Brett Spielberg '13: From Journalism to PR

Alumni, Feature, Professionals


 

Published:

November 21, 2013
Tagged: College of Arts and Sciences, Honors College, Center for Career and Professional Development, Department of Communications
 

Brett Spielberg '13: From Journalism to PR

Alumni, Feature, Professionals


 

I am a copywriter with Zimmerman/Edelson Inc., a public relations, marketing, advertising and social media boutique in Great Neck Plaza, New York. Zimmerman/Edelson (or Zimm/Ed) represents school districts, water providers, municipalities, nonprofits and industries on Long Island and in the metropolitan area.

At Adelphi, I majored in communications with a concentration in journalism, and was part of the Honors College. I learned the fundamentals of journalism and communication through communications and honors classes; rebuilding, and serving as editor of, The Delphian, Adelphi’s only independent student newspaper; and working as a student writer for approximately 18 months as an upperclassman in the Office of Marketing and Creative Services.

I entered the competitive field of journalism in a bit of a trial by fire, taking a Web journalism course without having taken the prerequisites, and eventually freelancing for Anton News and patch.com in my community. After two years of gathering clips, editing everything that I came across and interning with newsday.com, I was lucky enough to take advantage of a great networking opportunity and eventually get an offer.

I primarily handle newsletters for my clients—everything from water statements to quarterly school district newsletters. Occasionally I get the opportunity to try my hand at other projects, such as scripts for radio ads, columns for senior members of my firm or clients and the occasional press release or media advisory.

My work is mainly in an office setting, though I attend meetings regularly with school superintendents and water district commissioners across Long Island. From planning a content list, to gathering information and writing, editing and rewriting articles, I oversee the newsletter process from its beginnings to the design stage. When it’s time to design the project, the graphic designer and I will have a powwow of sorts—to  brainstorm ideas, prioritize the material and ensure that we are on the same page. Though I deal with clients and write, while the artist creates the design and our production manager walks through the semantics of printing and postage, it’s truly a coordinated team effort.

Our clients range from districts which insist on a standard template, to new clients looking to rebrand their image, to others who need strong and consistent public relations to manage their crises. Some are extremely involved throughout the process, while others are too busy managing their responsibilities and trust us to lead them in the right direction. It varies and is oftentimes sensitive, but that’s what makes it a worthwhile experience.

I learned more than I could have ever expected at Adelphi, especially thanks to the professors and professionals with whom I had the privilege of working. While the classroom is an irreplaceable part of any education, the hands-on opportunities that I experienced were invaluable. There is no better way to get a foot in the door than by getting your feet wet. At times, it has been quite challenging, but it has all been a part of my achieving my goal of a successful and fulfilling career.

 
Tagged: College of Arts and Sciences, Honors College, Center for Career and Professional Development, Department of Communications