Media Matters Blog

Posted on October 28th, 2021 in Alumni, Alumni Spotlight, Public Relations Jobs by Emily Turnier
Picture of Jaycie Kemp for blog post
IUPUI Journalism alumna Jaycie Kemp

By Jaycie Kemp

2021 has been an interesting year for me. I graduated in December 2020, right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this, the world is a much different place now, and the work environment looks completely different for many of the companies I know and people who work for them. The pandemic made the job search a little more complicated, in my opinion, as lots of companies were (and still are) trying to figure out a return-to-work situation and didn’t put as much thought into new hires as the return-to-work plan.

With the added difficulty of the pandemic, I was looking for and applying to every single job I could find within the journalism, communications, and writing fields. There were several options, but many of them were for more experienced individuals and not recent college graduates. I looked everywhere. I looked on, IU’s job posting site, and searched through my email to find opportunities the Department of Journalism and Public Relations sent to students. Though I didn’t have much luck with the first two options, the journalism department helped get me where I am now!

The department sent out an email to students and graduates over the summer letting us know a PR agency specializing in B2B and SaaS called BLASTmedia was looking for a PR Coordinator. I read through the job posting on BLASTmedia’s website and thought it would be a good fit for me. The description said it was an entry-level position for people with a degree in journalism, public relations, or communications. I applied and crossed my fingers. About a month later, BLASTmedia contacted me about the position. They had me complete a writing test, which consisted of drafting an email pitch and writing a short byline on behalf of a CEO for a tech company. I found I enjoyed writing the byline more than writing the pitch, and I mentioned this when I was called in for an initial interview.

In the initial interview, we discussed my skill set, what it means to work at BLASTmedia, and more. I was thrilled. It sounded like such a pleasant place to work. After the first interview, we scheduled a second interview to dive deeper into the specifics of the role. In this interview, I was made aware that BLASTmedia was considering testing a new position called a Content Coordinator. A portion of the interview was dedicated to seeing which position would be best for me between the PR Coordinator and the Content Coordinator. I repeatedly mentioned my love for writing, which is what led me to land the position of Content Coordinator.

I was very excited to find out I had been offered a brand new position at BLASTmedia. The job search was finally over, and I was able to take a deep breath and relax.

The Content Coordinator position is interesting because I work at a PR agency, but I don’t necessarily “do” PR. I’m a ghostwriter for several tech clients. I write long-form bylines on behalf of a client’s thought leaders. This is different from the kind of writing I’ve done in the past. Before I found my job at BLASTmedia, I was a Research Communications intern for the IU School of Medicine. I was used to writing very straightforward pieces with little personality or character. However, in my new role at BLASTmedia, everything I do is in someone else’s name, which means I have to pay close attention to a thought leader’s preferred voice and tone because I’m writing for them and not myself.

I enjoy writing for other people, and I love the type of writing I’ve been doing so far. I’m able to be very bold in my writing, and I can use exciting words and phrases to tell a story. It’s so different from what I’m used to, and I love that it has pushed me to be more confident in myself and my writing. When I wrote my first byline, I was a little afraid to push the boundaries and be bold, as I had never done it before. Once I did it, though, I felt much better about my writing capabilities. It pushed me out of my comfort zone in the best way possible!

As I continue to work with BLASTmedia, I hope to learn how to tell even better stories and dig deeper to find the answers to the questions I have. In this role, I want to improve my interviewing skills and boost my confidence in both my writing and speaking. BLASTmedia has already taught me so much in my short time here, and I am so excited to continue learning and growing with them. I appreciate that everyone I’ve worked with has been so welcoming and willing to help by answering any questions I’ve had.

If I were to offer some advice to current students and upcoming graduates, it would be this: you can NEVER start searching for a job too soon. Start looking at your options as soon as possible. See what’s out there. Pay close attention to the emails and social posts from the Department of Journalism and Public Relations. IUPUI played a huge part in me finding my job. If it weren’t for the department, I wouldn’t be where I am now.

Think about what you want to do in your career, and keep your eyes open for any opportunities. Continue to grow your network, put yourself out there, and don’t be afraid to be bold. Be confident in yourself!