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Guest Speaker Q&A with Brandi Boatner

Brandi Boatner is the Digital Experience Manager for IBM’s Global Technology Services in New York City. Brandi is a New Orleans native born and raised in Metairie. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Loyola University of New Orleans and Masters of Arts in Communication from Hawaii Pacific University.

Brandi is a true advocate for diversity and the next generation of leaders in the public relations professionals, speaking around the US to various colleges & universities about the future of the industry.


  1. How did you get started in your career?

After serving three years on the PRSSA National Board as VP of Advocacy, National President and Immediate Past President, I knew I wanted to not only transition to PRSA but also use my experience and network to launch my career in PR. Upon graduation and completing my Masters thesis, I shared my work with a few colleagues I made through my network and submitted my resume to several companies to be considered for a position.


  1. What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve received?

Dress for the job you want and not the job you have. Also, know and understand how your business works and what you bring to the table.


  1. What is your favorite part about being in the public relations field?

My favorite part of public relations is that it is ALWAYS changing. No day is the same and I am always learning. The ability to learn is one of our greatest competitive advantages.


  1. What is the most important thing we (as students) should do before entering the workforce?

One of the most important things I feel students need to do before entering the workforce is strengthen your writing. I know you hear this from your teachers quite often in class but writing is SO important in the workforce.


  1. Describe a typical day at work.

What’s a typical day? LOL. I do not have a day where anything is typical but I can say that I begin my day by reading three news sources: The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today. I answer emails and then I look at my calendar to see what tasks I need to accomplish during the day and the week. Every day is different.


  1. What is unique about your organization?

IBM is 105 years old and during that century we continue to transform and help the world work better through technology. We have some of the best and brightest minds in the world that are innovating and creating some of the most significant technology the world has ever experienced.


  1. How do you see public relations developing in the next 5-10 years?

I think the industry is at the beginning of a huge transformational shift in how we practice public relations. The proliferation of mobile devices and the rise of big data will help practitioners strengthen relationship building and take PR to the next level in terms of content marketing and influencer marketing.


  1. What is the coolest experience you’ve had while at your current job?

I’ve had so many cool experiences during my current job. My exposure to work with C-level executives at other companies. International travel and leading social media at large scale events. Working with my CEO on a first of a kind event. Empowering and training my colleagues on social media platforms. Serving as a keynote speaker for Social Media Week in NYC.


  1. What is your favorite book?

Night Jasmine by Mary Lou Widmer.


  1. Who inspires you the most?

My mother. She is a total inspiration to me and I am so honored to be her daughter.


  1. PRSSA at LSU is dedicating the month of November to diversity. Can you explain the importance of diversity in a workplace?

We have entered a new age of diversity across the business landscape. In every corner of the world, the composition of the global workforce is more diverse today— culturally, ethnically, geographically, and by gender, lifestyle, and age group—than ever before.

The challenges of diversity is beyond the capabilities of any one individual, division or team. IBM thinks about diversity the way we think about innovation — both are essential to the success of our business. When we innovate, technology becomes smarter for clients and creates new opportunities for growth. When we incorporate diversity into our business, we create better innovations and outcomes.

In addition, rapid advances in technology, ranging from social media to cloud computing to mobile devices, mean that companies must attract new sets of skills into their operations. Diversity is an essential attribute for every company.

Brandi Boatner will speak this Thursday, November 19, at 6 p.m. in Holliday Forum.

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