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UIUC ADV 310 - Interview With a PR Professional

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Karina Valentine ADV 310 Spring 2018 Option 2: Interview With a PR Professional Tish Martinez-Castillo is a corporate communications manager and public relations manager for a company called Human Nature. She has worked in the field for over 10 years and for Human Nature for four years. Human Nature is a company based in the Philippines. It is the Philippine's largest generally natural personal care cosmetics and in home care brand. They have a presence in other territories as well. They have an office in the U.S and are disrupted in Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates. Tish Castillo, in college wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to do. However, she took a class called European Studies which is a pre-diplomat course. This allows an individual the possibility to work in foreign services and this is where she discovered her love for writing. Tish first worked as a copywriter for a plus- size lingerie service. She talked about this being an interesting experience. This is because she said it’s not as common and the Philippines is a very conservative country. It taught her to tailor a story and have better knowledge of what she was writing. Tish also gained experience from writing for a company called Rubicon that she was with for five years. At Human Nature her current responsibilities include handling internal communications (for her corporate side). This focuses on looking at messages between employees and or partners and making sure everything is on brand with the company’s mission. Their mission is to be a company that urgently and sustainably represents the Philippines. While also working to uplift people especially the poor through natural products. She gave an exampleof their being a big storm in the Philippines and trying to help the community. Such as if the brand was giving out water to everyone they would take out the word ‘victim’ in their stories as they are survivors. They place an importance on uplifting the less fortunate community. Externally, on the public relations side she makes the press release schedule, makes and creates different stories that reflect their products, but also the types of products. She writes about the advocacy of Human Nature because they are a social enterprise as they help a lot of people come out of poverty. She organizes events and promotes better living wage because of exploitative tendencies in the Philippines. Her job requires a lot of involvement and knowledge on what’s going on. They make it a goal to always have their stories and communication be true to the brand. Tish has a very interesting perspective on what she likes most about her job. She says that the part that is most stressful about her job is what she loves the most about it. For her it’s about connecting the dots and seeing the stories and people come to life. It is a lot of work connecting the story of one person to another and finding common themes. A lot goes into it, as there are many parts which includes building relationships with people. If you don’t build those relationships you lose the meaning and purpose. Tish says she also values the honesty and transparency they put into their work. There are also things that Tish has come to not like about her career. For Tish there is a lot of leg work involved in her job. Since Human Nature is a cosmetic company it does involve making kits that promote the company or cause they are helping with. They have events that Tish leads that are held all over the city. For her that aspect of it gets a little bit tiring and involves a lot of energy. One of her less stronger suites is manual labor and her job at timesinvolves a lot of energy and hands on work. At the same time she values the relationships it has allowed her to build with others. Public relations can be a very demanding field that requires you to have a diverse skill set. Tish Castillo provides some good insight and advice to those wanting to go in the public relations field. In her opinion, the number one technical skill you should have is your ability to write. You need to be able to write well in order for the story and message to come across correctly. Moreso, Tish says that you need to be able to write with clarity so that you are understood. She also discusses the importance of developing a thick skin. Public relations bosses and others in related fields can be very strict. If you aren’t ready to be criticized or learn from your mistakes then you may not be ready for this field. Without the will or tenacity to push forward and grow public relations can be a hard field for someone. If you don’t have the stamina or drive to put yourself out there you can’t grow as a specialist. You also have to develop faith in yourself and in the process. If you don’t believe what you’re saying then don’t say it. Stay true to what you learn from listening to your clients needs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to gain clarity. This way you will have better transparency and honesty in what you write. Always work to have a clear voice and know what needs to be done. By following some of these ideas you can benefit from a career in public relations. This interview was conducted on March 13th, 2018 through a skype video call. Contact Information: Tish Martinez-Castillo, email: [email protected], landline: (+63 2) 784-7700 local 319 or (+63 2)

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