CEO and senior manager of public relations firm, GolinHarris, give insight into communication careers


Gabriella Belzer

Fred Cook, chief executive officer for GolinHarris, speaks to students about persuing a future career in public relations.  

Tatiana Marceleno

Fred Cook, CEO of GolinHarris, said confidence is key in landing new work experiences.

Cook shared personal experiences that led him to create his own public relations firm in a talk on Thursday. Cook discussed how having courageous qualities could lead to gaining new work experiences.

“You have to have the confidence and reassurance to follow the path that is the right one for you,” Cook said. “You have to have the courage on the way to improvise a little bit and to try something new, because in the end, where you end up isn’t nearly as interesting as the trip you took to get there.” 

Cook said the most important thing for students to learn is to separate themselves from others when looking for jobs.

“Companies like ours and our clients have really big problems and really big challenges, and we’re looking for people with new ideas and new thinking and new skills to help solve those problems,” Cook said. “So the most important thing, I think, is to expose yourself.”

Jacqi Moore Richardson, UT alumna and senior manager at GolinHarris, also spoke at the event. Richardson said looking into a career in public relations gives students the opportunity to learn more about things that interest them. 

“Yes, you’re here studying communications, but one thing to really take with you is, anything you’re interested in, dive deeper into it,” Richardson said. “PR gives you the opportunity to learn more about something.”

In her presentation, Richardson shared her work experiences with different clients and celebrities. 

Public relations junior Kelly Nash said she enjoyed hearing about Richardson’s experiences at GolinHarris.

“I thought it was really cool to learn all the different types of things that she’s done,” Nash said. “She hasn’t just done one thing and that’s what’s cool about an agency.”

Nash said the presentation was helpful because she was able to learn about different careers in public relations that interest her.

“She was really informative with her whole experience, and it was cool to see someone that’s done the same thing and not switched around,” Nash said. “I’m just trying to see all the different types and kind of go from there.”

Published on March 8, 2013 as "PR firm representatives share words of wisdom".