English Alum Jenna Gilligan Transitioning from Publishing to P.R.

English major Jenna Gilligan (BA 2010), writes with news of her recent career change. After four years working in publishing with Da Capo Press, she has moved into Public Relations with a firm called Version 2.0 Communications.

As she puts it in her own words, “Right now I’m an Account Executive at Version 2.0 Communications–I just got promoted yesterday! Half of my clients are higher ed (various Institutes in the University of Michigan’s business school), and the other half are technology startups in various industries–everything from biofuel to event ticketing. My role varies depending on the account, but I mainly handle media relations–helping companies decide what their messaging is and then getting it in front of media however we can. We also handle speaking/award opportunities, some analyst relations, crisis communications, strategy, whatever the client needs (and is willing to pay us for). As it turns out, I had enough background knowledge to understand the language they’re speaking, but there’s a ton still I have to learn. Book PR and tech PR turned out to be two very different disciplines! At Da Capo, I was doing solely media relations. My writing skills and general knowledge of how to act when you’re trying to get a journalist to do something for you have translated and served me really well–even if I’m trying to learn a new set of publications and editors and quirks.”

Asked how her experience as an English major has helped her, she replies, “Let’s see, English major skills that come in handy…writing well on subjects I’m not an expert in. Writing well on subjects I’m not an expert in–with a deadline. Research skills. Making connections and being able to explain them to other people clearly and concisely.”

Those of us who had the privilege to work with Jenna when she was a student here aren’t surprised at her success, and we’re happy to brag about her.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.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