Hometown: Baltimore, MD
I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communications, specializing in public relations. I was lucky enough to go to Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. It’s part of the UNC School System and located in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.
Describe your day-to-day job:
That’s the hardest question to answer! I love agency life because every day, every minute, is different and unpredictable. Possibly the best way to explain it is to imagine taking all the things I said I do at Van Eperen and put them in a really big bag. Toss in multiple clients, the integrated PESO (paid, earned, shared, and owned media) model, math for tracking and measuring, leave space for the things I’m surely forgetting, and give it a shake for 4-6 minutes and THAT’S my day-to-day job. I love it!
How did you get into your position with Van Eperen?
Funny you should ask! I moved back to Baltimore in 2013 after living in Atlanta for seven years and immediately joined PRSA-MD. I was quite active in the PRSA Georgia Chapter and knew I wanted to continue to be involved with the organization here. Jeff Davis, APR (Managing Partner of Van Eperen) was co-president of the PRSA-MD board of directors at the time and I saw him at the first event I went to and introduced myself. As I became more involved with the Chapter I was asked to join the board and got to know Jeff better. Over the years my admiration for Jeff and his work grew and grew. His public relations consultancy was acquired by Van Eperen and it wasn’t too long after that Jeff was ready to expand Van Eperen’s Baltimore office. I met with him and CEO Laura Van Eperen and the rest is history!
What did it mean to receive the Volunteer of the Year award?
It took time to sink in because it was a complete surprise. I couldn’t have been more honored. I invest time and energy into PRSA-MD because it’s an organization that I believe in and it has truly made a difference in my life and professional development. To be recognized by the Chapter as Volunteer of the Year encourages me to do more and I hope others are inspired to volunteer with PRSA-MD, too.
What work are you most proud of doing for the Chapter?
Increasing the number of programs the Chapter offers is what I’m most proud of. It has been, and continues to be, a group effort. People suggest a topic they’d like to present or one they’d like to learn more about and we’re turning those ideas into meaningful programming for communication practitioners. Networking and professional development are the two biggest reasons people join the Chapter and it’s been a huge focus to deliver both. It’s a lot of work but the feedback has been fantastic and we’re excited to bring even more in 2018!
What advice do you have for practitioners looking to do more with the Chapter?
Speak up and don’t take on too much, too soon!
What are your passions/interests/hobbies?
Everything revolves around my family and friends. Spending time with them is the most important thing to me. I love music and going to concerts and productions. And I’m passionate about giving back. Just over a year ago, I started volunteering with Thread, Inc., a Baltimore City nonprofit. Thread aims to engage underperforming high school students confronting significant barriers outside of school by connecting students with a family of volunteers and increased access to community resources. We work to foster students’ academic advancement and personal growth into self-motivated, resilient, and responsible citizens. It’s been one of the most challenging and rewarding adventures of my life.
Best piece of advice received:
I have two; be kind and be true to yourself.
Connect with Emily:
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter – https://twitter.com/EMcDermott48
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilymcdermott/