Published on October 16, 2018, at 9:15 a.m.
by Ali Carden.
The classic question: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Every child is asked this question as soon as they can say their ABCs and is expected to have an answer ready for all of the curious adults.
When Natalie Gloady was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, her answer originally was a school teacher. However, her parents knew her better than she thought: Gloady was destined for a fast-paced career that ignited her passion for fundraising and volunteering.
When she began to look at colleges, Waynesburg University made an impression on her. Not only did she fall in love with the campus, but also with the faculty who encouraged and guided her to find her home. She knew she made the right choice thanks to those encouraging her within the public relations program.
In 2017, Gloady was appointed to the Public Relations Student Society of America’s national board as publications editor in chief for the 2017-2018 year. However, her journey with PRSSA began much earlier. In fact, she joined PRSSA before classes even began her freshman year of college.
Gloady’s involvement in PRSSA continued as she served as public relations director for her chapter where one of her responsibilities was editor in chief of her chapter’s award-winning, monthly newsletter. She also took on roles within the Waynesburg chapter as Regional Conference registration chair, social media coordinator, content coordinator and PRWeek event planner.
Not only did PRSSA bring Gloady plenty of opportunities to write, get published and lead a group of peers interested in pursuing PR, but it also allowed her to meet influential mentors, as well as some of her closest friends.
Gloady’s writing career began when she wrote her high school’s newsletter and continued as she frequently submitted pieces to PRSSA’s national blog during her college career.
However, during her senior year in college the 2016-2017 PRSSA publications editor in chief, Krista Watson, shared her own experience with Gloady. It was this type of encouragement and guidance that Gloady would pass down to Emma Ingram when she applied for the position following Gloady’s year.
“Natalie was such a great help to me in not only inspiring me to apply for editor in chief but also assisting me in finding my own voice in writing. Natalie recognized my passion for writing and helped me realize that as a PR professional it is so much more than just a part of the job,” Ingram said. “She was always a friend and mentor, and she still checks in. I believe that is what the key was to my smooth transition into office.”
Ingram was a member of the Industry News and Current Events subcommittee under Gloady during her term. This is where their friendship began, and Ingram learned about the editor in chief position.
As editor in chief, responsibilities include overseeing Progressions, PRSSA’s online publication with the purpose of “Advancing the Profession and the Future Professional.” The blogs cover a vast amount of topics within the public relations sphere. Another responsibility is FORUM, an online newspaper that serves as a recap for the society. A recent responsibility that Gloady developed during her term as editor in chief is the PRSSA Podcast Series. As founder of the podcast, Gloady is in charge of finding professionals to shed light onto the industry through the podcast series titled “PR with the Pros.”
One part of Ingram’s platform is to further enhance the podcast that Gloady began, and she did so by putting the podcast on iTunes.
“My hope is to increase awareness of PRSSA publications among students and encourage them to reach out more and use PRSSA as a resource,” Ingram said.
Ingram’s advice to PRSSA students is to get involved. “Go to the meetings and stay late to talk to the speakers. You’re only in college once! If you throw yourself in, it will have such a big impact on your career,” she said.
Gloady learned both soft and hard skills during her time as editor in chief. Soft skills include patience, understanding, time management and how to connect with people. In addition, she continued to develop hard skills such as AP Style, design and numerous other “technical things.”
Today Gloady works for Reimagine Main Street where she serves as a digital marketing strategist in a building that originated as a newspaper company in 1808. As a writer, Gloady said that the ink is “literally in our veins.”
Gloady has inspired others like Ingram to continue their professional development as writers and editors, and wants all PR students to do the same. Any member of PRSSA should “be a hand raiser! Get involved! Write!” she said. As displayed through Gloady’s experiences, PRSSA is more than just a college club, but a way to develop mentorship relationships as well.