When most folks think of bed & breakfasts, the primary thought is some R&R. When Jeanne Talbot thinks of them, press tours come to mind. Meet the manager of press relations and communications for Lexmark International.
Describe the company you work for Lexmark International is a printing solutions and services company based in Lexington, KY, with about 12,000 employees worldwide. Our goal is to help companies of all sizes print, move, and manage their business information more efficiently and cost-effectively.
What do you do? I'm responsible for the press relations and internal communications strategy for the printing solutions and services division.
This includes media relations for a family of about 25 products, product reviews, analyst relations, executive speaker placement, all employee communication for the division and its top executives, and the division newsletter Loop. I manage four amazing employees, one fantastic PR agency, and one really great executive speaker placement agency.
Tell us something interesting about your company Most people think Lexmark's name stems from our location in Lexington, KY. Actually, the intent behind the name is "lex" for words and "mark" as in marks on paper.
How did you get into PR? I always wanted to be a reporter until I started writing for my college newspaper. At that point, I realized that I was more cut out for the boardroom than the newsroom. A professor asked if I had ever considered PR and I said "What's that?" Within weeks I had an internship at a small boutique agency in Massachusetts and I was hooked.
What was your best pitch? Creating the home networking category when I worked for Intel. We conducted our press tours in "antique" bed and breakfasts across the US to demonstrate the power of home networking PCs through ordinary phone lines.
What are you working on this week? Putting out two fires with a major hi-tech publication, trying to respond to questions from media about a sensitive matter that I can't really answer, preparing for an upcoming product announcement, creating collateral and plans for a design contest for students that will kick off in a few weeks, confirming plans for a press breakfast at a major trade show, getting ready for a satellite media tour, conducting a survey of employees on the effectiveness of our internal communications programs, writing three articles for our quarterly newsletter and - the best part - staff salary increases.
What invention would make your job easier? Human cloning. Too bad I'm morally and ethically opposed to it.
Who would you most like to work with? A major sports team. I'm a Boston girl at heart so Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins. Any would do.
What's your party trick? What's a party? With a new baby, I haven't been to one in a very long time.
If you were an animal, what would you be? My dog, Snickers. She is very pampered.
What skill would you most like to have? Investor relations. The ability to look at a spreadsheet and immediately turn numbers into meaningful information.