A Love Song to Live On – front page news!!

In my 10 years of working in Charlotte as a public relations professional, I have helped clients announce news, events, and relevant happenings between the pages of the Charlotte Observer (when appropriate, of course). But I have never pitched a story to a reporter at the paper, only to see the story land on the front page of the Sunday edition!!

Last week I blogged about Matthew Chase Music and working with Sarah Tallman to help keep her late husband’s music alive. I only can hope that this cover story will assist in some small way and propel Matthew Chase’s music to bigger and better things.

Thanks to Elizabeth Leland at the Charlotte Observer who listened to my pitch on a busy Monday morning in the newsroom and taking the time to tell Sarah’s story in a wonderful way.


Palmetto PR Diva Dish – Tiffany Chepul

I am so excited to feature Tiffany Chepul as our first Palmetto PR Diva!  I have known Tiffany for seven years and have learned a lot from her, and I am excited to have her share her thoughts with us today.  In addition to being a savvy senior account manager for PR Newswire in Charlotte, she has a wicked sense of humor, an awesome, supportive husband and two beautiful children! 

Tell us what you think!  And stay tuned for next Friday’s Diva Dish profile where we check in with Jennifer Sharpe, senior account executive at Mullen in Winston-Salem. 

Please provide title and a brief description of what you do:


I have been with PR Newswire for 12 years and I’m a Senior Account Manager.  I have about 400 clients in the Southeast.  Every day at my job presents a new challenge, especially with the fragmentation of media and the increased need for PR people to communicate directly with consumers online.  No longer do I work just with text press releases.  Most projects my client do involve text, photos and video as well.


How did you become interested in this industry?


I always knew I would somehow be involved with the media industry.  Growing up I wanted to be a photojournalist for National Geographic.  During an internship at the Charlotte Observer, I was exposed to PR Newswire and was fascinated by the technology and the potential for the technology.  This was in the mid-nineties when the Internet was just taking shape.


You have been at PR Newswire for a long time!  What changes have you seen in the industry that is the most interesting to you?


Fragmentation of the media to include bloggers and social media sites has been very interesting to watch.  No longer are PR people dependent on the media for consumers to see their messages.  Along with that, PR messages have changed.  Consumers are watching online video and reading blogs before making purchases.  According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project’s Annual Gadgets Survey in 2007, 70% of people ages 18-29 have watched online video.  For consumers aged 30-49, 51% watch online video.  That’s powerful!


How do you balance your family life with your professional life?


I am fortunate to work for a great company that allows me to prioritize family first.  I have a 5-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter.  My husband is a former CPA, who is now stay-at-home dad.  I work from home too and work 4 ten-hour days, Monday – Thursday.


Are you involved in any professional associations?  If so, what are they and what do you learn by being involved?


In the past I attended some PRSA events, but in the last year I’ve joined the Virtual NIRI chapter.  My client base has grown to include about 20 public companies and I felt I needed a better understanding of a day in the life of an IRO.


What is the one piece of advice you would give students that are interested in pursuing a career in the public relations/investor relations industry?


Invest a lot of time and energy in your first few years with a company.  This is when you earn your stripes.  Your reputation proceeds you after that, so be prepared for the grunt-work and overtime!


What is the best thing about your job?


I love that my clients span all different industries.  Many of them consider me an extension of their staff, so one day I could be working for a local tech company and the next, I’m doing work for a national restaurant chain.


What is the thing you like least about your job?


Budget restrictions!  Many of my clients could see bigger results if their C-level executives would commit to bigger budgets.  Some companies really see the value of PR and Marketing and put their money where their mouth is, so to speak.  Others expect their PR professionals to be miracle-workers.


Are there any exciting announcements you’d like to tell us about (either with PR Newswire or one of your clients)?


There is a great recent example from one of my clients, HGTV.  The recently did a Multimedia News Release for their Green Home Giveaway.  This release got astronomical results online!  http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/hgtv/32064/


Also, PR Newswire just completed a media survey in conjunction with PR Week – very interesting!  http://www.prweekus.com/State-of-transition/article/108309


Anything else you would like to add?  You can contact me at tiffany_chepul@prnewswire.com with any questions, or link to me on LinkedIn.