We are proud of our AdPR Alumni! AdPR Week seems like the perfect chance to take a closer look at what one esteemed alumni, Michael Gray, is doing now. With past work at Porter Novelli and Fox Sports, Gray has experience in the public relations industry. He currently holds a position as the Communications Consultant, Corporate Communications, North Florida Region for Wells Fargo.
AdPR Department: What are some of your everyday duties?
Michael Gray: My job as a communicator for Wells Fargo is to enhance and manage the company’s reputation. This is accomplished through internal and external communications, issues and crisis management, and acting as a trusted advisor for my clients. Every day, I am focused on effectively communicating our desired messages through positive storytelling and engagement with our key stakeholders – team members, external media, and our customers and communities.
AdPR: In your previous positions and also in your current one, were there any assignments or duties that you were required to take on that surprised you?
Gray: I have learned to never be surprised in the public relations field. One of the biggest indicators of success for a PR professional is adaptability. It’s imperative to be open-minded and to not let anything throw you for a loop.
AdPR: What are some concepts or skills you would consider essentials for AdPR students to grasp before they graduate?
Gray: Writing is key. Many other skills are developed as you progress in your career, but your writing is what will set you apart from others. Confidence is also extremely important, but make sure not to confuse confidence with arrogance. It’s good to have a little modesty, and to understand there is always room for learning and development.
AdPR: After graduating, what was one of your biggest challenges while entering the job field?
Gray: I had a difficult time deciding what exactly I wanted to do and where I wanted to live. Did I want to try agency life or focus on corporate? Did I want to stay in Atlanta, where I grew up? Did I want to pursue a career using my economics degree instead? For me, there were more questions than answers at graduation, which was uncomfortable. But I also learned something through those challenges – when the right opportunity comes along, trust your gut. You will know when you find it.