Position Spotlight: Vice President of Brand Engagement, Nicole Steele


What is your role?

As the Vice President of Brand Engagement, my role involves several different functions. My primary focus is on our blog, Progressions. With Progressions, I reach out to various potential authors or sift through the article pitches I receive, then I edit each blog post to ensure it follows the AP Style Guide and fits with Progressions’ tone. I then send the articles off to PRSSA Headquarters to receive final edits before posting them on our website. I also find guests for our podcast series, and I am in charge of drafting storyboards and making sure the podcasts get recorded, edited, and published. Lastly, I work with the vice president of professional development and PRSA’s director of content & integrated communications to get PRSSA students’ articles published on PR Daily’s website. 

Why do you think your role is meaningful?

I love that my position gives a platform to student voices. All of the VP of brand engagement initiatives give students an opportunity to talk about the aspects of the PR industry that interest them, which not only boosts their own portfolios, but also allows students to learn from other students. Additionally, when podcasts and Progressions articles feature professionals in the industry, students are given valuable tips to succeed in their careers.

How have you leveraged your subcommittee? What does it look like to manage them?

Every year, the Publications Committee looks a little different, but this year I’ve relied on my subcommittee to send me Progressions articles. This is based primarily on the interests of the people within the subcommittee, but other years, the Publications Committee may get more involved with the podcasts. Each month, my subcommittee members send me two articles that either they’ve written or that they’ve collected from peers and edited. I try to check in with them via texts, emails, and subcommittee calls, but they’re all pretty good about knowing when their deadlines are.

What has been the biggest takeaway you’ve had from your time on the PRSSA National Committee?

My biggest takeaway from my time on the PRSSA National Committee is learning how to be organized. I thought I was pretty organized before the term, but with so many different projects bouncing between various collaborators and editors, items can get easily lost. I had to find an organization method that worked for me and a schedule so that I could mentally keep track of everything I needed to do. It took a little bit of time to get used to, but what’s nice about the vice president of brand engagement position is that it’s pretty consistent throughout the year, so once I found a rhythm, things became easier to keep track of.

What has been your favorite part of the term so far?

I feel like it’s a cop out to say ICON, but that truly was the highlight of my term. After so long of things being online, being surrounded by such a vibrant PR community was incredible. I got to meet so many passionate PR students, network with professionals, and finally hang out with the rest of the National Committee in person. Public relations is all about relationships, and it’s been great to build relationships in every format this year, whether it’s to publish someone’s article or work in a team with other PRSSA members throughout the year. Still, building those relationships in person added on another level of excitement.

Why did you apply for PRSSA National?

Originally, PRSSA National wasn’t even on my radar. However, when one of Biola’s PR professors brought it up to me, I knew it was too good of an opportunity to pass up. I applied for PRSSA National because I was eager to work with a group of such incredible young professionals who are passionate about their future careers in PR. I was excited to both learn from my peers and the professionals involved with PRSSA as well as build relationships with other individuals who matched my enthusiasm for the industry. 

What advice would you share with your future successor?

My advice to my future successor is to write things down and plan ahead. Especially at the beginning, it can get a bit confusing when different articles are due and remembering what you’re expecting to receive from various contacts. Having a working list of what’s in the works and different deadlines makes everything a lot easier to keep track of. Additionally, some seasons are easier to find article authors or podcast speakers than others, so planning ahead and always having extra items on hand will make those slow seasons easier. 


What type of position would you like to hold one day?

This is such a hard question because there are so many aspects of public relations that I love! At the end of the day, I think I will be happy so long as I know that what I am doing is making a positive impact on the community. That might be through working with a non-profit organization, but it also could mean that I end up working for a large corporation that has a good mission statement. 

What is your favorite animal? 

My whole life I’ve debated between dogs and horses, but lately otters have also made their way into the mix!

Which app have you spent the most time on this school year?

Definitely Instagram. 

If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you visit? 

Israel has been at the top of my list for a while now. I’m currently working on a minor in Biblical and Theological Studies, and I would love to visit Israel after I graduate to see the context of so many of the stories I’ve studied. 

What’s your go-to coffee shop order?

I typically go for some sort of sweet, decaf latte.

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