We oversee a variety of programs and meetings in the Library Communication/Public Programming Office. One benefit that comes with this work is the opportunity to meet some interesting (and often well-connected) people. Here are some examples of people my staff and I have met the past few years:
The Big Wigs
Each fall we host an author for our annual fundraising dinner. In 2008, we featured T. Boone Pickens. My staff escorted Mr. Pickens throughout the day and also spent some time visiting with Jay Rosser, Mr. Pickens' publicist. In past years, the Cobb Speaker Series has brought in Frank Deford, S.E. Hinton and Kurt Vonnegut, just to name a few. See the complete list here: http://www.library.okstate.edu/friends/cobb/previous.htm.
Our events and meetings also provide the occasional opportunity to meet politicians. The Mayor and other city officials, OSU Regents, State Senators and Representatives are just some of the VIPs you might meet at a Library function.
I define a "local celebrity" as someone you could easily see at the grocery store, but you still get kind of excited when it happens: the University President and First Lady, OSU coaches and athletes, even Pistol Pete. Every so often, our programming and outreach efforts bring us in contact these folks.
Professionals in the Industry
Last, but certainly not least, we have several chances each semester to meet and network with other PR professionals. My staff has met local pros like Gary Shutt (OSU Communications), Sam Sims (Jones PR), Dustin Pyeatt (Oklahoma Blood Institute), Becky Endicott (OSU Foundation), and even a few industry biggies like Ed Schipul and Peter Shankman.
Wow, kind of makes you want to apply for my internship, huh?