Best PR Professional - 2004
Victoria Winkelman, public information officer at Meadows School of the Arts, SMU
Just like a marriage, especially one with a "can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em" ambivalence, the relationship between public relations professionals and reporters is classically flawed. Even as they appreciate their interdependence, PR people believe every reporter is "out to get them" or their organization. Every reporter believes that PR pros start each day with a solemn oath--swearing to "spin the truth, tell only the half-truths and nothing but some half-truths." Even worse, there is a new crop of young, lazy, degreed PR people who--and we're not kidding--send a news release about an event for their organization without listing the date. Would that more PR practitioners could ooze professional savvy, provide on-time and completely accurate information, offer quick access to key sources and generally make a reporter feel like helping the media is actually a top priority of the PR job. We found one in Dallas who's like that. Victoria Winkelman, public information officer for Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts. Winkelman often goes out of her way to provide additional research or suggest additional experts on background.