This month, we are featuring our Immediate Past Chair Jennifer Flowers Kolf, APR.
Jennifer Flowers Kolf, APR, is principal at JFK Consulting in Troy, Mich., an independent communications firm providing a wide range of services, including strategic communications planning and content creation, media relations, social media management and more.
Previously, Jennifer was director, communications at FordDirect, a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and its franchised dealers to create a comprehensive Web presence for dealers and provide digital marketing and advertising services that help dealers sell more cars and trucks. In her role at FordDirect, Jennifer managed all internal communications for the company as well as external public relations, including media relations and social media management. She also served as chair of the organization’s charity committee called FordDirect Cares.
Jennifer was also manager, System Communications at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, Mich., one of the nation’s most renowned health care institution, and served as the vice president, director of public relations for Leo Burnett Detroit, working with key agency clients Cadillac, Pontiac and Mr. Goodwrench.
An active member of the public relations community, Jennifer currently serves as the immediate past chair for the PRSA East Central District, which includes representing the district on the PRSA National Nominating Committee in 2020. She served as the ECD chair in 2019. Locally, Jennifer served several years on the board of directors for PRSA Detroit, including a year as president in 2012. During her tenure as president, PRSA Detroit was awarded one of only two chapter diversity awards nationwide, due largely to the inaugural launch of the Ofield Dukes Diversity Summit. She also currently serves as the professional advisor to the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter at the University of Michigan – Dearborn.
Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Michigan State University in East Lansing.
Home Chapter: PRSA Detroit
What is your favorite part about being part of PRSA (National, District and Chapter levels)?
I have enjoyed all of the PRSA service roles I have held, but the PRSA ECD leadership experience over the past few years has been especially interesting because it has allowed for greater interactions with my fellow professionals around the region. It has also provided a great opportunity to better understand the inner workings of PRSA as a membership society nationally.
What do you hope to contribute to PRSA-ECD in 2020?
In 2020, I will be representing ECD on the PRSA National Nominating committee and I hope to ensure we have a great short list of candidates from our district to consider for the district’s open national board seat. I also plan to play a significant role in helping to revise and enhance the ECD’s bylaws.
What is your favorite part of public relations (and other related communications industries)?
My favorite part of practicing public relations is the employee or internal communications facet of what we do. Impacting the employee audience with strategic and creative communications tactics is the underpinning of any effective external strategy and playing a role in positively affecting workplace culture and morale is very rewarding.
Talk about your career. What have been some highlights and missteps, and what have you learned from them?
A highlight of my career has been getting to promote Cadillac’s Super Bowl campaign when the event was in my hometown of Detroit. It was exciting to work with all of the national media that came to Detroit to cover the event and take pride in playing a key part in showing off our city to the world.
What would you say to a prospective member who wants to join PRSA but is on the fence?
Don’t wait to join PRSA. Join and invest your time now vs. delaying to when you really need it as membership is like having career insurance that will carry you through stressful or difficult times in your career.
What do you like most about QuickStart, the Diamond Awards and/or other PRSA-ECD initiatives?
I love QuickStart! I have attended it three years in a row and I’ve learned so much each time. Additionally, it is great to connect face-to-face with the district members who you only get to speak with by phone at most other meetings.
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