What I do: The Institute for PR's Tina McCorkindale

Tina McCorkindale talks about commuting to work - from Seattle to Florida - and the other intricacies of leading the Institute for PR.

Morning ritual
I get a cup of decaf coffee – I’ve tricked my brain into thinking it makes a difference – and I immediately check my email since my 5 am wake-up on the West Coast means the emails from the East Coast are already coming in. By the time my three kids wake up, it’s lunchtime on the East Coast, and if I can, I eat breakfast with them and get them out the door to school.

Most distinct aspect of your personal office
I have posters of the Fillmore, the historic music venue in San Francisco, all over the walls and a Kurt Vonnegut poster right over my computer promoting an opportunity to hear him speak at a university about "how to get a job like mine" from 20 years ago.

Favorite smartphone app
I have two I can’t live without: Pandora and Nike+.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how difficult is your commute?
It can be a 1 and a 9. When I’m not traveling, I only have to walk downstairs to get my coffee and then back upstairs to my office, so that’s definitely a 1. Even though IPR is an independent organization, our office is located at the University of Florida in Gainesville, so when I go there, the commute becomes a 9. I can get tons of things done on an airplane, though.

If I ruled the world for a day…
I would enact strict gun control in the US, and mandate that all people in the world must have easy access to clean water, education, and healthcare.

Favorite city to do business in

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, or drinks for meetings? Why?
I love dinner and drinks. The day is winding down, so most people don’t have to get back to the office, and you also get a chance to talk about non-work-related topics. It’s a great way to get to know people.

What’s something PR pros at agencies or inside companies don’t realize about being a communications academic?
Some people think academics only teach classes. That’s not true. Teaching is only one small component; research and service are two others. Also, many academics are active and stay current on issues relevant to the profession. And if you want to learn about Millennials, ask a professor.

First app or website you check in the morning
Facebook or Twitter.

Favorite city you’ve lived in during your career?
I really love living in Seattle, but I also loved living in Los Angeles, specifically Echo Park and Silverlake. Most of my friends in Los Angeles had non-conventional jobs and were just fascinating people. Also, Los Angeles is always sunny, and there are many different options for outdoor activities. You can surf in the morning, hike at lunchtime, and then drive to the mountains to ski in the late afternoon, all while eating In-N-Out Burgers along the way.

Fun fact about the Institute for PR
I think some people don’t even know who we are. IPR is a nonprofit research foundation that does research in, on, and for public relations. All of our research is available for free on our website, and we focus on a wide variety of topics, including behavioral science, measurement and standards, employee communication, reputation, and social media. We just published a research study on Millennials, and we will soon publish a study on employee line-of-sight conducted in five countries.

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