PRSSA National Committee: Get to know your Immediate Past President – Heather Harder


University/Year: Elon University, 2014 (Immediate Past President is often a full-time PR pro, having served as President while still a student)
Involvement on campus:
  • Elon PRSSA Secretary and President, prior to National Committee
  • Elon Student Government Association Communications Senator/PR Chair
  • Elon Volunteers
  • Alpha Chi Omega
Past/current PR internships:
Current job: Capstrat public affairs Account Executive (agency owned by Ketchum in Raleigh, NC)
Past internships:
  • Capstrat public affairs intern (Raleigh, NC)
  • ExxonMobil Public and Government Affairs intern (Irving, TX)
  • RLF Communications intern (Greensboro, NC)
  • Encoder Products Company marketing intern (Sagle, ID)
Favorite PR sector: I primarily work in energy and public affairs, but I also enjoy financial communications.
How has PRSSA enhanced your knowledge of PR/ future career options?
Attending all the national events, as well as hearing Chapter speakers, broadened my exposure to different skills and industries I’d never considered. PRSSA events put me ahead of the game by helping me narrow my focus early on.
Briefly, what are you looking forward to working on in your role as part of National Committee?
As Immediate Past President, I’m in the unique position of being on the PRSSA National Committee, while also a member of PRSA. I’m looking forward to helping communicate the value of transitioning to PRSA and joining the New Pros Section after you graduate.
Your go-to interview outfit: Bright dress, black blazer, heels and pantyhose (does that make me old fashioned?)
#1 pro-tip for interviews: Update your resume with something you want to make sure the interviewer knows right before the interview, and bring copies. Providing this onsite gives you an opportunity to make sure they hear about your latest achievement. (E.g., “I brought an updated resume because I just added a new award to it.”)
The PR/communications field can be stressful..what’s your favorite way to relieve stress? If I have the energy after work, I like to go running on nature trails with a good Spotify playlist.
Favorite ice cream flavor? (always a fun one) Strawberry or blueberry cheesecake
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