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PR Connection: Public Relations Interview April 8, 2009

Filed under: PR Connections — Hillary @ 1:32 am

Shelly Bryantt (my mom’s sister) is editor-in-chief of the Minot Daily News in North Dakota. Her friend Sarah Arnott is in charge of the public relations department for the newspaper. She’s been employed since September of 2006 and says she loves her job and all the people she works with. She was more than happy to be interviewed for my class. 

1. What is a typical week like for you?
I stay very busy at work on a daily basis.  I book all of the house ads for the Minot Daily News & I handle the postal report and its delivery to the Post Office.  I am also the Coordinator of our CU Online program which requires daily photo monitoring and frequent phone calls from CU users, especially during contests (most recently I coordinated the CU Beautiful Baby Contest & the CU Picture Perfect Pet Contest).  I also handle the National Account List (which includes many large businesses–Target, Wal-Mart, KMart, JCPenney, Staples, Old Navy, just to name a few).  I process billing at the end of the each month.  I monitor the preprints that go into the paper and some weekends there can be as many as 30 inserts that go in the paper.
2. What is the project you are most proud of?
I am most proud of CU and the contests I have created.  I love to see people’s pictures, especially babies & pets! I also like corresponding with the public and creating promotional advertising.
3. What was the most challenging thing you’ve had to do and overcome? 
  I was recently harassed via the Internet by a CU User.  He created a Facebook group titled “Sarah Arnott deserves a lump of coal for Christmas”.  He was upset because his baby’s picture was not in the paper for the ‘Beautiful Baby Contest’. There were even group members (his family & friends) saying that he was right.  He called me derogatory names and posted my email address and advised people to contact me. I filed an abuse complaint with Facebook and explained the contest (there were overy 300 baby pictures to choose from) and how he had been contacting me and skewing the online voting system.  The page was taken off of Facebook after 3 days.  I have not heard from him since, but I must admit I was very scared.  I felt threatened and I learned a lot about myself during the whole ordeal.
4. When they hire do they look up candidates online?
The Minot Daily News has recently started a new online job search site. Jobs.MinotDailyNews.com It is a great way for employers to read applications online, and for job seekers to apply and read online business profiles about potential employers.  The Minot Daily News does accept resumes via email and as a company we are open to online applications.  We are an equal opportunity employer.
5. What’s the strangest thing that’s happened to you on the job?
I witnessed a man getting arrested outside of the building last summer.  I heard screeching tires and a stern voice say get on the ground.  When I looked out the window, it was all taking place before my eyes.  The next day, there was a story about the convicted sex offender that had escaped from the jail and was taken into custody outside the Minot Daily News.
6. How important is written communication and online communication?
Communication is my job.  I have a major in Communications from Minot State University & I am grateful for everything I learned during my college years.  Every aspect of my job revolves around communication.  I handle a large part of my daily duties via email.  The fax machine is also a vital source (advertising insertion orders, press releases, ad proofing, etc.) although it is quickly becoming obsolete and will soon be replaced by the Internet.
7. How long have you been working at Minot Daily?
I have been employed at the Minot Daily News since September 2006.
8. What’s your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of my job is putting out a new product every single day.  Each day I see the framework and all of the steps required to assemble the Minot Daily News.  No two editions are the same & I love that!
This interview has truly inspired me. It has made me even more excited to get into the public relations field than before. To see someone who loves their job that much and that willing to share it with me and other people is so inspiring!




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