If you ever visit Red Sky, a public relations agency in Boise, Idaho, you will probably fall in love with their current home in a 1910 historic building and open, collaborative work spaces. Even more inspiring is their mission and “why”, which is “creating and sharing stories that matter. It’s why we do what we do, and we love every minute of it.”
Julie Chigbrow is a Boise State alumni and works as a Senior Account Executive at Red Sky. Chigbrow provides calmness and structure across client initiatives, and focuses on public engagement. Recently, she shared her educational journey and what she loves most about her public relations career.
A love for strategy
Chigbrow started out as a journalism major at the College of Southern Idaho but soon discovered that it was the public relations field’s emphasis on writing and strategy that truly excited her. She chose to focus on strategic communications after transferring to Boise State. She continues to use these skills in her work everyday. “I see public relations as the really high-level strategic elements that you need to have to be a good advisor for your clients.”
Although strategy is a main part of her job, Chigbrow emphasizes that every day at Red Sky is different. One day a client may need help with blog posts, planning strategy and the next day, another client might need you to cover an event. Many different activities and duties are exciting, but Chigbrow said this is really why she loves her field: “The best part of my job is helping clients really understand how to communicate with different audiences. I like to think of public relations as almost like puzzle pieces and you’re bringing everyone together so everyone knows what is going on and there is no gap in understanding.”
The value of public relations internships
Internships can be intimidating and overwhelming, but for Chigbrow the required internships of the Boise State program were the best experience she had to prepare her for her current job.
“At first that can kind of seem scary but getting that real world experience, getting a sense of what an office culture is like and what kind of work you want to do before you graduate is a huge step in getting you prepared for when you are ready to actually approach an employer.”
Her advice for students that are interested in pursuing a future in strategic communications is to be curious and brush up your writing skills. “You have to become an expert for your clients, know their business, their messaging and who their audience is, so be curious.”
About Boise State Online Programs
Check out the Boise State Online Bachelor of Integrated Strategic Communications Program and learn how you can get career-ready today.
Along with the Online Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Strategic Communications, Boise State University offers more than 55 online degree and certificate programs to help you make your educational dreams a reality–whether you need a bachelor’s degree, a graduate degree or a single, online class. For more information, visit boisestate.edu/online.
Story by Pamela Craig and Casey Longstreth, Boise State Extended Studies
Video by Doug Kessinger, Boise State Extended Studies