The importance of networking is stressed so highly amongst those studying PR, but how does a student network? The MCSA team were lucky enough to sit down and chat with Elaine Koller, Chief Executive of the Public Relations Institute of New Zealand, better known as PRINZ. Elaine is an experienced senior communications practitioner who has the know-how and insight into how students aiming to work within the communications industry should approach ‘networking.’
As part of our alumni series, the MCSA team sat down with ex Vice-President of MCSA (2018/2019) Ella Marelich! Ella graduated from the University of Waikato in 2019 and shortly afterwards began an internship with Foodstuffs New Zealand. Ella has just finished her internship and is a Corporate Affairs Coordinator for Foodstuffs!
So what does your life look like now? What are you up to?
Well I work from home even though Foodstuffs is an essential business! And I literally just respond to the media all day! I monitor the emails and we got about 20 to 30 media enquiries a day for about two weeks when COVID was at its peak. An email will pop up, and my job is to reply to the emails, pop it in a document, lead my team’s meeting at 1pm and then assign tasks to people. Some of the enquiries mean that senior executives of Foodstuffs need to talk to my team, but that’s another call, and then I get to deal with the easy ones!
What’s your official job role?
It’s going to be Corporate Affairs Coordinator for Foodstuffs New Zealand, for the external communications team. External communications is really cool! But don’t let anyone tell you that you get to choose whether you get to do crisis comms, because it just comes upon you. You don’t get to choose crisis comms, crisis comms chooses you.