Hometown: Hampstead, Maryland
Currently Reside: Hampstead, Maryland
Education: Nick earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from West Virginia Wesleyan.
Why did you choose a career in Communications/PR? How did you get into your current job?
[At Wesleyan] I was actually highly involved in the radio station and spent my senior year as general manger of the station. And I thought, hey, how cool would it be to work at a radio station? And then I realized it was extremely difficult to actually work in radio.
I got a job with the state and was over at the Maryland Insurance Administration as the assistant director of government relations. While I was working there I liked the communication aspect of it, going out and talking to people, the inter-office communication, planning events, and everything like that. After a while I decided to switch lanes and got into the director of communication position here.
How has being a PRSA member benefited you?
It’s been a busy year so far, so I haven’t been able to get to any events. But I have been able to go on the website and watch a couple of webinars, which are really helpful. One of the big things that we’ve been trying to do this year is increase our followers on Facebook and our LinkedIn account. There’s a bunch of different social media webinars out there and a lot of them have been very helpful.
How do you stay on top of industry-related news and trends?
Typically our audience and our major customers are other state agencies. We don’t typically deal with the public a lot. Usually when searching news articles every morning I’ll go through a couple of the major papers around here and I’ll look at a dozen other smaller papers from counties. I just go through the front pages first to see if there are any front page stories that involve DGSE or could potentially involved DGSE, and I keep an eye out for other things for other state agencies. If there’s something there I can always send it over to my counterpart at another agency, but they all do the same thing as well. So you get to know the other communication directors and we all try to help each other out.
A career in communications/PR can be stressful at times. What do you do to relax?
Especially working in a state agency, we’re always working. Just because it’s five o’clock doesn’t mean we set the phone down. If there’s something going on I can be called at 10:00 and have a conversation about whatever is happening. Yeah, that can be stressful at times. But I think the best way to relax, personally, is to go home and enjoy my family and have a nice dinner; cook dinner and sit and watch TV.
What are your passions/interests/hobbies?
I’m a very big movie buff, usually watching movies, TV shows, and everything like that. Currently—and I know I’m behind on the times—but I’m finally getting a chance to watch Game of Thrones. My friends have been telling me for years, “hey, you need to watch this!” And I finally gave in and gave it a shot and it’s been pretty good.
Best piece of advice received:
Try your hardest, because if you don’t try hard you might as well not try at all. I’m not going to get anywhere just going in and doing the bare minimum. Being like that, you’re not going to stand out. If you want to succeed, move up, you’ve got a short one here, so be willing to put the work in.
Connect with Nick on LinkedIn