Posted by: Sarah Kemp | April 7, 2009

One on One with Mrs. Jernigan!

In my Into to Public Relations course our assignment was to interview a PR Professional. I thought this was a great opportunity to discuss real occupations in the field that we our studying. I chose to interview my best friends Aunt, who is a great role model and gives my friends and I advise all the time!

Donna is the Southeast Account Director for Architectural Digest magazine. Their headquarters are in New York City and they work under the corporation, Conde Nast Publications. Donna received a BBA from Georgia Southern and graduated in 1974. I would like to thank her for sharing this information with me and anyone in the field who has had the same or similar questions! She provided real answers, that really allowed me to see a day with Mrs. Jernigan!

Here are some of the questions that were discussed…


What’s a typical week like? (If no week is typical, then what was last week like?)

A typical week is a balancing act of client meetings, internal brain storming to develop smart solutions for customers, as well as numerous pricing/forecasting/ budgeting/proposal development conversations and meetings.It is always a juggling act involving airplanes, interstates, phone calls and computer time (both laptop and pda)

Tell me about a project you worked on that you are especially proud of…

A little known, but very high quality, leather upholstery company was wanting to elevate their brand among designers and high end consumers. I developed a plan for them that involved 2 exhibit areas at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show in NYC. They received over 200 designer requests for product samples, and for their other business in the second exhibit space, they sold over 90 of their leather travel bags with an average price point of $500. They are ecstatic! ( I have others here Sarah….just got a client’s fabric as the curtain for the new Tonight Show and they are also giddy!)

How important is writing in your career?

Communication is the key to success. Written communication and verbal communication are equally important. To be able to express ideas clearly and succinctly are critical. It is also important to know how to communicate when you are wrong or when the client is not happy!

What three tips would you offer someone just starting out in PR/ Marketing?

1. Develop a great network.

2. Nurture that network.

3. Realize that a “no” is not always a “no”.

What do you do to keep current in the PR/ Marketing industry?

Read every pertinent newsletter, magazine, book, or blog that relates to your clients business…as well as keep involved in PR/Marketing organizations that offer real value.

What do you wish you would have known before starting your career?

I wish I had embraced technology earlier!!

How does technology affect your daily work?

In every way imaginable… It is the greatest productivity tool imaginable.

What’s your most and least favorite part of your job?

Most favorite part of my job is dealing with a client that is happy….knowing I have done my job well! Least favorite part of my job is the numerous forecasts that have to be done for my management…, but that is part of the gig

I would like to thank Mrs. Jernigan again for her time and answers to benefit myself and other students!





  1. My inteviewee also talked about the importance of networking

  2. Hey Sarah! I noticed with my interview that networking seems to be a HUGE part of public relations along with internships. Definitely a good thing to know so we have time to prepare 🙂

    • I know, I agree… after everything that we have done, I can really tell that networking, even from blogging, is going to help us in the future!

  3. […] I commented back to Marilyn’s comment on my blog post, “One on One with Mrs. Jernigan” on April 30, […]

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