Five Questions with Ellie Hodgkins

March 6, 2018

by Ellie Hodgkins

Ellie Hodgkins joined us just three weeks ago as a communications specialist and has already become an integral member of the team.  An experienced producer and supervisor for the Home Shopping Network and marketing consultant for Art & History Museums – Maitland, Ellie offers expertise in marketing communications, event planning, merchandising and business development.

Read on to learn more about Ellie, a passionate philanthropist and proud UCF Knight:

What motivated you to pursue a career in public relations?

As a born communicator, I’ve found that public relations is a perfect fit. Very often, I am an unwitting influencer to friends and family when products, actions and innovations excite me.  Why not do that professionally?  What interests me most about this industry is uncovering the underlying motivations behind communication and endorsing worthwhile community efforts.

Is this what you wanted to do when you were little?  If not, what did you want to do when you were little?

My first ambition was to be a mountain-climbing ballerina, but as fate would have it, I’m not very coordinated.  After that, I wanted to be a greeting card writer or product demonstrator.  The latter was realized when I worked for the Home Shopping Network and got to produce demonstration segments.  My foray into television led to an interest in documentary film-making, a passion I continue to pursue in my free time. Now, my career path has come full-circle; understanding what makes someone tick is at the heart of both documentaries and public relations.

What’s one fun fact about you that most people don’t know?

I am allergic to cold.  Yes, the temperature.  I guess that means I’m a Florida girl through and through!

If we looked in your office drawer, what would we find?

Notebooks, folders and snacks.  I’m extremely organized.  And hungry.

If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would it be?

There are so many feminist icons who would fit the bill, but at the end of the day, I’d have to say John Waters.  He is not only a director, comedian, author and artist whom I admire, but his work has pushed boundaries and opened the door to a more inclusive world.

Target Missed

February 14, 2014

rpynn by Roger Pynn

I suppose that as much as I long for the good old days, I should like being mistaken for a youngster, but the email I received from Rutgers University via PRWeek’s sponsored message program is a classic failure where target marketing is concerned.

“Your Public Relations Career will take more than time and energy to grow,” it said.  “You need a strategy for career advancement.”

It offered a PR Certificate from Rutgers School of Communication saying “The Rutgers online program is the only one of its kind for mid-level PR and communications professionals like you.”  It promised to take me beyond PR 101.

After 40 years in the business, I hope I’m past the mid-level … and I hope the folks at Rutgers – a fine university – become better at targeting their prospects.


April 27, 2010

by Roger Pynn

A valuable tool for many a public relations campaign is the study. We not only learn a lot about a specific subject, we can use the results to position our client for their expertise in that field.

One conducted by to identify the most stressful jobs proves the point.

When the study hit the media showing that people in the field of public relations are high on the stress list, PR people everywhere were tweeting away and sharing what appeared to be collective glee that finally their high pressure environment was getting some cred.

Of course, I’ll bet if police officers, commercial pilots, surgeons and taxi drivers were in my social media circles I’d have seen them chirping just as actively.

Just as interesting as the study and the outpouring of appreciation from America’s most stressed workers was the way CareerCast chose to describe the positions they studied … and, of course, the required links to CareerCast’s “job search portal” where if I’m looking to up my stress level I can find more than 1,200 openings for drivers.

My fellow PR peeps were described as people who “make speeches and give presentations, often in front of large crowds” and “some PR officers are required to interact with potentially hostile members of the media.”

Then there’s the #2 most stressed profession: “Corporate Executives.” CareerCast said “This highly competitive field requires detailed knowledge of the financial community, economic trends as well as technological developments and implications. Senior executives are expected to excel in many different fields at once, and face daily pressure to make far-reaching decisions that can affect numerous employees and their company’s bottom line.”

Now I’m really confused. Which am I? Upon reflection, I think I’ll stick with the seemingly unbearable pressure of making speeches, giving presentations and facing pesky reporters. I’m not so sure about facing the daily pressure of making far-reaching decisions.

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