Meet BPRS-LA Member: Erin Keels
Current position/company or field?
I'm currently a Manager on the Social Marketing team at NBC Entertainment. I work in scripted social media on shows such as Superstore and SVU.
Where were you born and raised?
I was raised in Louisville, KY
Which college do you attend and what is your major?
I received my undergraduate degree in Sociology/Corporate Strategy from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. I then went on to pursue my graduate degree, and graduated with an MA in Strategic Public Relations from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA.
What do you love most about PR?
I love that PR connects people to nearly everything. From other people to shows to brands, PR is how you hear about the next big thing, and that's what exciting about being in the field. Since I'm in social marketing, I've been excited about seeing how social shapes the field and seeing how people are adapting to using it for public relations needs.
What kind of work are you most passionate about?
I'm very passionate about social media and how it changes the landscape of marketing. Social is now the first place for users to go to find real time updates. This is also a gift and a curse, though, as the wrong update can be detrimental to the brand/person. I enjoy coming up with social media concepts and rollout strategies to get audiences the right content at the right time.
I also have a keen interest in building and growing personal brands. I've assisted many of my friends and colleagues with growing their personal brands online, and using social to be more than just an initial connection. Who you are online, is just as important as who you are in person, so working with individuals to help build that online brand is very exciting for me.
First job in the business?
My first job was a PR assistant at the infamous Allied MOXY. Many of the true friends I have in LA came from this position, and I have been referred to every job thereafter from one of those colleagues.
Best advice you've ever received?
The best advice I've received was really a combination of advice from a few of my parents and mentors. "Be the best at your job, and NEVER let anyone compromise your work ethic."
Skills you've discovered have been the most useful in your field?
Social is all about understanding the landscape, so I've learned that being diligent about reviewing upcoming trends has helped immensely. In many instances, those who are in social are required to know (pretty much) everything as social is the gateway to the masses. Being organized is the key to not being overwhelmed in this industry. PR and career wise, the most useful skill is networking, which can always be honed in on and improved. As Issa Rae has stated in recent interviews, it's not always about networking up, but across your peer group. Maintaining relationships across my industry is what has helped me move forward in my career.
Why did you join BPRS-LA?
I joined BPRS-LA to connect with other like minded individuals who share the same passion for public relations and marketing. Being one of the few people of color in my graduate classes, I've connected to others in the field through this group! It's also a safe space to grow your skills!