Speaker Recap - Paige Knapp
On Tuesday September 10th, Temple University and PRSSA alum Paige Knapp came to speak to current PRSSA members about her college and post-grad journey that lead to her current position as a Senior Account Executive at Divine + Powers Public Relations Firm in Philadelphia.
While pursuing a career in public relations, Paige noted that she did not always want to be a PR practitioner. Upon entering Temple as a freshman, Paige was majoring in political science but switched her major to public relations, wanting a much more hands-on career. Paige quickly became involved in student-run public relations organizations such as PRSSA, and during the fall semester of her junior year she studied in London, gaining real-life exposure to the PR field for the first time. Aspiring to work within the arts and entertainment sector of public relations, Paige was paired with an internship where her main role was promoting different music shows and venue’s.
Following her internship in London, Paige interned for Press Here Agency in Manhattan, where she worked strictly in publicity, partaking in TV and radio interviews with musicians. “I was late to the internship game,” Knapp admits, “but my internship in London helped open the door for more field experiences down the road.” Paige laughed as she reminisced about her first real experience in crisis communications, when one of Press Here’s clients, singer-songwriter Lenny Kravitz’s pants ripped during a charity performance, revealing that the star was not wearing any underwear.
While originally wanting to work within an in-house public relations environment, Paige’s experience interning with WXPN during her senior year made her realize her distaste for the repetitive schedule of working in-house, as opposed to the fast-paced, ever-changing day-to-day schedule of working in a PR agency.
Following graduation, Paige turned down a job offer from Press Here Agency due to the high living expenses of Manhattan. However, she landed an interview with Divine + Powers, where she was immediately drawn to the tight-knit, communal environment of the firm. Staring out as an Account Coordinator, Paige worked her way up to become a Senior Account Executive, the position that she holds today. A largely customer-based position, Paige helps elevate her clients through strategic communications, event planning, and social media strategy. She also launched D+P’s Influencer Engagement practice area in 2018, and continues to develop the service for future clients. With social media increasingly being used as a way to promote brands and products, the idea behind the Influencer Engagement area is to have an unregulated space where brands and consumers can interact with influencers on an even playing field.
While answering questions from current PRSSA members, Paige honed in on the importance of establishing a relationship with the media when working within the PR industry. “As a PR practitioner, my main goal is always to meet the needs of my clients,” Knapp noted, “and achieving these needs becomes a lot easier when I have an established relationship with the media.” Knapp explained that by researching the potential media source (the specific journalist/contact) and learning about his/ her passions in addition to reading or watching their past stories can build a strongl relationship by displaying a genuine enthusiasm towards the person of interest.
Ending her discussion on her public relations journey through college and into the work force, Paige encouraged the audience to take advantage of as many PR field experiences as possible before graduation. “I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and what type of environment I wanted to work in,” Paige recalled, “but through my internship experiences, I realized that my gut was totally wrong.”
This blog post was written by Ellyse Conklyn, General Body Member.