Alumna climbs her way through the PR ranks

By Nick Bragg

Storytelling is an essential skill for a modern PR professional.

“People always think I’m a good storyteller, and that’s partly why I was drawn to PR in the beginning,” said Chico State alumna Kristina Richmann (PR, 2012).

Richmann started paving her career path in 2009 when she was looking to transfer from Sacramento State to a school with a public relations department. After weighing her options, Richmann decided on Chico State as her destination. In 2010 she started working with Tehama Group Communications, a student-managed, on-campus PR agency.

TGC gives students the opportunity to shape and mold their PR skills in a real life setting, with professional clients, all while getting units towards graduation. While at TGC, Richmann was the lead photographer and a writer for Chico States “Building Bridges” diversity newsletter.

Richmann began her job search in her final semester at Chico. After interviewing at a few places she landed an internship at Vantage PR in San Francisco.

“I always say that the reason I got my job was because of Chico,” Richmann said. “The way I organized my thoughts and the way I presented myself, is why I ended up being hired as an intern.”

Richmann finished her three-month internship and was hired on as a senior account executive with Vantage PR. Richmann then came to the conclusion that she did not want to commute to and from San Francisco twice a day, so she made a lateral move to 10Fold Communications, which is located closer to her home in the South Bay Area.

After working as a senior account executive at 10Fold for about a year and a half, Richmann landed an account supervisor role at PAN Communications, which is an integrated marketing and PR agency.

In her previous senior account executive positions, Richmann focused heavily on media relations. Now as an account supervisor, her job focuses more on strategy and coming up with creative ideas for a broad range of clients.

“It’s more big-picture stuff, not necessarily what are we doing in the next three months, but maybe where do we want to be a year from now,” Richmann said.

One of the most rewarding parts of the job is when you land a big media hit, she said. Richmann recently helped secure coverage for one of her clients on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, which was the biggest media placement of her career to date.

“That feeling is what keeps me going. Every time I’m having a crappy day, I just remember how excited I get when I get an awesome media placement,” Richmann said.

With regard to the future, Richmann hopes to keep advancing in the PR field. She was promoted to an account supervisor quite early in her career and plans to keep landing promotions.

“My five year goal is to keep on the trajectory that I have been, Richmann said. “I really want to be seen as someone not only the agency values, but the clients as well.”