This month, we talked to Maryland Chapter member Courtney Benhoff, regional communications manager at Erickson Living, while she took some time to walk around the Erickson Living campus getting her steps in on a picture-perfect day.
How long have you been a member of PRSA and why did you join?
I joined PRSA back in 2013 when I was new to the Public Relations (PR) industry having recently transitioned from publishing world into PR. My background in publishing translated well but I wanted to educate myself on best practices and get up-to-speed in regards to the latest trends in the industry.
What do you enjoy most about being a board member and volunteering?
The professional and personal connections that you make are what I enjoy most about serving on the board. The relationships that you build can also become invaluable. When it comes to volunteering, I enjoy that it lets me explore different paths than what I do in my day-to-day, which provides a great education and overall learning experience.
What is your current position at Erickson Living?
I am the Regional Communications Manager, which means I handle external communications, public relations, social media, and crisis communications for a portfolio of continuing care retirement communities throughout the United States. I share positive stories about our residents and staff to strengthen the position of our communities and enterprise in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
What do you love most about the PR field?
I love the opportunity to tell stories. I also love that as the industry continues to evolve, PR consistently challenges us to be creative and try new things.
Who inspires you?
On a personal note, my family inspires me. I always want to do and be the best for them. Professionally, my team at the office is a wonderful source of inspiration. I’m fortunate to be part of a team that is incredibly supportive and collaborative. I am always learning something new from them as they provide constant education. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our residents, whose lessons and life experience inspire me every day.
What’s one thing you learned in the last month? Professional or personal.
A recent PRSA course in Digital Communications reinforced to me the increasing value of data-driven PR. It’s so important that you understand the role measurement plays in the industry and the crucial impact it can have on strategy.
What’s something about you not many people know? A fun fact.
Both my daughter and I were born on Super Bowl Sundays.
What’s the last book you read?
A recent favorite was Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
Where did you grow up?
I grew up right here in Baltimore, in the Towson and Lutherville areas.
What’s one career tip or piece of advice you’d share with others based on your experience?
Be proactive! Remember that you’re the only one in control of your career.