Member Spotlight: Crystal Lauderdale

1. First news publication you read in the morning?
I usually crack one eye open to check my Facebook, USA Today, New York Times and weather apps before getting up (real healthy, I'm sure!). Then I listen to local news and the Today show while getting ready for work.

2. First public relations job?
For a brief time before joining Florida Poly, I worked in communications and PR at a local marketing agency. Before that, I was a journalist working for AOL, the New York Times Regional Group and Media General at various points.

3. Most important career mentor, and why?
My college photojournalism professor, Rick Meyer, a former Los Angeles Times photographer and brilliant businessman, who always told us, "There's plenty of time to rest when you're dead!" Between that advice and a lot of coffee, I stay pretty energized.

4. Top grammar, style or writing pet peeve?
Oh, my, can we all agree to stop saying and writing the word "utilize"? Unless you're trying to win at Scrabble, "use" should work just fine in most instances. 

5. Most rewarding accomplishment in public relations?
I feel really fortunate to get to introduce the world to Florida's newest state university and the only one dedicated exclusively to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). News outlets in more than 24 countries covered our grand opening, and our all-digital library was the subject of a Jeopardy! clue that year!

6. Advice to new public relations professionals?
Whether you're new to the industry or experienced, I think it's always important to connect regularly with other PR and communications professionals through organizations like PRSA. You can learn so much by comparing notes and sharing experiences.

7. Job you would pursue if you weren’t in public relations?
I loved being a photographer and video journalist, but really I thrive on the combination of strategic planning, data analysis, and creativity that PR, communications, and marketing require. This is kinda my jam.

8. Favorite movie?
I can't decide, but my husband and I are trying to watch our way through American history as depicted in film. I just watched Glory for the first time as part of our Civil War segment, and I'm taking recommendations if you have them. 

9. Favorite vacation?
In 2014, we took a trip to Hungary and Switzerland, and I loved them both. We visited the highest train station in Europe at the top of the Jungfrau, a mountain in the Swiss Alps, and the journey required a three-hour train ride and an hour of that ride inside the mountain – freaky!

10. Any three dinner guests?
Well, you want people who have something in common so the conversation flows, right? So, how about Elon Musk to discuss what might be possible in space travel, Neil Armstrong to discuss his firsthand experience, and Galileo, just to see the look on his face when he hears it all. :-)

Me and my husband, Peter Masa, on top of the Jungfrau in the Swiss Alps in October 2014.

Me, Peter and friends on top of Sentinel Dome in Yosemite National Park in September 2016.

Me learning to cook recipes from around the world. Maybe Elon, Neil and Galileo would like some baklava?

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