As Katie Price neared graduation from Anderson University last spring, she waded into the competitive job market. Looking for a career in public relations, Price decided to narrow her search to the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. She had interned in 2011 with World Vision in Washington and fell in love with the area. After an extensive search and a quick interview process, Price landed a position as a media relations associate with Operation Christmas Child (OCC), a program of Samaritan’s Purse.
Operation Christmas Child facilitates and encourages families to pack a shoebox with gifts. They deliver these gifts to children around the world. Nine million children will receive gifts through Operation Christmas Child this year. Price is one of 15 media associates working for OCC in 13 different offices across the country. She coordinates PR strategies for the Northwest region, which includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington.
“My tasks usually consist of customizing, writing, and pitching press releases for the Northwest region,” said Price. “I generate media lists for target cities, support national and regional OCC social media efforts, and provide media and event support for national and regional OCC promotional events.”
Price works to promote Operation Christmas Child through traditional and social media efforts. While a student at Anderson University, she encountered many learning opportunities and professional experiences that made her perfect for Operation Christmas Child.
“The quality and caliber of the public relations courses at AU most definitely prepared me for this position. I feel like each and every PR course I took gave me the knowledge and confidence to hit the ground running when I started this job in media relations,” said Price. “The skills I gained from finding and writing story ideas to preparing semester projects for PR writing and event planning and management gave me the practical experience necessary to get my job done.”
She specifically credits Rebecca Fuller Beeler, chair of the Department of Communication Arts and PR professor, with instilling knowledge and wisdom necessary for her career.
“Rebecca was also the catalyst for my interest and passion for PR,” said Price. “She has developed her courses to help keep PR students engaged and up-to-date on what is happening in the industry. I have gained invaluable knowledge on how to make it in this industry, and she set an amazing example of what it means to be a successful public relations practitioner who maintains her character and ethics.”
Fuller Beeler describes Price as having a unique blend of creative and analytical skills.
“Katie came back from her internship at World Vision with a clear vision of what she wanted to do after graduation, and she achieved that,” said Fuller Beeler. “Throughout her senior year, I saw consistent effort to build her skill set, learn more about the industry she was interested in, and seek opportunities to hone her skills.”
This year, Operation Christmas Child will reach a milestone as they collect their 100 millionth shoe box gift.
“It’s definitely an exciting time to be a part of OCC and help celebrate and promote the help they’ve given to more than 100 million children around the world,” said Price.
— Jonathon Hosea is a senior from New Castle, Ind., majoring in communication arts and minoring in peace and conflict transformation. Hosea is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson University continues to be recognized as one of America's top colleges by U.S. News and World Report, The Princeton Review, and Forbes. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology.