“I focus on making complex ideas simple,” said Kathleen. During her nine-plus years at Bright Spring Communications, she’s worked in business-to-business communication areas including supply chain, transportation, technology and security, as well as a bit of finance and government.
Originally from Bethesda, Kathleen currently lives in Emmitsburg, MD. She began her career at The International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she worked for four years as an internal editor. She attended college at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, receiving a bachelor’s degree in English.
After the IMF, Kathleen worked as a journalist for many years. Although she still writes for publications, most frequently Government Computer News, she decided to make the transition to PR because “I wanted to see what it was like to be in a business instead of talking about a business.”
Kathleen finds her journalism experience invaluable in her PR work. “I don’t waste people’s time, and I make an effort to get to know who I’m talking about and presenting the material they’re interested in,” she said. “I also don’t take it personally when a person doesn’t have the time at that moment to speak with me or is grouchy on the phone. Journalists are busy people, under pressure to produce within tight deadlines, and they resent people who don’t do their homework.”
She refers to herself as a specialist. “A lot of PR people say they can do anything, but nobody can do everything,” she said. Kathleen explained that not every solution works for everyone. PR for fashion and soda, for example, requires a radically different approach than PR for technology.
“[My clients aren’t] buying a lifestyle; they’re buying a solution to solve a problem,” said Kathleen. Her clients want to know “how can this improve my company,” and “why is it important for me to know about?” And that’s where Kathleen comes in. “My job is to make software understandable and for people to want it.”
An example of what Kathleen deals with is an article she wrote about technology to help people find parking. Data collected from censors in parking spots is used to determine which spots are empty and which are full. This information can then be accessed by drivers to find available spots without incessant driving around. City governments can also use the data to increase parking revenues, reduce congestion and lower car emissions. This is something I certainly didn’t know, and without people like Kathleen making the public aware of such technology, these tools and ideas might never be used.
After dealing with so much technical work during the week, Kathleen enjoys some quiet time when she’s not working. She enjoys being with friends and family, taking walks and reading. “I read humor, murder mysteries, fantasy — anything fluffy because I deal with so much heavy stuff during the week. The brain needs to relax too!” she said laughing.
How did she end up at Cowork Frederick? “I lived in Houston for a short period of time, and my sister-in-law mentioned a coworking space nearby and suggested I try it and I really liked it,” Kathleen said.
Because of her positive experience in Houston, “when I came to the Frederick area, I wanted to find another coworking space.” Kathleen has been a member of Cowork Frederick since May 2013 and enjoys her time spent coworking. “I like the people, I really like getting out of the house, that it’s in downtown Frederick and that there’s stuff to do down here,” she said. She also loves the atmosphere of the building. “Everyone here is friendly and it’s a nice space. I can’t say enough good things about coworking and Cowork Frederick in particular!”