Lisa Short, Marketing Manager at WQAD-TV, discusses market research involving the availability of the Quad Cities television market.

Lisa Short, marketing manager at WQAD-TV, the ABC affiliate for the Quad Cities television market, told members of the Public Relations Student Society of America how important creativity is in the public relations industry.

“The media landscape is changing,” Short said. “There are more media choices which allows for increasing forms of communication and anytime, anywhere information.”

Responsibilities of creating sales presentations, programming research, station events and promotions were the focus of Short’s presentation at PRSSA’s Feb. 21 meeting. She also explained some of her recent promotional campaigns, including “Healthy Quad Cities” and “Eat Local for Less.”

“You have to be able to catch your audience’s attention,” Short said. “Technology provides a lot of challenges for television and my team has to come up with innovative campaigns that positively promote our station.”

PRSSA invites PR professionals from Iowa and Illinois to speak at each bi-weekly meeting. The organization’s communication director, Allison Mendrys, senior from Johnston, Iowa, schedules and introduces all of the presenters.

“I try to provide a diverse group of professionals to show members the many public relations opportunities available,” Mendrys said.

“Short brought along a sample WQAD media kit, consisting of press releases and face sheets for the members to view. She also provided information about student television scholarships, job-shadow opportunities and internships.

“Overall, I think Lisa had a very well-planned presentation,” said PRSSA vice president Krystal Loewe, senior from Elk Grove, Ill. “Our visiting professional speakers give our members examples of day-to-day work and eliminate the glamorous perception some people may have of public relations,” Loewe said.

Short, a 1999 graduate of Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., interned with the Quad City Thunder in media relations and with the St. Louis Rams in community relations during school. She stressed the importance of internships and getting a taste of the industry.

“Being persistent really pays off,” Short said. “Get your foot in the door because there is always someone behind the scenes, and that person could be you.”

“During a Q-and-A session with Short, members asked her about her balance of family and work, specific career goals and the importance of obtaining a master’s degree.

“I think members do a good job of asking questions the whole group is probably wondering,” Mendrys said. “I know there have been several meetings where members have stayed later to talk with a speaker, get advice on resumes or ask about potential employment opportunities.”

Short encouraged PRSSA members to check out her station’s Web site and apply for internships in the Quad Cities area.