UF PRSSA Speakers

4 PR Tips from NASA’s Lisa Malone


UF PRSSA was honored to have guest speaker Lisa Malone, the director of public affairs at NASA, speak about her experiences and share some of her wisdom. Malone spreads awareness across the country of NASA’s latest projects, launches, live shots and more through both traditional and social media. Malone was a journalism major and wrote for her university’s newspaper, started as an intern for NASA and got hired afterwards.

Here are 4 public relations tips that Malone suggested for college students entering the real world:

  1. Internships. Internships. Internships!

Launch your college career with an internship; it’s all about the real-life experiences you have rather than learning something in a classroom. Recruiters want to see that you can apply what you learned in a professional setting.

  1. Always come prepared.

Anytime you have a meeting during an internship or a job always come prepared! Be ready to deliver the right answers and ask the right questions.

  1. Be professional and don’t lose your cool.

When working with the media, everyone has some deadline whether it’s at noon or midnight. There are times when you will be asked the same question multiple times as well as questions that may be out of line. Having patience is crucial to working in such a fast paced environment like this as well as acting professionally.

  1. Establish a rapport with the media and develop a good list.

Get to know the fellow reporters, bloggers etc. Find out who they are and be sure to keep in touch with them by responding to their emails or phone calls. When they call up to ask to get an interview, interview THEM.

  • Who do they want to talk to?
  • What’s their angle?
  • Do they need any press release information or photos?

It’s always a good thing to establish solid relationships with professionals you’ll be working with in the future.

Be sure to check out NASA’s upcoming unmanned flight test for spacecraft Orion on December 4th 2014.

Speaker Series: Lisa Malone of NASA

Come out this Wednesday, Oct. 22 to hear Lisa Malone speak to UF PRSSA.

The event will be at 6:15 p.m. at Turlington L007. Visit our event page!

lisa maloneLisa Malone

Lisa Malone, APR, CPRC, serves as the director of public affairs at NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida. With more than 25 years of experience in public affairs, she is responsible for overseeing news media, television, Web, social media, exhibits and internal communications.

Her responsibilities include managing media activities surrounding expendable launch vehicle launches, flight hardware showings and other high profile events, as well as advising KSC management on public affairs issues and policy, and overseeing the center's Freedom of Information function.

Malone also served as a launch commentator for 15 years for space shuttle and expendable launch vehicle launches including the Atlas, Delta and other rockets

Recap: Gary McCormick's "Top 10 Things I wish I'd Known"

gary By Adriana Di Graziano

Network! No other word can best summarize what Gary McCormick, APR, and Director of Partnership Development for HGTV, said during his speech at the UF PRSSA meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

Entertaining as well as instructive, McCormick's presentation Top 10 Things I Wish I'd Known took the audience through some really interesting facts on how to build a career in public relations, as well as some timeless classics that McCormick renewed with his personal experiences.

Three points in particular seemed to stand out from the others, all orbiting around building relationships and networking:

- Knowing how to use your network is as important as creating one.

- Building relationships is more about giving than taking.

- There's a time and a place for everything.

"Your network is your lifeline to getting a job and being better at it when do land one,"  McCormick said. "People who are getting a job are people who are networking."

Any PR freshmen knows that creating a professional network is important, but McCormick took the game a step further. "Think about your father, your mother; Who are they? Who do they know?"

McCormick pointed out that, in fact, everyone of us has a solid network made of family, friends, relatives, teachers and so on. What matters now is how we use this network. As McCormick pointed out, people know people who know other people.Perhaps a teacher of yours knows a person working for that company you love, or maybe your mother went to the same class as the person responsible for HR at that same company. The takeaway? Know the people you know, who they know and use your network to connect to your dream job.

Now, you might think that this all sounds great, but so far it sounds more like we are taking from our relationships; where does the giving and listening part come in? Well, the listening and giving part comes into play in getting to know your connections.

In this regard, McCormick talked about mentors and how to use them. When you go to someone for help, you cannot expect them to know what you need and do it for you. A connection is created in the moment you approach someone with a clear question and objective. After you establish that, a relationship can be built, and you can work together on clear objectives.

The same applies for a company you might want to work for. Get in contact with people there, ask them about the company and learn more and more about them. In any relationship, he added, "you'll only get what you put into it."

Finally, McCormick touched on a rather odd point that we seldom hear. He talked about relationships in the workplace, putting great emphasis on how there is a time and a place for everything.

"Share your success with friends and family and not in the workplace" McCormick said.

Through the personal experience of a coworker, he showed how sharing your successes in the workplace could hinder your relationships. Particularly when it comes to a promotion people in the workplace might resent you, he added. In the same way, he advised the audience to avoid the office gossip because you can always be the next topic of conversation.

Laughter and hilarity concluded the presentation as McCormick shared some PR horror stories and answered the audience's questions.

So next time you are going through a job listing, or are wondering how to even start your search for the perfect job, remember that your search should start with people. If in doubt, remember that people like Gary McCormick, Champions for PRSSA, are there for students. The effort needs to be yours to get in contact with people, but as McCormick himself said "when you're going to call'em up, they'll help you."