Guest Speaker: Tim Baumgardner

By: Jared Kissane

Last week, Ferris State PRSSA was fortunate enough to have Ferris State alumni,
Tim Baumgardner, speak on his experiences with public relations. Tim is currently
the Marketing Manager for Custom Solutions at MLive where he works with the
journalism and sales teams figuring out ways to increase sales and marketing.

Here are some of the points Tim made in response to some of the questions we
asked:

How do you maintain a professional relationship with other departments you
work with at MLive?
• Holding regular meetings with other departments helps maintain
steady communication. When you have a goal in mind and are unable to
communicate problems are bound appear.
• MLive uses a collaborative workspace in their offices. There are no assigned
seats or desks making it easy to interact with other positions. Also the entire
collaborative workspace is wireless making it easy to work from anywhere
that has an Internet connection.

How is working for MLive compared to other large corporations you have
worked for?
• When working in PR for larger corporations you often times find yourself
working on “customer horror stories” trying to figure out a solution before it
becomes a story that will negatively affect your company’s reputation.
• MLive on the other hand is mainly focused on editorials and generating sales
for clients.
Which department should have the right to manage social media platforms?
• This is an ongoing discussion with any company you look at. Social media is
used differently on different venues.
• Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, and Sales are all departments that
use social media in different ways, so it really depends on the company. The
Editorial department runs the social media at MLive.

Some final advice:
• Stay aware of the image you are displaying of yourself online because
employers are always checking.
• You never know whom you will work for or with, or who will work for you
so be aware that networking yourself in a positive way to everyone you
encounter will help in the long run.
• Build relationships with the people you will be working with. It doesn’t have
to be a personal relationship, just one that doesn’t rely on you contacting that
person only when you are in need.

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About ferrisprssa

We speak the truth with compassion. We embrace diversity in all forms. We are innovative, creative, upbeat and engaged. We are the Ferris State University PRSSA Chapter! Our student-run PR firm gives students outstanding hands-on experience and professional training.
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