PRSA NJ Member Spotlight: Stephanie K. Reed

Welcome to the first PRSA NJ Member Spotlight for 2024! Each month, we select a member to highlight to get to know our fellow chapter members. This month, we are featuring Stephanie K. Reed – incoming chapter president.

Stephanie K. Reed

Stephanie K. Reed
Senior Director, Culture and Communications
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

PRSA NJ member since January 2018
Incoming PRSA NJ Board President

How did you get into the field of PR?
I started my career in PR and communications nearly 25 years ago as a graduate fellow in the Corporate Communications department at Johnson & Johnson. I shared an office with three fellows, and we were assigned to work with the company’s amazing corporate social responsibility team. Through that experience, I gained experience in different roles, such global public relations, community and media relations, research and planning, graphic design, and publication production. Over the years, I’ve worked in the pharmaceutical industry, retail, and higher education. I’ve navigated PR and communications through commercialized products; clinical research and development; human resources; organizational communications; culture; and diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice.

What do you love most about PR?
My greatest joy with this work is making connections and building relationships. I enjoy creating opportunities for people to learn from each other and connect with brands that actualize their values. I get energized when my research and storytelling comes together in narratives that are beneficial to a brand’s reputation and have a lasting, positive impression on people. That’s exciting and fulfilling to me.

Why did you decide to serve as president?
Accepting the nomination to become the chapter president was not a decision that I made lightly. I spoke with three past NJ chapter presidents about pain points they faced during their tenure and what they cherished most about their year as president, and the incoming president at that time about his plans for 2023. Those conversations and their encouragement, as well as the support from other Board members, reinforced my commitment to the chapter.

As a leader, I’m inclusive, curious, have a “Type A” personality and, somehow, am also laid back. All these characteristics are needed to successfully lead the chapter by collaborating with the board, our members and partners. I want to use my expertise and energy this year to make a meaningful and sustainable impact on how we function as a chapter. By the end of my term, I trust there will be changes that improve governing the chapter in the future.

What is the value of being a member of PRSA NJ?
Whether people want to expand their network, explore new job opportunities, or find diverse, experienced, and talented candidates, access to PRSA New Jersey’s members is a huge benefit. More reasons to join the chapter’s PR and communications professionals’ community include:

  • professional development and programming that features innovative and best practices, and industry trends presented by emerging and established practitioners,
  • our annual Pyramid Awards competition spotlights incredible campaigns and PR activities from agencies, independent consultants, and in-house teams throughout the Garden State, and
  • participating in community outreach activities, such as the winter toy drive for Matheny Hospital and School.

What are you most excited about for PRSA NJ in 2024?
I’m enthusiastic about my three focus areas for 2024: strengthen our infrastructure, nurture existing relationships and initiate new ones, and be more creative about how we serve New Jersey’s public relations and communications community. I’m equally excited about welcoming new Board members at our annual meeting and election in March, expanding our lineup our volunteers, and listening to our members and incorporating their feedback into our programs and offerings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *