Member Spotlight: Ashleigh Webb, National University

Name: Ashleigh Webb
Title: Public Relations and Communications Manager
Organization: National University
Years in PR: 1.5
Years in PRSA, San Diego/Imperial Counties Chapter: 1.5
Hometown: Oceanside

What is your Educational Background?
I truly value education and I’m committed to lifelong learning that started with a BA in English from UC Santa Barbara, a semester at the University of Barcelona in Spain, and several years living in almost every corner of the US. My formal education culminated in 2015 when I completed a Master’s Degree in Strategic Communications at National University, one of the largest private nonprofit universities in California.

What prepared you for your current role at National University?
I was uniquely qualified for my current position in the public relations department at the University because of my experience as the Chancellor’s Executive Assistant. In this role, I gained a keen insight into the workings of the institution, which exposed me at a young age to top level meetings with executives who impressed me with their ability to successfully pitch ideas. It also required that I be detailed oriented, a strategic thinker, and an outstanding communicator – all the skills I use daily in my current position.

Why do you love your job?
I love my job because it combines all of the things I enjoy doing while promoting something I truly believe in. I feel so fortunate to work for a private, non-profit university that I also attended. Being a student and now working as an alum, I am able to bring unique insights into my position. I utilize my strong writing and storytelling background every day. A big part of my job involves interviewing students, so I know how to relate to them, and truly understand National University’s adult learner population. By sharing student success stories, whether it’s a working mother going back to school to complete her college degree or a student transitioning from the military to civilian life, these stories serve as inspiration and encouragement to others.

(It was also exciting for Ashleigh to see her Capstone Project communication plan be implemented as an employee a few months later, resulting in her managing monthly online newsletters featuring University stories. What a unique opportunity!)

Why do you value your PRSA membership?
Ashleigh says her membership in PRSA has also been very helpful to her as someone new to the field. She finds Tactics to be a great resource to her and loves how it gets her thinking. She is also a fan of seminars and ongoing learning opportunities such as when the Chapter brought in Michael Smart last year. Ashleigh really valued the great tips he provided and still refers to them regularly.

What are some tips you’d like to share with fellow PRSA members?
It’s important to stay relevant and be willing to makes shifts in order to be more effective. The world and the news room are constantly changing, so it’s crucial that anyone involved in media relations stays on top of current events, does a lot of reading and is always willing to try new tactics, tools, and techniques. I also think it’s important to stay well-rounded and try to understand a story from multiple perspectives.

What do you like about the Public Relations profession?
I love the quantifiable side of the industry. I’m a big believer in metrics and using them to help improve the bottom line. Being able to gauge results and then make adjustments is really important to me. They can help push projects forward and guide you as to what is working and what isn’t – especially when you keep in mind your big picture goals.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I believe in the importance of lifelong learning, so when I’m not busy at work, you’ll most likely find me traveling to a new place or reading a good book.