Jessica’s take on:
Strategic partnerships with clients
Organizations looking for public relations or marketing help usually need more than someone to deliver final products like press releases or a logo. Often you need a strategic partner — someone to help you define the change you’re trying to enact, the best strategy to enact it, and the best tools for the job.
Jessica is that partner. She’s learned that sometimes the best way to serve clients is to be curious, interrogate their challenge, and offer solutions they might not have considered.
“When I started my career, I was more of an order taker,” Jess says. “Now I’m a strategist who can make strong recommendations. That’s my favorite part of working with clients — working like we’re a team, where we can have candid discussions and look for solutions together.”
When I started my career, I was more of an order taker, now I’m a strategist who can make strong recommendations. That’s my favorite part of working with clients — working like we’re a team, where we can have candid discussions and look for solutions together.
Finding the story behind the pitch
Thinking about pitching a story to journalists? First, consider the story’s value from the perspective of readers and viewers, which is how reporters and editors will think about it, Jessica says.
Is it timely? Does it connect to a larger issue facing a community? Does it include information relevant to audiences’ lives? Or, as Jessica asks, “Could I talk to a friend and explain to them why this story is cool and interesting?”
It helps that Jessica thinks most things are interesting and cool: “There’s almost always a good story if you look for it.”
The love of art and animals
Jessica, a watercolor artist, has been painting her whole life. As a shy kid, she related well to animals, and she loved to paint them. But, in formal classes, art lost some its joy even as her technical skills grew. Her teachers told her wildlife art was “kitschy,” and fun didn’t seem to be enough of a reason to paint.
She tried painting other subjects to appease her professors in college. But she kept returning to wildlife. And eventually she decided fun was enough of a reason to paint what she wanted: the zombie ant, the starfish, the hummingbird, the hippo.
“Every piece is an opportunity to make something new from a blank slate,” she says. “And the feel of watercolor spreading over paper is one of the best things in the world.”
Bachelor of arts, English, art minor, Montana State University-Billings
Leadership & Volunteering
Board member and board president, Spark Central
Volunteer, YWCA Women of Achievement Luncheon
Volunteer, Interplayers Theatre