In honor of APR month, we got to know more about our chapter’s APR Chair, Jenny Fowler, APR
MBA, Marketing, UTK; BA, Biology, UTK; APR
Self-employed and principal consultant with Cathey Communications
Why did you choose public relations as a career?
A career in PR offered me a way to use my writing and business skills to serve a wide range of people, organizations and industries. I was looking for a constant source of variety in my work and exposure to new, exciting things, and I’ve been immensely blessed in that regard. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from a master on the agency side (Cathy Ackermann) and also work on the corporate side for companies large and small. Now, working with my dear friend Robert Cathey at Cathey Communications, I’m 100 percent focused on tech PR—something I never dreamed I’d be doing—and, much to my surprise, I love it. I spend my days immersed in new and exciting things, and I’ve never been happier.
What’s the most memorable moment of your career?
It’s funny, but the two career moments that stand out in my mind have nothing to do with any great professional achievement but rather with juggling career and motherhood (well, perhaps that is a great professional achievement!). I remember managing an event in St. Louis—at the time it was the largest and most comprehensive project of my career—while I was 8 months pregnant. And it seems like yesterday when, with my second child, I was participating in a conference call while I changed a dirty diaper, hoping no one could hear the velcro unlatching. Fortunately, video conferences were rare back then!
Why are you a member of PRSA?
Being a member of the Volunteer Chapter provides a way for me to stay connected to my network of peers in the region, especially since all of Cathey.co’s work is outside the Knoxville area. I also enjoy the professional development opportunities offered by PRSA; PRSA resources help me keep my skills and knowledge fresh and relevant. Finally, being a member of PRSA is my way of supporting the profession. By actively serving in the local chapter, I hope to give back to a profession that has been so good to me.
What advice would you give to new professionals?
The beauty of PR as a profession is the vast universe of opportunity it gives you to explore over the course of your career and the unimagined doors that it can open for you. I would advise new PR professionals to blaze a trail with good work and strong ethical standards, invest in cultivating your network and don’t be afraid to try a new path when your life priorities require it. Your PR skills and experience will serve you well in any capacity.
Member spotlights are submitted by Membership Chair Kathryn King (email@example.com).