APR Q&A: Getting to Know Amy Turner, APR, Associate at EnviroIssues

Amy Turner, APR Tell us about your role and responsibilities.

I am an Associate at EnviroIssues, a local company specializing in strategic communications, public involvement and facilitation. Day-to-day, I am co-located at the Washington State Department of Transportation's project office as the Communications Manager for the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program.

I have the privilege of overseeing and working with a great group of people who do government relations, media relations, community relations and storytelling to connect taxpayers to a more-than $3 billion public infrastructure program.

How did you get started in PR?

I went to school at Washington State University and graduated with a communications degree from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication. While there, I developed a strong interest in community issues and found that I wanted to be in a position to help inform community discussions. After graduating, I worked in the non-profit sector, moved to the public sector and now work for a public entity in the private sector. The variety of tasks and professional paths within the field of public relations is a huge draw for those of us who choose this as a profession.

What are you working on right now?

Right now, we're developing new ways to highlight upcoming milestones on the SR 99 Tunnel Project. We're also focused on producing videos that give viewers a rare glimpse inside a five-story-tall tunneling machine, and coordinating tours so people can view construction activities first-hand. Shameless plug - you can sign up for a free tour that visits a closed section of the lower deck of the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Why did you pursue your APR?

I pursued my APR because I wanted a challenge and a new learning opportunity after more than a decade in the field. I was encouraged by colleagues and decided to follow their advice.

What value has it brought you?

It expanded my professional network via the classes and colleagues I encountered along the way. Going through the process also encourages you to reflect on and refine your practice. The focus on ethics and the rigorous planning process is invaluable.

What PR strategy is really working for you?

Mutually beneficial relationships are the cornerstone of public relations. In my work, we have a no surprises philosophy and work hard to keep people informed about news whether it's good or bad. This commitment translates to credibility and trust and that serves everyone well.

What is the best tool, app, website, book, or other resource that other PR pros MUST check out?

I like reading theSkimm. It's a great example of clever writing, gives you a daily digest of important national and international news and informs you about what is dominating the news cycle.

Where do you find inspiration?

My colleagues. They are a great group of people.

What excites you about PR these days?

The myriad channels you can use to communicate your message. That can be challenging because audiences are fragmented and attention spans appear to be waning, but we also have options, and that's a good thing.

When you're not working, where can we find you?

Usually in a local park playing with my husband and two-year-old son, hanging out at the Queen Anne Farmers Market with friends or hiking a local trail. This fall, you'll find me in Pullman cheering on the Cougars. If we could carve out more time, you'd find me working on remodeling projects, traveling, writing old-fashioned letters and reading.

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