She provided us with an insurmountable amount of knowledge in the realm of journalism, providing us with four questions to ponder while interpreting media: Is there trust in the information you are conveying? Do you have credibility? Does integrity have meaning in the media? Is there enough diversity in the media? These questions aren't always hard to answer, but the truth might be. Mrs. Proctor gave us accounts of personal experiences in which she was "the only" as in the only woman or the only African-American. It was sadly enlightening to see how journalists and executives still faced sexism and racism in the 21st century. She overcame these odds to rise in the ranks in state government.
Proctor has held many high positions in state government, such as Press Secretary for Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. With this job, she gained experience in press conference etiquette, which she politely shared with us. Press conferences are the most pertinent way to release information to many media outlets at once. While press conferences can sometimes only last for twenty minutes, a lot of work goes into the production. You must send an alert to media outlets so they can be prepared to cover the event, then you will send the actual press release to outlets. You must make many follow-up calls to ensure those invited are attending and make press kits with pamphlets, flyers, and fact sheets. You should make sure you have set aside a room or location, including a sound system, podium, and seating. The days before you must establish your content, develop a list of attendees, and rehearse!
In press conferences, as well as life, you must be confident in what you say. As Mrs. Proctor said, "Words are the coin of your realm." She has been a part of the media from a time when they had no email, to the integration of the fax machine (see Wikipedia for an explanation as to what that is). Media is changing every day, and the so-called "new media" today will be "traditional media" ten years from now. Thanks to Mrs. Proctor, I have a better understanding of press conferences, the world of journalism, and how to find myself and what I want to do.