COPRSA Match Program: Q&A with Brian Hammel

By Shannon Jack
COPRSA Communications Committee Chair

Whether you’re a young PR pro or a tenured expert, you’ve probably had a mentor (or three) along the way who was instrumental to your success. When you work in a fast-paced, ever-changing industry like public relations, it helps to have a mentor--someone who can teach you, offer guidance and share their insights. That’s why Central Ohio PRSA is launching a new program to help build connections among students and professionals in the area!

I sat down with Brian Hammel, Central Ohio PRSA Liaison Committee Chair, to discuss the 2020 Match Program and the key details that make this mentorship initiative so special.

Q: What is the COPRSA Match Program and how does it work?

A: The Match Program is a new initiative to help facilitate meaningful, mutually beneficial relationships between students and professionals in the Central Ohio area. After submitting interest via the Google Form (one for students and one for professionals), the COPRSA Liaison Committee will ‘match’ students and professionals based on their feedback, interests and goals. Initially, we’ll make email introductions and offer a variety of ways for students to foster the connection through coffee meetings, workplace tours, resume reviews and more. By strategically matching students and professionals, we hope the mentorship experience will be more impactful. 

Q: What inspired the Liaison Committee to start this program? What do you hope to accomplish?

A: The Match Program is designed to benefit the needs of students based on feedback we received in previous years. We know students and professionals are eager for connection, so we identified ways to optimize their experiences. By pairing students with PR professionals who work in an industry that interests them, we hope to ease the initial anxiety some students might feel and pair professionals with a mentee who is engaged and excited to learn.

Q: Why are mentor/mentee relationships so important for both students and professionals?

A: The overall relationship is critical for both students and professionals alike. Each person will get as much out of the program as they give--if not more! Mentorship is an opportunity for students to learn and build relationships early in their careers. Mentors not only have an opportunity to stay connected with the next generation of PR talent, but they are able to share their experiences and perspectives with those looking to follow in their footsteps. 

Q: How have mentor/mentee relationships helped you grow personally and professionally?

A: I have a handful of professionals--some I've worked for in internships, others I've connected with through PRSSA/PRSA--who have guided me through various stages of my career. They were my first calls when I was debating job offers or internship selections, and they always provided first-person accounts of what it's like to work in the field. My mentors have given me so much, and I'm excited to pay it forward for the next generation.

If you’re a COPRSA professional interested in serving as a mentor for the 2020 Match Program, please fill out this form by Feb. 28. For additional questions and information, email Brian Hammel at [email protected].

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Three Couples, One Chapter – A Valentine’s Day Tribute

By John Palmer, APR (past president, PRSA Central Ohio Chapter and chair-elect, PRSA East Central District Board of Directors)

A special time of year is approaching where gifts, cards, chocolates and flowers are shared between not just romantic couples but family members and friends. In recognition of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to highlight three couples who are members and who have made great contributions to public relations, PRSA and our chapter.

The Baileys

PRSA was a part of two important milestones for Karen and Todd Bailey - their first encounter was at a PRSSA Ohio Northern University Chapter meeting and their first date was at Café Due Monde in New Orleans during PRSSA National Assembly. They have been together for 19 years including 17 years of marriage. Karen is founder of Purpose Greater Than Profit and Todd is government relations director for Huntington Bank. Karen received the chapter’s Rising Star Award and Todd is a part of PRSSA National Hall of Fame and received the chapter’s Walt Seifert Award. Their commitment to the society, chapter and district is extensive. Karen served as PRSA Central Ohio Board President, Professional Advisor to The Ohio State University PRSSA Chapter, PRSA Bronze Anvil Judge, Nominating Committee and various committees. Todd served as PRSA Central Ohio Board President, PRSA East Central District Board President, Professional Advisor to the Ohio Northern University PRSSA Chapter, PRSA National Assembly Delegate, Nominating Committee and Membership Committee. The most significant impact on their life as a couple includes reading the book, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. “It sounds simple, but knowing what makes another person feel loved and valued is the most important thing you can do in a relationship,” they said. The encourage future couples to “make each other laugh as often as possible.” Their plans for Valentine’s Day, “we will be at the game watching the Columbus Blue Jackets take on the Rangers with our boys, who also play hockey.”

The Fraziers

A grade school encounter led to a relationship of 41 years for Julie and Doug Frazier, including 32 years of marriage. Their first date was a sweetheart dance at their high school gymnasium. PRSA has had a profound impact on their lives, professionally and personally, as they have met amazing friends and colleagues along the way. “PRSA has been in our lives separately and together for three decades. So, we’ve grown a broad shared network of professional and social PRSA friends in most parts of our lives,” they said. Their advice for future couples, “have a sense of humor with each other. Life is ridiculous.” Julie and Doug have both earned their Accreditation in Public Relations. She is the health care program manager at STRS Ohio and he is a creative and brand consultant for FrazierHeiby. Julie was a chapter Rising Star, earned her APR and has won a nice handful of PRISM awards and Diamond awards (PRSA East Central District’s recognition). Doug has been recognized as practitioner of the year by our chapter and PRSA East Central District. Doug is honored to have received many PRISM awards as well. Julie and Doug have served on most of our chapter’s committees, served as assembly delegates and Julie served on our chapter board for more than five years. When they decided to have a family, Julie stepped back and Doug took on chapter board roles, served as chapter president and then assumed duties with the East Central District leading to service as the chair for PRSA ECD Board of Directors. They have both worked with the APR program over the years and Doug has served as a national Silver Anvil judge.

The Kompas

For three decades, including 27 years as a married couple, Natalie and John Kompa have had a great journey. They first met at the George Thorogood concert at the Newport Music Hall. Their first date was at Mac’s Pub in the Short North. John is vice president of Investor Relations and Public Affairs for Hexion, Inc. and Natalie is assistant professor and program director for the public relations and marketing program at Ohio Dominican University. Both have earned their Accreditation in Public Relations and are active with PRSA. John received the Chapter’s Tom Poling Award in 2005 and numerous PRISM awards for his work in public affairs. Natalie has received recognition for her role as faculty advisor for the PRSSA Ohio Dominican University Chapter, a role that she has had since 2008. Natalie is serving as Assembly Delegate for the Chapter and John served as president of the Chapter in 2000 and other positions over the years. The Kompas said that having three kids has had the most significant impact on their life as a couple. Their advice for future couples is, “marriage isn't 50/50. It's 100/100.”

In 2020, Valentine's Day shoppers plan to set new spending records. They will add $27.4 billion to the economy, according to the National Retail Federation. That's more than the $20.7 billion spent in 2019. Candy and greeting cards are projected to be the leading sources of purchases for consumers this holiday. For more information on the economic activity for Valentine’s Day, click here. Our members are the heart of our organization providing valuable time and resources to advancing the profession and the professional. Happy Valentine’s Day!

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