 2017

Interview Assessment #1

As my first interview, I was seeking mainly to acquire more information about the public relations (PR) industry, what specific duties public relations specialists carry out, and the purpose that a public relations department serves within an organization. Ms. Davies was very helpful in providing this information for me, as she has ample PR experience under her belt. I always like to ask how a professional got into the industry, and how they got to where they are today, because I am genuinely interested in the different paths professionals take to reach success. In Ms. Davies’ particular case, she majored in PR and secured an internship right out of college, leading her to multiple agency as well as in-house positions with companies such as Kay Jewelers, Bank of America, and the Cowboys, of course. This solidified the importance of internships in securing jobs that I had previously heard from professionals in my interview process last year; consistent with previous knowledge acquired from my journalism study last year, looking to secure an internship right out of college is something that I should most definitely be doing.

Some highlights of the interview included my learning the fundamental differences between PR and marketing, as I did not previously understand what separated the two from each other. Ms. Davies explained that PR is more about telling the whole story of a company, while marketing focuses on selling a particular product. Public relations is more “big picture” than marketing, specializing in shaping the perception of the company by the public rather than “selling” the brand, if you will. However, the two departments do work together on several occasions to promote Another highlight of the interview was when Ms. Davies was able to offer me a lead on my goal of doing PR for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders; she was generous enough to put me in touch with the DCC’s special events coordinator Katy Aldrich. Not only was I overjoyed when Ms. Davies was able to offer me this opportunity, but this also reinforced for me the power of connections and building a network in the professional world.

Something extremely exciting to me was learning that my writing skills, acquired from my journalism mentorship last year, will be of great help to me in public relations. This is an ideal situation; rather than putting aside the knowledge that I acquired last year and attempting to acclimate myself to an entirely new industry, I can now build atop my journalism skills and apply them in a different way to achieve a different goal. This information was not only exciting but will also prove very useful, and I will use it to my full advantage by actively seeking out opportunities within PR to apply my writing and journalism knowledge.

This interview was a fantastic way to begin my process. Now that my general uncertainties about PR have been addressed, I can more confidently ask “what else do I need to know?” I now know that I need to expand my knowledge of how PR differs for different organizations; how does sports PR differ from corporate business PR or agency PR? Are there different PR strategies or approaches that function differently to achieve different goals? This interview allowed me to get my footing in PR, and I can now effectively diversify my research and it to the next level.