Erin Schmidt, FSU alumna (M.A., Media & Communication Studies, ’09) and digital director of Schmidt Public Affairs, has been able to utilize her degree in a variety of modern and digital occupations.
A lot of people wonder if Schmidt has any type of relation to Schmidt Public Affairs. However, it’s sweet serendipity that the names match. Schmidt loved her PR job in Tallahassee at RB Oppenheim Associates, but she wanted to expand to a national level. After asking a friend about PR jobs in Washington, D.C., she came across the opportunity at Schmidt Public Affairs and went with it.
As the social media director of Schmidt Public Affairs, she built the firm’s in-house social media program from the ground up. The perfect challenge for Schmidt, this position allowed her to bring new social media and digital offerings to national client accounts and campaigns. Now approaching her fourth year at the firm, Schmidt’s role has shifted to an account management position.
Schmidt’s job requires her appreciation and understanding of the importance of social media marketing.
“It’s hard to think of an industry, social institution, or other facet of life that isn’t affected by digital and social media,” Schmidt explains. “It’s a hard and stressful job being on the front lines like that, and takes a real passion for the medium and understanding of your brand and community to do it well.”
Working now as the digital media director, Schmidt does something different every day. Her position affords tasks such as strategic counsel, messaging, crisis work, media relations, grassroots advocacy, and, of course, digital and social media. Schmidt loves the strategic planning, problem solving, and client interaction aspects of her job.
Schmidt’s experience at FSU both inside and outside of the classroom contributed greatly to her successful career.
She says, “Our program consisted of a diverse and talented crew of professors and students – political consultants, rhetoricians, journalists, theorists, artists, scientists – and I got to pick their brains, bounce ideas off them, see the world from different perspectives, network, and in some cases develop life-long friendships. I left my program a more well-rounded, articulate, critically-thinking, confident, and intellectual person.”
When she’s not interacting with clients or helping manage the social media team, Schmidt enjoys music and theatre. She joined the 18th Street Singers, a choir for young professionals, almost immediately after moving to D.C. She’s also taking drum lessons at a studio in the heart of the city. Participating in these ventures and spending time in nature whenever she can helps Schmdit strike a healthy work/life balance.
If you would like to learn more about the Media & Communication Studies program at FSU, click here to access more information about the undergraduate program and here to access more information about the graduate program.