ENDA

Recently, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has been all the rage.

I wouldn’t normally post about political hot topics, except this piece of legislation is one I have quite the connection to. Not only am I a big fan of workplace equality including gender identity and sexual orientation, but I also played a part in the buzz surrounding this bill.

Working for the Fund for The Public Interest, I represented the Human Rights Campaign educating the public on the approaching legislation of ENDA and fundraising for the organization.

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Similar to some summer jobs, this took place outside. Unlike any jobs I can think of, I asked complete strangers to stop and talk to me about gay civil rights. Within five minutes I was asking for a monthly contribution.

Well that escalated quickly.

This is where the PR mindset comes in, which explains why I was able to excel at this unique skill. For me, it wasn’t five minutes of talking to a stranger.

It was five minutes of creating a relationship. Five minutes to get to know the people who were willing to take a moment out of their busy lives for a contemporary issue.

I’ve often said that I would jump at the chance to learn every single person’s life story. People fascinate me- and meeting 30+ Minneapolis area residents and tourists a day was one of the most meaningful and fulfilling things I have ever done.

Some people avoided me, some were rude, but those genuine connections- authentic enough to lead to a monthly financial commitment and exchange of personal information- made any unfortunate encounters worth it.

The reality is, public relations is all around us. Each conversation I had was basically a live press release for HRC, it was the epitome of community outreach. I knew the organization like the back of my hand, and was always prepared to elaborate on their goals or explain past controversial decisions.

This was not a strategic communications internship of any sort, but I recognized the opportunity to develop public relations experience and make an impact with each interaction. This is what makes resumes three dimensional- unique approaches and mindsets, and the ability to use any opportunity as one for growth.

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