MEET A MEMBER
Why did you decide to go into PR?
Going into PR happened somewhat by accident. I was enrolled in nursing school, but the year before I went off to college (and after I was accepted to DePauw University), my mother passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. Watching the nurses during her time in the hospital, I realized that nursing wasn’t for me after all. The first day at college I changed my major to Communications and began to focus on theater management. I had an important internship in my junior year that made me realize this major wasn’t for me, either. Upon graduation, I moved to New York City to be with my then-fiance/now-husband; it was the late ’80s, and jobs were abundant! I had a headhunter assess what a person with my character traits might do with a liberal arts-focused “communications” degree, and they sent me on interviews at small, mid-size and large PR firms and to CBS Television Network. Ultimately, I decided to take the job in PR at the network because I felt it might be wise to understand the inner workings of television if I ever worked in an agency. (And besides, “Knots Landing” was my favorite TV show — and it was on CBS.)
Looking back, what did you anticipate from a PR career when you started, and how does that compare to what you do currently?
I liked the hustle and bustle of public relations right from the start. It was a good fit for my personality — a workaholic, overachieving creative who performs best with a variety of stressful deadlines taking place simultaneously. I anticipated this would always be the case with a job in PR and marketing, and it hasn’t changed. There’s always the next pitch, right? What has changed the most is technology, only exacerbating the fact that a PR pro’s job is never done. Keeping up with all the changes digitally and in social media sure keeps me on my toes, and we all know how much it has dramatically changed the PR landscape.
Why did you join PRSA?
I joined PRSA because I think it is important to network with peers and colleagues. For a large portion of my career, I was just cranking away doing work for clients from home while raising my kids. When I started Bohlsen Group as my youngest was entering school, I knew that it would be important to be more exposed and engaged. It is important to “brand” the company, and part of that is to be out there — meeting people, discussing what we do and gaining knowledge from others. Being a member of PRSA has helped introduce several people to the company who I would have otherwise never have had the privilege of meeting.
Do you have any insights on the PR industry, or your particular industry, that you would like to share?
I believe it is important to soak up as much knowledge as possible, and a lot of this comes from being open to the views of and partnerships with others.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy being with my family more than anything! I spend a lot of time driving my three kids (ages 14, 11 and 7) to their various activities. We love to travel. In the summer, we spend as much time as we possibly can at Lake Wawasee swimming, boating, tubing, skiing and eating well. I also like to read (memoirs and biographies, especially); currently, I have a major obsession with the Kennedys and have read book after book about them. My family is also very pleased that I love to cook!
View past meet a member columns here.