CAREERS: My Big Break

My first PR job came in 1988 in the hospital where I was born 27

years earlier. I was appointed assistant director of PR at Danbury

Hospital in Danbury, CT. My duties included writing press releases,

being hospital spokesperson, editing the hospital's daily newspaper and

biweekly employee newsletter, writing for the hospital's community

magazine, developing a newsletter and coordinating photography.

I felt confident handling all this because I had worked as a reporter

and bureau chief at both a weekly and a daily newspaper for my first

five years out of college. During my time there, I forged relationships

with many physicians and nurses, especially those who worked in the

emergency department, the area I had to call almost daily to inquire

about the conditions of accident victims, politicians and celebrities. I

also interviewed many patients who had successfully undergone the latest

medical procedures, and celebrities who sought my assistance in

protecting their anonymity while they received medical care away from

the media microscope in nearby New York City.

That first job taught me a lot about the importance of forming strong

working relationships with colleagues, allowing reporters to reach you

anytime of the day or night, and always telling your constituents the


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