Welcome to the PRSA Volunteer Chapter Blog!

Welcome to the PRSA Volunteer Chapter blog. We hope that you find relevant, timely and useful information about professional communications here.

The posts you’ll find here in the coming months will be written by our members — among them, longtime communicators and public relations professionals as well as recent graduates or those transitioning to PR from another field. Our members bring diverse viewpoints and expertise to their jobs, to the Volunteer Chapter and to our community.

The viewpoints of our individual members may not necessarily reflect the views of the Volunteer Chapter, but all of our members — as well as our Chapter — are devoted to openness, honesty and ethical behavior in communications.

If you have questions, drop us a line.

Member Spotlight: Rebecca McKnight

Education General Studies, Pellissippi State Technical Community College (2001 – 2004)  Bachelor of Science, Communications, Public Relations; Minor, Business Administration, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2004 – 2008) Employment Public Relations & Communications Coordinator, Helen Ross McNabb Center What’s the most important PR practice you use in your work? Effective communication. In my role I interact… Read More

Member Spotlight: Becky Huckaby, APR, Fellow PRSA, A.A.E.

Education Bachelor of Arts degree in mass communications from East Tennessee State University Master of Science in Communication & Information from the University of Tennessee Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) in 2008  Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E) – one of only 15 PR professionals in the US – in 2018  Inducted into the PRSA College of… Read More

Graduate Spotlight: Public Relations Certificate Program – Shay Trembley

Did you know the Volunteer Chapter launched a Public Relations Certificate Program last year with the University of Tennessee Non-Credit Programs? The certificate required completion of four elective modules and three core modules: Principles of Public Relations, Public Relations Writing, Public Relations Ethics and Legal Issues. Among the students seeking certification was Shay Trembley (pictured), and she… Read More

Member Spotlight: Caitlin Darras

Education: B.S. in Communication from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2012); Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Memphis (2019) Employment: Senior Public Relations Specialist for the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority What’s the most important PR practice you use in your work?Be accessible and be transparent. When working with local media, my boss has… Read More

Member Spotlight: Matt Kothe

Education: B.A. in Political Science, Minor in English; University of Tennessee, Knoxville Employment: Corporate Communications Specialist, PerfectServe Why did you choose public relations as a career?This is an interesting question for me, because public relations wasn’t part of my future plans when I graduated from college. I worked at a law firm for about a… Read More

Member Spotlight: Jeff Gary, APR

Education: B.S. Journalism, University of Tennessee; M.S. Communications (Public Relations), University of Tennessee Employment: Director of Creative Services, Communications Division, UT-Battelle LLC (Contractor to the US Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Why did you choose public relations as a career? It’s an honor to represent an organization and have the opportunity to craft… Read More

3 Ways to Keep Work Conversations Productive, Appropriate

Tough conversations are a part of everyday life. It’s not easy to talk to an employee about his or her performance, initiate a business break up or even ask for a raise. We don’t like it when people disagree with us. We avoid confrontation. We dread delivering bad news. However, maintaining the status quo often… Read More

Member Spotlight: Scott Brooks

Education: BS in journalism, broadcast news, from West Virginia University Employment: Public Relations Specialist at Tennessee Valley Authority Why did you choose public relations as a career? I worked for 14 years as a broadcast journalist before someone suggested my skills might be useful in public relations. I had never considered that my ability to… Read More