Member Spotlight – Kelly Corder, APR
Name and Title
Kelly Corder, APR, Director of Communications for the Florida Commission on Offender Review
Born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida. Go Noles!
When did you start your career in Public Relations?
I began working in public relations while an undergrad student at Florida State. I started as an intern in the Communications Department at the Florida Department of Education working under the incomparable team of Cathy Schroeder and Jennifer Fennell, APR, CPRC. I could not have asked for a better orientation to public relations and political communication.
What project are you most proud of?
I have the humbling privilege to witness our agency’s impact in the community daily in victim advocacy and public safety. It would be hard to pick one project; they’ve each challenged me and helped me develop in their own way. However, there’s something about writing a speech and watching the words I’ve put to paper come to life, that I truly cherish. It gives me goosebumps every single time.
What is one piece of advice you would give others entering the field?
Embrace flexibility. PR professionals are great assets to their principals because of their ability to take on a wide range of responsibilities that may not typically fall under the purview of PR. Taking on extensive duties, and performing them successfully, is what transforms a PR practitioner into a trusted advisor and go-to for senior leadership.
What do you think is the biggest challenge PR professionals will face going forward?
Similar to most other fields, PR is dealing with a multi-generational workforce on a level not seen previously. Employees can range from 18 to 80, and that’s being conservative. While a challenge, I truly believe it’s much more of an opportunity. Most obstacles are due to communication breakdowns, and varying perspectives and backgrounds; who better to tackle these challenges than public relations professionals?!
What would your colleagues be surprised to know about you?
Not a lot of people know that I am a huge professional wrestling fan; I have been for years. In fact, I recently attended a live event in Tallahassee and had the time of my life. I fully intend to be at WrestleMania next year when it makes its way to Tampa. Who wants to come with me?
How has a mentor influenced your career?
I had to save this question for last because it feels impossible to answer given the number of people that have influenced my career. I will say, I’ve been beyond blessed to work under the leadership of several magnificent women, beginning with my first internship. I’ve contemplated very little on a glass ceiling because the female leaders I’ve had the honor to work with never paid it much regard. They taught me that a strong work ethic, passion, fairness, and a good amount of humor were the ingredients to a successful career. I am grateful for their influence every day, because as far as I’m concerned, the sky is the limit.
Why did you join FPRA?
The Commission is a small agency with just myself and an intern staffing the Communications Department. In that type of isolated environment, it would be easy to grow complacent. I knew that FPRA would provide the opportunity for career development, workshops and trainings, and most importantly, the opportunity to network with my colleagues and friends in the field. It’s far exceeded those expectations. I can’t say enough about my time with FPRA.
Why did you decide to serve on the FPRA board?
Because Cathy Schroeder asked me to, and no one says no to Cathy Schroeder.