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Concrete Jungles and Pine Trees

Erika Bush in New York City

If you ask this week’s Monday Maven, Erika Bush, why she loves public relations, she will respond with, “it’s just what I’ve always done.” She is almost childlike in her enthusiasm as she describes her passion for the job, which developed when she was very young. “I would plan out these elaborate events with my dolls; I would create flyers and ads to tell my parents and sisters when they could come and see my musicals, plays and other events… seating arrangements and all!” She goes on to say her Mom would write reviews, which Erika would then file in folders labeled with event titles, dates and times.

This innate passion for marketing coupled with her gift for writing was noticed by an eighth grade teacher, who first told her she might want to look into a career in public relations. Erika shrugged it off, but in high school she found herself actively involved in the Key Club and was elected as the marketing chair her sophomore year. Her connections with local radio stations increased traffic to the events they hosted, and it was at this time Erika reconsidered the career which had been suggested years before.

Camden, Erika’s coonhound and inspiration for The Camden Collection.

After graduating from Cony High School in 2006, she embarked on a journey to New York City to pursue her passion for marketing and public relations. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in advertising and public relations from The City College of New York while working full-time, interning part-time and freelancing for a local non-profit and a start-up marketing strategic research firm. Erika found juggling tasks exciting; “I took a great interest in developing myself as a working professional and got involved in as many projects as possible.”

While living in the city, she learned a lot about broadening her perspectives and she credits her practical experience to her professor and mentor, Lynn Appelbaum. “Lynn sort of took me under her wing and pushed me; she knew my learning style better than I did.”  Appelbaum, a former press manager for NBC’s Today Show,” was equally impressed by her former student saying, “Erika is among the smartest, most mature, personable and driven young professionals I have taught in my 16 years teaching at City College. She was offered a job working part-time for a marketing/PR consultant.  Erika took everything she learned in class and immediately applied it to her job.  It is rare to see this kind of passion, coupled with solid communication skills, but Erika has both.”

After three years in New York, Erika decided to trade in the concrete jungle for pine trees and moved back to Maine to be closer to her family. Erika currently resides in Hallowell, Maine and recently joined NMC as an account assistant. In her free time, she markets and sells dog bones through her boutique business, The Camden Collection. Erika also volunteers at Maine General in Augusta and at other local events.

You may contact Erika via LinkedIn or email her at ebush@marshallpr.com.

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